Touching the Feet with Both Hands Reinforces the Kidneys and Loins

This exercise is good for the muscles of your lower back and legs and for stretching your spine. It is also beneficial for the internal organs of your lower abdomen. The movements of your waist actually bring every tissue and organ of your abdomen into play. The whole exercise strengthens your kidneys, your adrenal glands, and the arteries, veins, and nerves associated with them. Since your kidneys play a vital role in regulating the water metabolism of your entire body, this exercise helps...

A ripe old age

As we age we usually begin to suffer all sorts of ailments. Difficulty with walking is common, as are digestion troubles, high blood pressure, brittle bones, incontinence, and low energy. Even if you take up Zhan Zhuang at an advanced age, you will feel the benefits. Your digestion will improve, as will your bladder control, and your bones will strengthen. You are almost certain to feel that your energy is being restored, that you feel younger in yourself, and that you have an increasing...

Lowering the Head and Hips Removes Excess Heat from the Heart

The explanations for the value of this exercise include prevention against fever and reduction of tension in the sympathetic nervous system. It certainly has a powerful relaxing effect and, as such, eases the flow of energy along a number of your body's meridians. CAUTION Do not practise this Ba Duan Jin exercise when pregnant. . From the Wu Chi position (seep. 64), raise your right hand in an arc over your headivith your hand held palm downward. 2. Breathe out as you bend over to your left....

Nervous System

If you have a headache there is a sequence of four practical steps you can take to ease the pain and eventually clear it completely. In my experience, following these steps helps relieve the symptoms of headaches, even migraines, in eight out often cases. First, stand in the second Zhan Zhuang position - Holding the Balloon (see pp. 34-35), for two minutes. This is essential to build up your blood and, therefore, Chi circulation. Second, do the fourth Ba Duan Jin exercise Looking Back Like a...

Looking Back Like a Cow Gazing at the Moon

This is one of the most potent of the eight exercises. It has a powerful effect on your central nervous system and the circulation of both blood and Chi to your head. It stimulates the vital power of your kidneys. It also strengthens the activity of your eyeballs, your neck and shoulder muscles, and your nerves, and is excellent for alleviating high blood pressure and hardening of the arteries. CAUTION Do not practise this Ba Duan Jin exercise when pregnant. Begin by lifting your arms from the...

Pregnancy

When you are pregnant a selective combination of Ba Duan Jin and Zhan Zhuang exercises practised every day will be a great help to you and to your baby. This combination of exercises is excellent for preparing mother and child for birth. It helps to build energy for labour and, by helping anchor the centre of energy in the body, it develops strength in your lower body. Begin with these three Ba Duan Jin exercises. CAUTION Do not practise the other Ba Duan Jin exercises after learning that you...

Energy

Mastering the Chinese Art of Internal Strength with Chi Kung Exercise A Fireside Book Published by Simon & Schuster Inc. New York London Toronto Sydney Tokyo Singapore Design Photography Illustration Direction Simon and Schuster Building Rockefeller Center 1230 Avenue of the Americas New York, New York 10020 Copyright 1991 Gaia Books Limited The right of Master Lam Kam Chuen to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted in accordance with Sections 77 and 78 of the Copyright,...

The Moving Balloon

The fusion of your mind and body reaches a new level with these exercises. The effect on your internal energy7 is amazing. Now you will begin to understand why it has been so essential to work systematically through the previous stages of your Zhan Zhuang training in order to reach this point. GROWING PRESSURE Stand in the second position Holding the Balloon (see p. 35). After you feel comfortable in this position, make sure your fingers are held open so that you can imagine holding little...

Holding the Balloon in Front of your Face the fifth position

This next position is the most taxing so far. It places much greater demands on your legs and arms, and therefore requires a higher level of endurance. Even after you have practised holding the first four Zhan Zhuang positions for some time, gradually increasing the duration as described, you will probably find this position extremely difficult to sustain. Many of your muscles will be almost certain to tense up and you may feel as if some are about to explode. You may well sweat profusely and...

Understanding Zhan Zhuang

Zhan Zhuang All Postures

Students of Zhan Zhuang usually want to know all about the theory behind the practice, and where it will take them. Are these exercises of any use Am I hurting myself In the Orient, students must place their complete trust in their master. They know better than to question their teacher's unusual methods. In the West, this tradition of learning is largely unknown. It may therefore help to give just a simplified explanation of what happens as you stand in these positions. As explained in Chapter...

Shaking the Body Wards off All Illnesses

This exercise aims to refresh and regenerate all your internal organs by enabling them to massage each other. It is also excellent for your spine, your nervous system, and your sense of balance. CAUTION Do not practise this Ba Duan Jin exercise when pregnant. Standing in the Wu Chi position sec p. 64 , lower yourself slightly by bending your knees. Rest the backs ofyour hands on the flesh just above your hip bones on either side of your lower back. Shakeyour whole body by bouncing gently up and...

Aligning mind and body

Zhang Zhuang Tantien Hands

When you stand still in the first position, with your body correctly aligned, you are drawing energy Chi from the earth, and accelerating its flow through your body. This practice of standing still is an ancient discipline. The first known reference to it dates back to the oldest and most influential book in the history of world medicine, The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine Huang Ti Nei Ching , thought to have been written about 4,000 years ago. In the opening section, the Emperor...

Lifting heavy weights

At home, at your work place, or in your leisure activities, you are likely to have to lift a heavy weight at some point. It might be a box of papers or soft drinks it might be a table or a piece of equipment. Whatever it is and whatever the circumstances, you can apply your knowledge of Zhan Zhuang to lift the weight more easily and help prevent injury. POINTS TO REMEMBER There are eight points to remember for both lifting and putting down heavy weights. Notice the difference in the sequence of...

Preparing For Energy

After you have practised the first two standing exercises of Zhan Zhuang for several months, you will notice that important changes will have started taking place in your body. Some of the blockages in the pathways of your internal energy will have been cleared. As you stand, you will begin to feel the unusual sensations of trembling and tingling as explained in Chapter 3-Your oxygen-enriched blood and Chi will be flowing faster and more vigorously throughout your system. You are ready to move...

Internal Movement

Zhan Zhuang

Zhan Zhuang training exercises your muscles and your mind. Nothing moves on the outside. The motion is all internal. Some sensations are immediately apparent. You can, for example, feel the muscles in your arms, shoulders, thighs, and calves rapidly reaching the point of exhaustion. As the muscles work harder to hold the position, you can feel your body heat rising. You may begin to sweat and feel your pulse rate speeding up. If you continue, and force yourself to stand still by a supreme...

Standing in the Stream the fourth position

Zhan Zhuang Standing The Stream

Zhan Zhuang training advances in stages. Students progress from one position to the next at a careful pace. You should therefore move to this next position only when you feel you have become comfortable standing in the previous position for up to, say, 20 minutes. You are slowly building tremendous endurance. This next position will take you to a new level of stamina. Imagine that you are standing in a stream, with the current flowing toward you. Bend your knees, and sink down about 10cm 4in ....

Shifting your Weight

There are two variations on the initial two standing positions that will help strengthen the muscles of your legs. They involve shifting your weight forward and backward. By leaning slightly forward you strengthen your calf muscles. By leaning backward you develop the muscles in your thighs. Increasing the power of both muscle groups is important for your future progress in the Zhan Zhuang system. A variant is to shift your weight from one side to the other so that you stand with 90 per cent of...

Using imagery

The following exercise assumes that you have managed to perform the initial mental relaxation exercises described in Chapter 2. It takes you beyond conventional thinking, and aims to achieve a perfectly quiescent mind. The inner commotion and noisy activity of your mind the usual stream of memories, inner dialogue, and mental anxiety is stilled and your mind becomes extraordinarily sensitive and alert. Reaching this stage is one of the hardest things for any human being to do. You are changing...

Hot Shower a Cold Shower

You can attempt this exercise once you have warmed up and stood for several minutes in the Wu Chi position see p. 29 . It will increase your stamina and help you to use the vitality of your imagination to transcend extreme physical discomfort. PREPARATION STAGE After standing in the Wu Chi position for several minutes, move into any one of the other Zhan Zhuang positions. From the position you have chosen, sink down, remembering not to let your knees come forward 01 lt er your toes. After a few...

Warming up

As with all exercise routines, the warm up is essential. It helps your body become flexible and helps open up the internal channels along which your energy flows. The two largest and most important joints are the knees and shoulders. So by loosening these up first you are most likely to get the rich benefits of the later Zhan Zhuang exercises. As a beginner, it is important to do these warm up exercises every time you start your Zhan Zhuang practice. They will take you about six or seven...

Leisure

You will derive enormous benefits from your Zhan Zhuang training in all your leisure activities at home in the garden during and after sports or when working on do-it-yourself projects. Applying Zhan Zhuang principles to your activities helps build stamina and alertness for sports allows you to work more smoothly and safely on DIY jobs, for longer periods and prevents backache after lifting and digging in the garden. You can even practise Zhan Zhuang in an armchair. Sit straight, even if you...

The chart of Professor Yu Yong Nian

The descriptions that follow and the chart on page 57 will help you understand the signs of internal activity being generated within your organs, muscles, and central nervous system. NUMBNESS Once you have started Zhan Zhuang training you may feel numbness in some parts of your body while you are performing the standing exercises. This may make you feel very uncomfortable, but it will gradually pass. Different parts may feel numb at different times you might lose sensation in your hands, head,...

Wu Chi the first position

Chi Position

All Zhan Zhuang training begins with this position, which is profoundly important. Even at extraordinarily advanced levels of exercise, we begin with a period of quiet standing in the Wu Chi position - the position of primal energy. The Wu Chi position involves simply standing still. It is an opportunity to pay careful attention to the tensions in your body and its nervous system. At the same time it becomes a moment of powerful, deep relaxation in your day. Simple as it may seem, this opening...

Contents

Chapter 2 Breathing and Relaxing 41 Chapter 4 Preparing for Energy 63 Chapter 5 Growing Like a Tree 83 Chapter 6 Roots and Branches 103 Chapter 8 Energy in Daily Life 141 Chapter 10 Taking Care of Yourself 173 Professor Yu Yong Nian Honorary Member of the Council of the Association of Chi Kung Science of the People's Republic of China and adviser to the American -Chinese Chi Kung Association. For centuries the art of internal strength was a closely guarded secret in China. Embracing all the...