Standing Meditation (Zhan Zhaung)
Zhan Zhuang Practice (Standing Like A Tree)
The original Zhan Zhuang (Standing Meditation) were health practices used by Daoists. Zhan Zhuang has a strong connection with Traditional Chinese Medicine used as a practice for removing blockages in Qi flow. Zhan Zhuang practice is thought to draw Qi into and strengthen the body’s central nervous system and also to draw Qi into the muscular-skeletal and energy gates throughout the body. It is also believed that Zhan Zhuang will lead to a beneficial calming effect and an opening of the Qi through the body’s meridians. Beginning practitioners of Zhan Zhuang can experience severe muscle fatigue and subsequent trembling, aching, numbness, dizziness, and even nausea at first and they can progress into deep relaxation and develop powerful strength from this training. These various symptoms are taught by some to be energy blockages throughout the body that clear through continued practice.
25 Steps Of Zhan Zhuang Practice:
- Stand with legs apart shoulder width and weight distributed evenly, feet straight.
- Drop the hips so that the knees bend slightly over the toes
- Place equal weight on heels and ball of the feet with slightly more weight on the ball of the foot with slight weight on the big toe.
- Make sure the tailbone is tucked in pointing downward. Hips should not thrust fully forward.
- Concave the belly inward and the lower and upper back outward. Back should not sway backward.
- Drop the shoulders and pull the chin in slightly as if the pushing the upper lip toward the neck.
- Allow a floating feeling to occur as if sitting on a ball
- Check your body constantly to make sure there is no tightening of any muscles. The body must be relaxed for the ultimate flow of Qi.
- Feel a silk thread suspending you from the top of your head
- Tongue touches the roof of your mouth to connect the Du Mai and Ren Mai meridians.
- Look down toward the tip of your nose.
- Slowly allow your arms to rise.
- Keep arms slight bent with palms facing each other.
- Leave a space between your under arms the size of a small ball.
- Allow your fingers to spread apart slightly, fingers relaxed.
- Feel a ball of Qi between your hands, hands relaxed.
- Hold that ball of Qi in front of the lower Dan Tien. Feel the Qi ball penetrating the lower Dan Tien.
- Begin drawing Earth Qi in through the feet, up the legs, through the hips in to the ball of Qi feeding the Dan Tien.
- On the exhale, allow the Qi to pass through the torso, through the arms and into the ball of Qi feeding the Dan Tien.
- After gaining skill in drawing in the Earth Qi, begin drawing in Heaven Qi through the top of the head down through the torso into the ball of Qi feeding the Dan Tien.
- Again on the exhale, allow the Qi to pass through the torso, through the arms and into the ball of Qi feeding the Dan Tien.
- After you have gained skill of drawing both Earth and Heaven Qi, begin to draw in Earth and Heaven Qi simultaneously mixing the two qualities of Qi at the lower Dan Tien as you inhale, and exhaling out again through the torso, through the arms and into the ball of Qi feeding the Dan Tien.
- Eventually, learn to draw in both Earth & Heaven qi equally so that you are receiving appropriate balance of Yin and Yang energies.
- Continue for a maximum of 35 minute building up very slowly from five minutes a day increasing time over a period of three to nine months. Upon conclusion, slowly lower your arms and draw the ball of Qi you generated (your hands) into your lower Dan Tien (right palm over left) for a couple of minutes.
- Do some gentle stretches, pat down the arms inside and out, pat down the legs inside and out, begin shaking every part of the body for a few minutes, or perform other closing Qigong movements.
Earth & Heaven Qi Breathing