When I was first introduced to Qi Gong I knew I found something special. I was keen and eager and did everything I was instructed to do by my teacher. As I began to talk of my practice to friends and family, I was questioned on my sanity. Most were shocked at my dedication and couldn’t believe the ‘tortuous nature’ of my practice. But to me it wasn’t torturous, it was exhilarating. It made me stronger, mentally and physically.
These days, I get those same ‘bright eyed’ Qi Gong people in my office and my classes and they all want to know what it takes to become a skilled practitioner. They all want to know ‘The Secret.’
Well here it is:
Zhan Zhuang: Standing Post Meditation
Held for prolonged periods of time (usually at least an hour) Zhan Zhuang is the road one must take if they are serious about there practice. From external/internal strength training to sensitivity and circulation concepts, Zhan Zhuang is where its at.
It’s an excellent exercise for those with back pain and weakness in joints. Physically, its basic premise is to create healthy posture by redistributing tension. Once posture becomes established we begin to focus internally by building energetic potential that can be utilized in all aspects of our day. This practice strengthens the sinews (ligaments and tendons) and bones, thus promoting strong circulation of Qi throughout the body.
Without question, standing meditation was the single most important factor in my training.
Now all that being said, maybe I was a bit insane, and maybe asking my students to practice an hour a day for at least a year (not including other form work) is a bit ‘gangsta.’ I know. But the health benefits speak for themselves. Modified versions are still useful, it’s true. It just depends on priority and circumstance, and in that respect we are all very different.
For the Nation