Resting while standing

Despite all your efforts to relax in one of the Zhan Zhuang positions, you may feel that you are becoming tired and tense. Pain in your arms or shoulders may often be the truest signal of the accumulating tension. In that case, you have three possible choices, as outlined below.

1. RELAX AGAIN

First, try again to let your mind go systematically down your body, telling all the points to relax (see p. 44). This is the most beneficial for your entire system -and the method you should aim to develop.

2. REST YOUR HANDS

The second possibility is to reposition your hands so that the backs of your wrists rest in the small of your back, just above your hip bones (see left). Stand like this for a few moments and then resume your Zhan Zhuang standing position. This is an excellent way of relieving the tension in your arms and shoulders, while still allowing a smooth and unobstructed flow of energy through your body. By doing this you will not lose the benefit of the standing exercise. Standing in this position can bring almost instant relief and it is an excellent one to adopt any time in your daily life when you are starting to feel tense and tired.

3. OVERCOME THE BARRIER

The third option when you feel pain and fatigue while training, is to stop. Do this if you feel utterly compelled to and if the previous two measures have had no effect. But beware of stopping only because your nervous system is in temporary revolt. These moments are really the milestones in your training. See if you can cross these barriers and feel the deep, warm comfort that pervades your whole system once you have persevered through your agitation and impatience.

Place the backs of your wrists in the small ofyourback, just above your hip bones, fora few moments. Then resume your standing position.

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