For the last few months I've been practicing this very powerful Zhan Zhuang standing exercise almost everyday as personally recommended to me by fellow internal arts Zhan Zhuang practitioner Kwai Chee Low. I had seen and dabbled with this standing exercise nearly twenty years ago but got sidetracked. I hadn't realized what I had been missing - it is very satisfying and feels like a powerful chi / jing generator. It is a great compliment to deepen your Taiji practice & a great boost to your health. I urge you to be disciplined enough to practice it regularly and you will feel the real difference in your vitality. Below is Kwai Chee Low's explanation.
Lee Chang Tye
Kwai Chee Low
May 12 at 12:56am ·
My most elderly student I taught Zhan Zhuang is 70 years old. Only about five months ago he approached me to teach him qigong. He had recovered from a mild stroke a year ago and he looked frail. His eyes lacked shen (spirit), his face dark and without lustre. He lacked energy and stood with his back stooped.
I taught him ZZ as it is simple, easy to learn and very effective for his condition. Anyone who is deficient in energy or even has chronic ailments can try ZZ. Here is the method in simple steps:
i. Stand relaxed with feet parallel and distance between heel to heel same as distance between the shoulders or hips
ii. Slowly bend your knees and lower your body down a few inches as if you are sitting on a chair. Make sure your weight is on the thigh and calf muscles but never on the knees. If you feel the weight is on your knees, stand up and go down again. The knees must not exceed the frontage of your toes.
iii. Your spine should be vertical but retain its natural curve. Your neck should be held relaxed with the head's centre point (Baihui or crown chakra) pointing upwards. Tuck in your chin slightly. Make sure your buttock is not jutting backwards.
iv. Slowly raise your hands until your palms face your lower abdomen (1.5 inches below your navel). The palms are held as if they are supporting a big belly). Ensure the distance between the middle fingers is at least 8 inches.
v. Open your your armpits and your hands from shoulder down to the fingers should be round.
vi. Breathing is natural. If it's comfortable with you, close your eyes. Your body - neck, shoulders, hands to the fingers must be completely "soong" for the energy to flow through your hands to the fingers and back.
vii. If you are sensitive to qi or very relaxed, you will feel tingling, warmth or tightness in your fingers. It's a sign that the qi has reached your fingers and bringing the blood with it. This first posture is called Holding the Belly. Try this for 5 mins.
viii. Continue for another 5mins with the 2nd posture called Holding the Ball.
ix. Slowly raise your hands until your middle fingers are at the level of your sternum (middle of the chest - Tanzhong point). Maintain distance between the middle fingers at minimum of 8 inches.
x. After 5 mins go to the 3rd posture called The Great Circle.
xi. First move your left foot one or two inches from your right foot and lower your body by another one or two inches. This will increase the intensity of the internal energy, also raising the metabolism.
xii. Slowly raise your hands until the middle fingers are at the level of the eyeballs. Maintain distance between the middle fingers at minimum 8 inches. Stay in this posture for 5 mins.
xiii. End the session by sealing the energy into the dantian (1.5 inches below navel). First stand up relaxed with feet together and place your right palm (for ladies) on your dantian and the other palm on the right of palm. For men, opposite palms apply.
For beginners try 5mins for each posture (total 15 mins) for the first week. After that increase to 10 mins for each posture (total half an hour).
The elderly student practised 2 sessions a day, in the morning and evening. He told me after one week that he felt more energetic, slept better and his legs felt stronger. After 2 weeks he said his aunt who visited him, was surprised he looked different - healthy from his previous sickly appearance.
I hope the above narration will motivate you to practise this simple yet
Click here to go to Kwai Chee Low's original facebook posting.