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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Zhan Zhuang Instructional Video: Day 5

In Day 5, we visit the Fa Wang Temple situated at the base of Mount Song in Henan Province. The warm-up exercise is done by pushing one hand toward the sky and the other toward the ground - then changing to the other side. Lam Kam then shows us the Third Position, the Cow Post. It is written in the Tao te Ching: "A wise person watches the seasons rise and fall and he knows how things grow, he knows they are fed by their roots and they return to their roots to grow and flower and flow. This quiet feeding is the way of nature. A wise person never tries to break up the whole." Professor Yu explains: "This is different from other forms of exercise. It does not place undue stress on the heart, but instead works accordingly to your body's ability to adapt... If you go running, you get out of breath. Zhan Zhuang doesn't do this. Most forms of exercise cause a lack of oxygen... Zhan Zhuang replenishes the body's oxygen, so it's biologically different."At the end of the practice, we rotate the hips to relax any tension that remains in the waist and lower back. "Try to be more aware of how you are sitting and breathing in your every day life. A little relaxation can go a long way!"