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, or feet or in one or both sides of your body. This may then be replaced by (or even start as) a tingling sensation, described by some as feeling like ants walking over your body. You experience these sensations because the pores in your skin are beginning to open, and you can also feel the increased rate of blood circulation at various points under your skin (very often in your fingers and palms at first). These sensations are a result of the increased circulation of your Chi.

ACHING In the first two or three weeks (either after starting at the very beginning or adopting a new posture) you may well experience aches in your legs, knees, ribs, shoulders, or neck. You will probably feel very tired while standing. These are normal reactions. They will pass after a few weeks. If you have old injuries or have had surgery, you may find that the old wounds or scars ache a bit. Similarly, if you suffer from headaches, stomach aches, nervous disorders, digestive problems, or arthritis in your joints, you may find that these manifest themselves while you are standing. This is part of the natural healing and regenerative process unlocked by Zhan Zhuang. The training intensifies the circulation of blood and energy throughout your body, including those regions that have been damaged or blocked off within it. The pain associated with this process normally subsides after about two weeks.

WARMTH Normally, after you adopt any of the positions for 20 minutes, your body temperature rises. Some people begin to sweat profusely, depending on their own make-up and the difficulty of the posture they have adopted. If you reach this point and have begun to sweat, you will probably feel very comfortable afterwards. At the same time, your digestive system will be stimulated and the constant undulating movements of your intestines will be stronger and quicker. This can produce hiccups, burping, flatulence, and stomach rumbling while you are standing. It would be wrong to try to suppress any of this: just let it happen!

SHAKING As you hold the Zhan Zhuang positions your muscles slowly tire. The parts of the muscles that you normally use (working muscles) reach the limits of their endurance and begin to call on the remaining parts of the muscles (resting muscles) to help. This is the point - the stage beyond tension — at which you begin to shake. Often you begin to tremble just a little. But as you persist, the shaking becomes more vigorous and you may end up practically jumping on the spot! Don't worry. Dont try to stop shaking. Just let go and be careful to keep your balance. As you continue to stand, your resting muscles will come into play. You will gradually find yourself shaking less and less until you settle down and are comfortable and at rest. As this happens, it is essential that you concentrate on relaxing. If you can sustain the standing position through this phase and return to quiescent standing, you will have succeeded in taking your body and mind to a higher level of development.

ASYMMETRY While standing, you may feel that one part of your body, which is normally symmetrical with another, has changed in comparison to the other. For example, although you can see that you are holding your hands at the same height, one may feel higher than the other. Or one leg may feel longer than the other. Or one side of your body may react in a different way from the other, by sweating more or by going numb, for example. There can be all sorts of variations: one finger can be hot, another one cold. Usually these sensations disappear after three or four weeks. They may persist for up to three months, but normally not longer than that. Don't worry if you feel these sensations. They are a sign that your training is working.

COMFORT/REIAXATION As you continue with your Zhan Zhuang training, you will begin to feel stronger, more comfortable, and more relaxed as you stand. This is the result of more vigorous blood circulation and the use of your resting muscles. You are absorbing more oxygen, your mind and central nervous system are relaxed but alert, and your natural energy is flowing in an increasingly unimpeded way through your system. The goal is to make this a daily experience.

The first column of the chart (opposite) lists the general sensations most commonly experienced by people in the first six weeks of Zhan Zhuang training: numbness; aching; warmth; shaking; asymmetry, and comfort/ relaxation. The more precise reactions in each of these categories are listed in the next column. For example, beside the general sensation of "asymmetry" are listed six specific reactions where one side of the body or one limb begins to feel different (longer, higher, hotter) than the other limb or side of the body. Over the columns indicating the six weeks, the possible degree of each reaction is indicated by plus and minus signs. Your own experience may not correspond exactly to this.

The chart of Professor Yu Yong Man

General sensation Specific reaction WEEK1 WEEK2 WEEK3 WEEK4 WEEK5 WEEK6

NUMBNESS

Hands numb

+

+

++

+ +

+

Feet numb

+

+

+ +

++

+

Head numb

+

+

+

One side of the body numb

±

±

±

Whole bod}'numb

+

±

Tingling (ants on body)

±

+

+

+

+

ACHING

Aching shoulder

+

++

+

+

Aching neck

+

+ +

+

Aching knee

+

++

++

+

±

Aching leg

+

++

+

Aching hip and ribs

+

+

Pain in old injuries

±

+

Increased pain in current ailments

-

-

+

+

-

-

WARMTH

Hiccuping/burping

+

+

+

+

±

+

Flatulence

±

+

+

+

+

+

Rumbling stomach

±

±

±

Rising body heat

±

+

+

+

Sweating

+

+

+

+

+

SHAKING

Trembling

+

+

+

Strong shaking

+

+

Jumping

_

+

+

ASYMMETRY

One hand feels higher than the other

+

+

+

+

+

+

One leg feels longer than the other

-

-

+

+

+

+

One hand, leg, or side feels numb

-

-

-

±

±

+

One side of the body sweats

±

+

+

+

Blood circulation feels faster in one side of the body

-

-

-

±

+

+

Body temperature feels different on each side

-

-

±

±

+

+

COMFORT/ RELAXATION

I lead

+

+

+ +

+ + +

Chest

+

+

++

+ + +

Whole body

-

-

+

+

+ +

+ + +

— no sensation ± minor sensation

+ sensation occurs ++ strong sensation + + + intense feeling

"What does your father teach you?"

My master, Professor Yu YongNian, studied dentistry' in Japan. When he returned to China after his studies he was exhausted and far from fit. His friends told him: do some exercise like Tai Chi Chuan. But it left him breathless. He thought: ifI am so lacking in energy how will I be able to put in long, hard hours as a dentist?

Someone told him that a new system ofenergy training had been developed: Zhan Zhuang. He was ready to try anything and went to see Master Wang Xiang Zhai who was teaching in a Beijing park. Like all beginners he was told just to standstill, like a tree. He stood there absolutely still, but all around him in the class he could see older students practising vigorous fighting movements. He thought to himselfwhyam I being treated so badly? Wjyam I being made to stand like this? Does the master thitik I'm lazy?

He was so convinced that he was being denied the teaching he was after, that he befriended the Master's son in the hope offinding out what was going on. Finally he asked him: "What does your father teach you?", thinking that he wbuldfind out the highest secrets ofthe art. "Oh, "said Master Wang's son, "He teaches me to stand like a tree." Amazed, Yu asked him: "Does he tell you why you mustdo this?" "Oh no," came the immediate reply, "Hejust tells me to stand like this everydayand ifI don't he beats me."

Aftergivingthis strange newexercise a try, Yugave up and just concentrated on his work. But he soon noticed his energy declining. He looked back to the first few months when he had stood like a tree in the park, and realized how much fitter he had felt then. So he returned to Master Wang.

One day, three years later, Master Wang asked him to fight one ofhis other students, a labourer who had put in years of practice in the martial arts. Young Yu was taken aback. He had no fighting experience. But Master Wang insisted. The two began to grapple with each other and much to Yu s amazement he found that he could easily control and overpower his experienced opponent. He suddenly realized he had a power within him that he had neve)" used.

From that time onward his study deepened and he eventually reached the honoured position ofworking closely with Master Wang to develop the Zhan Zhuang system and its use for health and healing.

After Master Wang's death, Yu's work and studycontinued and now, in his seventies, he still teaches in Beijing Park. In 1989he published his fourth book on Zhan Zhuang, a small instruction manual with the results ofhis research (in Chinese). It was completely sold out within a week.

PART TWO

Relaxation Audio Sounds Dusk At The Oasis

Relaxation Audio Sounds Dusk At The Oasis

This is an audio all about guiding you to relaxation. This is a Relaxation Audio Sounds with sounds from Dusk At The Oasis.

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