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Standing or Zhan Zhuang

      Any posture from the T'ai Chi Ch'uan form can be used for standing exercises. The four of the more traditional stances are given below.

     The basic posture as illustrated above: Feet parallel about shoulder width apart. The back is straight. Hold your arms out to each side with palms up and elbows bent slightly. Relax. As you stand different parts of your body will tighten up or feel uncomfortable. Relax each part.

    

                     

      The first position can be followed by the next three positions. But, it is not necessary as each posture is an independent exercise that benefits the body in different ways.

     Slowly bring your arms forward to form an open circle in front of your chest at about shoulder level. Your open palms face your chest, holding the ball position. Hold this position. Then allow your arms to move to a position at or near the waist, holding the belly position. Hold this position. The last position is called the wuchi position.

     Initially, don't hold any posture for long periods of time. Build up slowly to longer periods of standing. Perhaps do several postures, holding each for about 5 minutes and work towards longer periods of time as your body acclimates.

     Test out the first stance for just 10 minutes. Clock yourself. If you can make it you are a better person than most. Remember relax and keep checking yourself for correct posture and body alignment over and over.    

     Some individuals hold postures up to three hours per day after years of practice. Many claim amazing results in reduction of skeletal pain, increase in stamina and a more relaxed outlook on life.

 



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