Y-Dan is 19 simple easy moves that are safe for all ages in the comfort of your own home with many health benefits which include improving circulation, the nervous system, and support for your immune system! Click here for upcoming Y-Dan classes – in person and now available online.

Your Introduction to Y-Dan

Y-Dan is a morning exercise routine with only 19 simple moves. It is a gentle easy to learn routine that one could do anywhere and add to any exercise program. It takes only 20 minutes. More benefits include increased stamina, and improving balance while relaxing the body. What I really like about Y-Dan is that it helps more people and is very affordable. In Asia, Y-Dan is known as Wai Tan Kung or waitankung.

Sometimes you stumble upon something new and you just have to ask what is it. That was Y-Dan for me.

Cheryl Millett
Y-Dan Exercise Waitankung Wai Tan Kung
Y-Dan Movement 14 Crossing the Arms

How did Cheryl learn about Y-Dan?

In 2011, I was picking up some herbals for a kidney stone flush and some products for a gallbladder/liver flush when I saw a DVD for sale at Prime Health Products. Julia Chang has a successful business with minimal products that she ships around the world. Time well spent was to learn what she had learned from healing herself. Oh, how she enjoyed sharing her story.

Chang told me it was an exercise that she learned in Asia when she was too sick to do Tai Chi or the like, and she did regain her health. By the time I learned about Y-Dan, Chang had been practicing for several decades. Her son Christopher Wong, who is a bodybuilder, decided to record a VHS then DVD for others to learn and practice. Y-Dan seemed to be a very good routine to learn as it was only 19 movements. Y-Dan felt like it may be something I could share with others so I purchased it and the rest is hi-story.

Teacher Christopher Wong CFT shares on Y-Dan Ancient Chinese Exercise for Health and Well-being:

“I am a bodybuilder of more than 11 years and take my weight training very seriously. However, when I started including Y-Dan in my daily routine, I can say with absolute certainty that it enhanced my exercise greatly. Getting up to go in the morning was easier, starting my workouts was easier even in cold weather, and I had more overall energy and balance. As much as I look forward to my bodybuilding workouts, I look forward to my Y-Dan.”


With regular practice, I learned all of the Y-Dan 19 exercises so I could travel and do them anywhere. After several years, I led some morning classes on my first organized walking holiday in Ireland (2018). Since people enjoyed it very much, I began to offer classes at my health studio. In 2019, a Qigong and Tai Chi teacher and his partner were very keen to learn Y-Dan. Cecilia and David also wish to teach others. Here is their share:

“We found out about Y-Dan from Cheryl earlier this year. As healing arts practitioners, we wanted to learn more. Cheryl taught the class with fluency and kindness. The practice space was ideal and conducive for this kind of modality. We currently practice a variety of Qigong routines. Y-Dan is a unique style that really strengthens the mind and body. We now include Y-Dan in our daily practice and will most certainly pass it along in time to come.”


So what is Y-Dan fitness according to Christopher Wong?

“Y-Dan is an ancient exercise dating back over 2000 years. Initially, it was practiced only by the Chinese imperial families and remained quite secret. Eventually, it was lost and remained so for centuries until 1978. It was at this time that it was rediscovered and practiced again in Taiwan. In a very short time, its popularity became so widespread that due to the limited number of qualified instructors, only people over the age of 40 were allowed to learn.

Y-Dan exercises are a full-body exercise with its own warm-up and cool-down built into it. It exercises every part of the body and has a very balancing effect on the body and mind. The name of the exercise actually translates to External Elixir which means that it was designed to exercise the exterior of the body, which includes the muscles, joints, ligaments, etc. Because of this, it is also one of the safest exercises you can do. Another exercise very closely related is called Nei Dan which translates to Internal Elixir. However, this exercise is much harder to learn and can potentially cause more harm if done improperly. The beauty of Y-Dan is that it’s arranged in such a way that it can be learned very quickly and efficiently. There are only 19 movements in the exercise, so each movement can be remembered more easily and practiced with more repetition.”

Y-Dan Exercise Wai Tan Kung Cheryl Millett
Y-Dan Movement 17 Swinging the Foot

Who can benefit from Y-Dan Exercises?

“The ‘Chi’ is something you may have heard of before. It’s basically your body’s energy flow balancing the body, mind, and spirit. When the Chi flows well throughout the body and your meridians are open, you will experience vibrant health with energy and a general feeling of well-being. It’s also much more difficult for disease to take root with everything flowing so well. Now you may have heard of athletes dying very young and think to yourself, “How could they have died so young when they were in such great shape?” The truth is that they may not have been in such great shape after all. Just because someone looks good, it does not mean that they have balanced health.

“A lot of athletes exercise to the point of overtraining which can cause a shock to the system. That, when combined with very severe dietary and drug practices makes their bodies into walking time bombs. Unless you’re experienced, you can’t tell any of this from looking at them. But believe me, I’ve seen it myself. They fool everyone around them. Then one day an injury hits them, then they get a string of illnesses, get hurt a few more times in a futile effort trying to regain their former glory, and finally, it’s game over. Remember, I’ve seen this myself!

“What these people need is balance. They need to tone down their more intense exercises and include balancing exercises to bring harmony to their bodies. Clearly, they did not have a good flow of Chi. Y-Dan is excellent for this purpose. It’s easy to learn, is very effective at promoting the Chi and makes you feel great. Not only that, but it also helps prevent and rehabilitate injuries.

“I’ve taught numerous people Y-Dan who suffered from various joint problems including Fibromyalgia and Sciatica among other things. At first, the students were not able to perform all the movements. But eventually, once they were able to do them all, their pain was almost gone! It may not have left 100%, but they were able to do many things that they hadn’t done in years.

“Another point I’d like to make is that I’m not saying you shouldn’t do other exercises. By all means, do them as long as they don’t involve impact. Although Y-Dan can work very well by itself and certainly has helped countless people using nothing else, it can also help balance out other exercises you do.”

The Y-Dan Exercises and Movements

Each move has a name and Y-Dan exercises can be broken down into the seven Introductory Movements and the 12 Main Movements. Familiarize yourself with the Introductory Movement names:

  • Embracing the Moon
  • Turning the Head
  • Walking Against the Wind
  • Swinging the Arms
  • Bending
  • Stretching
  • Rotation

Some of the Benefits of Y-Dan Exercises

  • improves blood and lymph circulation
  • increases stamina and energy
  • enhances the functions of the organs
  • improves balance
  • promotes relaxation through the breathwork
  • improves one’s focus
  • relaxes muscles
  • and more.

Waitankung (Y-Dan) is an ancient Chinese exercise, kind of a Chinese Kung Fu based on the philosophy of Taoism and traditional Chinese medicine. But rather than a martial art, it is more a peaceful exercise designed for health enhancement. The basic principle is to free yourself from distraction and, with a peaceful mind, to activate the Hsien Tien Chi (inner energy, a;priori ch’i, foetal Ch’i) inside your body so that it flows smoothly through your internal organs. This in turn will relax your muscles, improve your blood circulation, refresh your mind, and recharge your impulse.

Y-Dan Movement 19 Walking Like A Crane

If you or someone you know is interested in learning the Y-Dan movements, contact Cheryl Millett.