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Standing

"Standing Post", or "Tree Standing" is the backbone of internal practice. It is from standing practice that one can learn to open the energy blockages and cultivate chi. Without the cultivation of chi, your internal practice will be empty. Standing gives you the opportunity to reconnect with your body. In standing, you learn to observe your inner body. You are standing in a position with minimal obstruction between your meridians, thus enhancing the chi flows. With diligent practice, the channels in the main body, hands, and feet will be open, promoting free flow of chi in your whole body.

For martial artists, standing develops the practitioners’ leg strength and internal energy. Adding "whole body" power within each movement.

For healers, standing can develop the practitioners’ sensitivity to chi, cleaning the healer’s body, and preparing him/her for healing work.

For meditators, standing acts as a rooting or grounding exercise. It helps the practitioner ground the excessive energy to the earth, which avoids overheating the body.

The practice of standing is essential to the development of internal energy. It is recommended to practice standing daily from 5 minutes to an hour. Please read "things to know before practice" prior to your standing practice. In the beginning, you will probably be overwhelmed by all the things that are happening inside you. It might be helpful if you close your eyes in the beginning of your practice. This will help you turn inward and center your self. During practice, try to observe subtle changes in your body. Notice how a small adjustment in your posture will effect the chi flow and your skeletal structure. Try to locate your center of gravity, then see how your weight shift will affect it. What will happen if you lower center of gravity? What will happen if you raise your center of gravity? Experiment with your body. It is your very own laboratory. See what will happen if you tense you muscle. Does it increase the chi flow?

Getting into position

Stance: Stand up comfortably with legs about shoulder width apart. Feet face forward and parallel to each other. Put your arms down by your side, but don’t let them touch your body.

Bend legs: Bend the legs at the knee slightly at a gentle angle. This angle is very crucial to your standing practice. First, your knee should not stick out beyond your big toe. That is if you were to draw a perpendicular line from the tip of your big toe, your knee should never cross this vertical line. If your knees were to cross this line, the weight of your body will rest over your knees instead of your feet. Over time, this will stress your knees and it will cause knee problems. Secondly, the angle between the back of the thigh and the back of the calf can vary ranging from 170 degree to the maximum of 9o degree (thigh parallel to the floor), depending on your level of practice.

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Relaxed chest: Relax your chest and drop your shoulders, then round your chest by parting your shoulder blades. Rotate your whole arm inward, which also push your arms slightly forward and to the sides. This relaxed chest will allow chi to sink down to the dantien.

Straighten your back and lengthen your spine: Your spine is curved naturally to absorb shocks from walking. But in energy work, we will straighten out the spine in order to promote a stronger chi flow. To straighten out the spine, it needs to be pull at the top while pulling downward at the bottom. To pull up at the top, we will tuck in our chin while pushing the neck back and up. To pull down at the bottom, we will need to tilt our pelvis forward, while pushing the lower back sinks downward. This pulling of the spine allows the upper weight to rest effortlessly on our skeletal structure, keeping all the muscle to relax. Also the tilting of the pelvis relax our lower abdominal so the chi can be easily collected at the dantien.

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Connect the Microcosmic Orbit: Touch your tongue to the roof of your mouth, and gently lift up your perineum (which will also lift up and contract the anus). There are two main cavities in the human body that separate the Functioning (Ren) and Governing (Du) channel. One is the mouth and the other is the anus. By lifing the tongue and the anus, the Functioning and the Governing channels will connect to form the Microcosmic Orbit.

Close lips lightly, the eyes look ahead, and breathe naturally.

Focus your mind at the dantien.

The importance of this posture is that it allows free chi flow. When your body is relaxed in this posture, chi will sink naturally to the dantien and accumulate there. Another name for the dantien is Chi-Hai, Ocean of chi. Because that area is the reservoir of chi, it can store up large amount of energy like the ocean. The ocean collecting water from streams and rivers. Similarly, the dantien can collect chi the same way. When the dantein is full, energy will flow to the Four Extremities of the body (hands and feet), thus opening the hands and feet channels safely and naturally.

exerciseclick here for standing exercise