Full Standing and Empty Step

Wow.. it’s been a couple of days since I’ve done standing!! ugh!! The nights have been quite busy as of late with the son teething and such. Hopefully we’ll get over this without too much more stress. So far things are coming along ok and he’s a trooper for sticking in there.

Last night, did a full 15 min set of standing! This is awesome b/c before I had sitting to the mix. When I inquired about some of the differences between sitting and standing, one of my buddies said that sitting focusing on the microcosmic orbit, the qi circulation between the head and lower spine while standing focuses on the macrocosmic orbit, getting the qi to flow out to the extremities. Also, I’ve been told that sitting focuses more on mental/spiritual while standing is more physical/mental in nature. I would like to try and do both but at this time, if I can only do 15 mins, I’d like to focus on one of them and I’ve set my mind on focusing on the standing zhanzhuang.

I felt a lot of blockages in my body last night and it was nutty. I really felt the block in the right hip and I was feeling a lot of tension in the upper back and the forearms. I was a bit shocked by the whole forearm thing but it was cool. I felt a couple of itches but decided not to scratch as

Let the itch be there. Experience it as vividly as you can. If your attention has left the object of your meditation, put it back, without trying to block out the itch, or make it go away. If you refrain from scratching once, and just notice the itch, without trying to make it go away, you have just done something with your experience that is profoundly different.
source: How to be Uncomfortable

While I didn’t feel anything profoundly different, it was a mental accomplishment to not scratch my itch. The weird part is I started feeling itches in other places and started feeling nagging notions of “touch me, itch me, move me” from my body. All you qi blockages don’t know what’s coming to ya!

I then worked on some standing double handed silk reeling. This felt *really* good after the standing session. I was really feeling the flow and was really focusing on being relaxed and aware of my body. I started to feel some tension in the back leg during the movements but adjusted a bit to loosen things up. If I recall correctly, the back foot is supposed to point out about 45 degrees, not 90 degrees. Hard to hold the 45 degree pointing as it felt as if my back leg was turned in too much. Perhaps my hips weren’t loose enough to hold the posture.

Afterwards, worked on the first section of the chen laojia yilu set. I was really focusing on emphasizing the “empty step” in the form, that is stepping out into any posture but not shift weight right away. This is quite hard to do, especially if you try to keep a low stance so I bumped up my stance a bit so I could work on this aspect. The goal is to be able to pull your foot back at any point in the form. Do not over commit the step, step like a cat. I tend to keep the imagery of checking ice before stepping. In addition, I was focusing on really distinguishing the weight transitions. For instance, during the push in six sealings four closings I used to keep some weight on my left foot that was up in a “cat” stance. However after some corrections and such I’ve been trying to keep a full 100% weight on the right foot and keep the left foot on the tip toe. Before I would rest the left foot on the balls of my feet but now it’s nothing but tip toe. Quite hard to do and still maintain a centered weight distribution without shifting over to compensate.


About wujimon

taiji, meditation and health
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