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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Zhan Zhuang Instructional Video: Day 1

In Day 1, we travel to the Song Yang Academy to learn about the origins of Zhan Zhuang, standing like a tree. Follow along with a warm-up exercise to loosen up the knees. You will then be shown the First Posture, Wuji, standing with your arms by your side. "As a tree grows, it's deep roots appear motionless, but the tree is actually growing from within. Through stillness, Zhan Zhuang introduces us to an inner relaxation that helps to replenish energy and restore strength naturally... To bend like a reed in the wind - that is true strength. Active nothingness - the powerful philosophy that not doing is doing something." Professor Yu explains the many benefits of the practice, which may seem mysterious at first. Lastly, you are shown how to rotate the hips, a simple exercise to open the waist and lower back. "The lessons of relaxation and posture can also be applied to everyday life. The simplest example is walking... With arms relaxed, hanging by your sides, try walking without conscious effort, without tension, breathing easily and naturally." So simple, anyone can do it!