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Friday, July 15, 2011

Zhan Zhuang Instructional Video: Day 6

In Day 6, we return to the Fa Wang Temple and begin our practice with a new warm-up exercise, the Turning Cow. Breathe in as you raise your arms to heart level with your palms facing out, breathe out as you rotate your shoulders one direction, breathe in as you rotate to return to the center, breathe out as you lower your arms. Breathe in as you raise your arms again, breathe out as you turn the other direction, repeat. This is a great exercise to perform before standing still in the Cow Post, with your hands up and out in front of you. Keep your fingers gently spread, relax your shoulders, imaging your weight resting on balloons under your arms. Keep your stomach in and don't let your bottom stick out. Relax into your balloon chair. Look forward and breathe gently and naturally. The Tao te Ching says: "It's stupid to rush around. When you fight against yourself, it shows in your face. But if you draw your sap from your heart, then you will truly be strong." As you continue to stand, keep your body upright and relax. To stop, lower your hands slowly down in the front. To cool down, swing the arms gently up and down. A very simple exercise to transition back to your day. Remember, the lessons from Qigong can be applied to your every day life. Scan your body for tension and relax in everything that you do.