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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

10 Steps to Zhan Zhuang by Wikihow

From Wikihow

This posture is the most common of all the tai chi (taiji) and qigong (chi-gung) postures, and is often used as a separate exercise to increase leg strength, concentration, deep breathing and chi (qi) flow.  The stance is used in standing meditation and is known as the Zhan Zhuang or Embrace the tree posture.

Bill Gallagher PT, CMT, CYT 

1 Stand with the feet about shoulder width apart.

2 Turn the toes in so the outside of the feet are parallel.

3 Sit back to bend the knees and fold in the hip joints to go into a shallow squat (up to a 45 degree bend in the knee).

4 If you tend to be "knock-kneed" (valgus), gently roll the knees out a bit without moving the feet. This will tend to lift the arch. Don't allow the big toes to lose contact with the floor. If you are bow-legged (varus), gently roll the knees in.

5 Release the lower back to allow the coccyx (tailbone) to hang down.

6 As your tailbone hangs down, lengthen the back of your skull up.

7 Hold arms as if embracing a tree with elbows hanging down

8 Sink the shoulders down.

9 Use inhalation to expand body and exhalation to release unnecessary tension down into the ground using the bones as conduits.

10 Hold. Most teachers recommend building up to a minimum of 20 minutes, but beginners may feel fatigued far earlier, and it is advisable to practice caution.