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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Zhan Zhuang Instructional Video: Day 3

In Day 3, Lam Kam Cheun takes us to the Tian Shan Mountains, the beautiful region of China where Lao Tzu founded Taoism in the 6th Century. The Lao Mun Dong Temple is over 2000 years old and was built in honor of Lao Tzu. We start with a warm-up exercise that looks much like a morning stretch: breathing out as we stretch our arms above our head and breathing in as we return them to the top of the head. Lam Kam then introduces us to the Second Position, the Universal Post: hold your arms at heart level, not too high, not too low. Don't open the fingers or close the fingers. Slowly, naturally, easy, relax your chest. Don't hunch your shoulders, relax onto the balloons under your armpits, sit onto the balloon chair. Your head is very loosely floating on top of your shoulders, your eyes look forward, your nose breathes very deeply, very nicely, quietly, natural. Your bottom is upright, don't stick out your belly, don't stick out your bottom. Calm, calm, calm. Again, we rotate the hips to end our practice. 

Professor Yu: "The first aim of Zhan Zhuang is to improve one's health. The second aim is to regulate the flow of vital energy. Thirdly, there is self defense." As Lao Tzu said: "Those who have tempered themselves are not afraid of encountering tigers."