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Monday, July 11, 2011

Zhan Zhuang Instructional Video: Day 2

In Day 2, we return to Song Yang Academy and warm-up by "swimming on land." Breathe in as your arms go forward, breathe out as they return. "Swimming in the air." We then review the First Position. Remember to bend your knees slightly and sit in your balloon chair. There are also balloons under your armpits, allowing the arms to hang loosely. Fingers are not too open and not too closed. Your head is floating on top of your body. Don't hunch your shoulders. Make your chest very relaxed and don't stick out your belly or your bottom. Breathe gently, deeply, and naturally through your nose. "Do nothing and everything is done. Standing still looks passive, but it is this simple stillness that creates the space for us to relax and restore our energy through soft, natural breathing." Professor Yu explains that this exercise was developed over 2,700 years ago, making it one of the oldest Oriental exercises, but that it is still difficult for people to understand. We then meet Western practitioners and learn about their experiences with Qigong. Finally we close by again rotating the hips to relax the tension in the waist. "If that's all you learn - you got it! Very simple! Nothing more." Qigong can be practiced in your every day life. Even waiting for the bus can become an impromptu training session!