Zhan Zhuang Expansiveness Effects

Last night, I was able to get back up to 20 mins of zhan zhuang. For the past couple of sessions, it’s been quite difficult, but the time went rather quickly last night. I got into my posture, relaxed into my stance and calmed my breathing and mind. Not too much emphasis on the breathing, and not too much emphasis on forcing calm, just letting the feeling sink. To be more inwardly focused, I closed my eyes and felt my breath while slightly listening behind. It was actually quite calming and I didn’t really feel the tension in my arms like I used to.

I went through the main 3 postures: wuji (hands at sides), holding ball at dantien level, holding ball at heart level, back to wuji.  I didn’t use any timing to note when I should switch to the next posture, instead I relied on my body telling me when it was time to switch. It was as if my body instinctively knew when the time was right and it controlled the posture switching, though quite gradual in movement.  Towards the end of the session, I started feeling as if I was expanding in all directions simultaneously.

I opened my eyes, still feeling the expansiveness and went directly into the opening sequence of the yang form. I didn’t force my hands to come up, but instead thought about the intention of my arms rising. About 3/4 the way up, I felt some slight tension in my shoulders, however instead of forcing the body to calm, I took my mind back to the zhan zhuang state until the tension dissipated. The hands then lowered and I let my intentions drive my movement.

While doing the form, I did not feel any soreness in my legs, I did not feel any tension in my back, I just let my body move.  In doing so, I still felt this expansiveness in all of my movements. It felt as if my left ward off was able to cover the whole space of my bedroom, like there was no boundry to the ward off, it was not constricted to the sphere formed by my physical body, but was able to expand beyond my physical body. At the same time, it was as if I was seeing, but not looking. Listening, but not hearing.  Moving, yet not moving.

When I finished the first section, I felt very good, very awake. I was not sore in any part of my body and I had a slight smile. It just felt good to move, and I wanted to do more.  I remained in wuji posture for a bit and went through the section in my head, it was all vivid as if I was *really* doing it. Mentally, I ended with the first cross hands. Mentally, I performed the ending posture of lowering my hands and bringing me feet together. Physically, I got a sip of water and went to bed in a very calming, relaxed state.
[tags]zhan zhuang,yang,taiji,yi,intention,expansion[/tags]

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About wujimon

taiji, meditation and health
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4 Responses to Zhan Zhuang Expansiveness Effects

  1. cindy says:

    Interesting observations of yourself. I did not learn Wuji – not sure what it is. I also do Zhang Zhuang in my unique way – when I stand still, my lower back rotate slightly – I feel good that way so I let it do it. I also like to listen to a light music while I do Zhang Zhuang or Taiji.

  2. wujimon says:

    Hi Cindy.
    The wuji position is basically standing with your hands at your sides. It’s generally the first posture in a zhan zhuang routine.

    When I first started out, I listened to music just so I could focus on something other than the pain! I’m no longer pursuing the “hold till you drop” route 🙂

  3. eastpaw says:

    Indeed, “hold till you drop” may not be the best way of training. I suspect that one could easily end up with terrible bad habits that way.

  4. Pingback: The Relaxation Response | wujimon taiji blog

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