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 <er your toes. After a few minutes, you will find you can "sit" even lower. Keep on checking that you have not unconsciously risen upward. Drop down again.
After 10 or 15 minutes, make sure that you are completely relaxed from the top of your head to the soles of your feet.
This will be difficult, because of the demands you are placing on your legs in your low position. Now is the time for a "shower".
HOT SHOWER Imagine, without moving, that you are standing under a lovely hot shower. The steaming water is pouring down all over you. As it courses over your body and runs off, it washes your weight and tension away with it. All you can feel is the wonderful stream rushing down your head, torso, arms, and legs. Stand in it, stay low, don't move.
HOLD THE POSITION As you hold the position you are likely to find that your leg muscles continue to strain. You will probably be sweating, too. Now is the time for a "cold shower".
COLD SHOWER This is where the extraordinary power of your mind comes in to play again. Imagine that you are standing motionless under a torrent of rushing cold water. It beats on you, pouring over every inch of your flesh. All your sensations are suddenly transformed by the rush of this cold shower. Stand in it, stay low, and try to hold this position for several minutes.
CLOSING POSITION Slowly rise up and carefully lower your arms. Stand in the Wu Chi position for a minute or two. Shake your arms and legs and walk around slowly.
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