Sunday, January 24, 2016

An Aid to Postural Assembly of Zhan Zhuang Stances

An Aid to Postural Assembly of Zhan Zhuang Stances

When entering into any Zhan Zhuang posture there are six locations that require a specific action in order to generate the best results. (See Diagram) These locations; the Perineum, the left and right Kua, the left and right Shoulder’s Nest, and the Throat Notch all must be slightly withdrawn or pulled in. The Chinese phrase for this is translated more like ‘pressed’ or ‘pressed in.’ 

In order to know what this should feel like, try a simple experiment. With your left arm hanging at your side, put the fingers of your right hand on your left Shoulder’s Nest and press, that is, push the tissues slightly toward the back. Now inhale and exhale into the upper back and feel how the back muscles respond. Now raise your left arm into ‘Hold The Ball’ posture and repeat the same procedure. The same technique should also be done with each Kua. (Because of their physical location, both Kua can also be done simultaneously.) 

For the throat notch, use a single finger and once you feel the throat withdraw, imagine a light weight on the top of your head that you must push very slightly upward. Be sure to keep the Throat  Notch ‘pressed’ in while you do this.

Finally for the Perineum, simply squeeze and lift the tissue surrounding Huiyin point, CV-1. Be sure to do this softly. Feel free to try each of these locations in any order to gain an understanding of the various feelings. To apply this technique as you assemble your posture for your Zhan Zhuang session, try going from the bottom to the top: Perineum, each Kua, each Shoulder’s Nest and Throat Notch. Once this is inserted into your standing practice, notice how the body and especially the back begin to release and relax in a whole new - deeper way.