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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Michael Tse pointers on Zhan Zhuang

From Qi Magazine | Issue 47 | February 2000

About the Zhan Zhuang posture... generally, the Bai Hui point should connect in a straight line with the Hui Yin and Yang Quan points. This is the correct posture. Posture is important but it is external. The most important is the mind and the attitude which is internal. So when you stand the mind should be relaxed and all the joints and muscles relaxed. The only pressure you should feel is on the upper thighs. Do not drop your head. Keep your ears and the shoulders on a straight line. The knees should never extend further than the toes. This is already the frame of the correct Zhan Zhuang posture. In regard to the hands, some people hold the hands higher and some people lower but both are like holding a ball. If holding the hands lower, Laogong points face the Dantien. If higher, then usually at the middle Dantien but they can even be a bit higher up to shoulder height.

The most important is the posture and not the hands. Sink the Qi to the Dantien, relaxing the upper body. The back should be straight but not tense and when you stand, you should feel really relaxed and comfortable. Close your eyes and breathe naturally through your nose. Stay there and enjoy the standing and in the end, forget everything. Then slowly this will build up the internal energy and the strength. From higher posture, you can slowly develop a lower posture, but you must listen to your body. Do not force yourself to stand longer and or go lower. It will build up step by step. If you have any joint injuries, then you can slightly adjust your posture to make you feel more comfortable, but still keep the posture straight. Once the Qi flows over the injured area, it will slowly recover. I do not suggest you start with five minutes and build up step by step. It is better to do a small amount that you feel comfortable with every day than to do long stands infrequently. 

Yours sincerely,
Michael Tse