First form Bending legs and hands touching belly

Both feet shoulder width apart, both knees slightly bending. One hand placed over the other or placed left/right touching slightly the belly. Both elbows apart from ribs, both hands are like silently counting breathing cycles through abdomen's expansion/contraction. One breathing cycle includes one inhalation and one exhalation. Breathing should remain natural, do not use force and also do not hold your breath (Figure 3-11).

Figure 3-11

Second form: Dropping elbows and lifting hands

Lower limbs are assuming same posture as in First form. Both elbows are dropping naturally, both hands are lifting and placed on both sides of belly at navel level, center of palm facing up, fingers naturally separated as holding something, do not use force (Figure 3-12).

Holding Your Belly Zhan Zhuang

Figure 3-12

Third form: Back of hands placed on lower back

Back leaning on a wall, a big tree or buttocks and thighs depending on the edge of a desk or mattress. All these external objects are helping you to assume your posture. Both legs vertical and straight, combining with heels, like standing at attention, soles and heels are touching ground or heels just slightly leaving ground. Back of hands placed on the lower back, center of hands facing out, elbows opening on both sides, shoulders relaxed, do not use force (Figure 3-13).

Figure 3-12

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