Qigong Move of the Month: Zhan Zhuang in Six Steps
Shawn Cartwright, January 2009
Zhan Zhuang or post standing is one of the most important Qigong postures you can practice. The requirements taught in this practice are the foundation of all standing and sitting postures in Qigong, Tai Chi, and Internal Kung Fu.
Whether you are new to Qigong or an experienced practitioner, the following six points can help align your Zhan Zhuang practice.
1) Begin by standing with the feet shoulder width apart. The feet should be parallel to each other. Do not let them turn inward or outward
2) Bend the knees slightly. The knees remain aligned with the feet. They should not ‘cut’ to either the right or left. They should not push forward past the toes.
3) Keep the back straight. Do not to lean forward or backward. Lift from the Bai Hui (crown of the head) as if pushing up a book on top of the head.
4) Relax the upper body and let the legs do most of the work. Learn to relax the hip so that you can open the Kua (hip, waist, upper thigh area.)
5) Relax the mind and let go of all thoughts.
6) The breathing should be natural, slow, soft, gentle, and even.
The best results come from a consistent daily practice. Begin with five minutes and gradually increase the time. Before you know it, you'll be able to stand for half an hour or more!