Practical tips

The benefits of Zhan Zhuang practice result from inner growth and transformation. The fundamental changes begin to occur in your internal organs and nervous system. Without unusual sensitivity or training, most of us cannot sense these at first, whereas we can all feel the immediate effect of hard muscular activity such as jogging or weight training. The initial impact of Zhan Zhuang takes place deep inside you, like an explosion in the depths of the sea, and so it is all the more important to be aware of what to do when you start your training.

Points To Remember

•Ifyou feel tired or faint, don't close your eyes, otherwise you might risk falling down.

• Remind yourselfto relax while holding the correct position. You will need to check for tension over and over again.

• When you finish the second position, lower your arms and stand quietly for two or three minutes. Then gently shake your arms and legs. Then it's a good idea to make a final series of 20 circles ivithyour arms at moderate speed.

•Finally, walk around slowly for a couple of minutes. You are then ready for the day!

• Women: your increased blood circulation may make your periods heavier. In this case, stand for less than 20 minutes during menstruation.

YOl R APPEARANCE After you have finished your standing exercise it is a good idea to rut> your hands several times over your face, as if you were giving yourself a wash. This increases the flow of Chi in your hands and the circulation of Chi through your facial skin. You will look fresher — almost "polished"! This, combined with increased alertness, will give your eyes a clearer and brighter look.

CHECKING YOURSELF Two simple tests show that the exercises are making changes in your body.

Stand with your feet a shoulder-width apart. Leave one arm loosely by your side. Raise your other arm into the second Zhan Zhuang position, as if you were holding a large balloon between that arm and your chest. Breathe slowly from the Tan Tien several times (see p. 42). After one or two minutes you will feel the difference in your right and left sides. Then, raise your other arm to hold another balloon. You can feel the energy circuit without your fingers touching!

To feel the increased circulation, try a second test. Stand for 10-15 minutes, holding the invisible balloon between your hands and chest. Then, lower your arms. The tingling sensation in your fingers is the result of the rush of blood and Chi.


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