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Monday, February 13, 2012

Moving Zhang Zhuang for Cultivating the Dantian

In the MIT Qigong Year Two Curriculum, Coach Jim Roselando introduces his students to moving zhang zhuang. Choose your favorite posture or keep your arms relaxed in wuji... spend a few minutes finding your center and connecting with your breath. Then gently and slowly transfer all of your weight to one leg... pause... feel your center, feel your balance, breathe deep and soft.... then transfer to the other leg. Move gently, softly, deliberately... 

Below, Michael Tse, editor of Qi Magazine, offers additional valuable information on this powerful exercise.

Collecting Qi to your Dantian - Walking 
Qi Magazine | Issue 62 | August 2002
by Michael Tse

Breathing
Throughout the whole movement, breathe naturally.

Concentration
As you move, make sure you keep your knees bent and the body at the same level. Do not move up and down as you step. Keep the eyes forward, gazing down.
Benefits
A lot of time when we walk, we will walk too fast. For general walking, if we walk too fast, we will use energy. In this exercise, you should walk slowly, so you will go through the detail of the body. How do you use your weight? How do you put your weight forward? How to change one's weight to the other side of the body? That will help your mind and body to connect together because you do it slowly. As you bend your knees to walk, all your weight is on your legs and your upper body will be light. It will create a warm feeling in your body. However, your leg will be a little bit tired. At the same time, you collect the energy, you pass the Ren Mai and down to the the Lower Dantian. So every time you move, the energy will go down to the Dantian and open the channel. So this part is of benefit for the circulation and liver because the liver connects with the blood. And the coordination should be with your torso and legs together. 

History and Background
When we do this exercise, we keep collecting the Qi to the Dantian with the simple walking. It will be easy for beginners. So, in the Healthy Living Gong, we have both stationary movement and walking movements which are like Yin and Yang to balance our Qi together.