As practitioners of holistic wellness, we usually practice three types of holistic techniques such as (1) the natural stance technique or taiji primordial stance technique, (2) the shaking or the swing technique, and (3) the rotation technique. Any one of these techniques will help us to do body maintenance so that our body will be in a healthy state.
The natural stance or taiji primordial stance that we practice are for health preservation, not for martial arts or kung fu.
The body shaking technique is a movement that shakes our body at a certain rhythm driven by the waist and hips. It will help to relax our body and mind. Unlike the taiji primordial stance technique, it is easy to practice, and it can be practiced by men, women and children.
Practicing the body shaking technique will help to detoxify our body, reduce stress, regulate our spleen and stomach, strengthen the function of our digestive system, and enhance the vital energy of our body.
The rotation technique focuses on our spine and the mingmen acupoint. The spine is the central axis and pillar of human body movement and support. It is the ocean of marrow, the origin of blood, the chain of movement, the channel of life energy transportation, and the location of the central nervous system. It coordinates and dominates all parts of our body.
The spine houses the du meridian. It is the sea of yang-energy. It is the site of the yang meridian that governs the yang-energy of our body. It controls the yang-energy of our body. It is the foundation of our health.
Practicing the rotation technique will enhance the function of our internal organs, cultivate our vitality, improve our immunity, and strengthen our kidneys.
According to herbal medicine, our kidneys play a major role in our health. Kidney deficiency is the root of human diseases, and the treatment of many visceral diseases should start with nourishing our kidneys. The kidneys play a vital role in warming, nourishing, moisturizing and stimulating other internal organs. If we take good care of our kidneys, the kidneys will take care of other organs.
The body-shaking and body-rotating techniques are relatively easy to learn and practice.
Read more: Practical guides to body-shaking and body-rotation techniques.
As long as we keep up with our practice, the beneficial effect will be obvious. A colleage used to have kidney deficiency. After sitting for a long period of time, when he got up and walked, his heels would be painful. He felt very tired when he woke up from an afternoon nap, and his legs and feet became sore. After these practices, he felt much better now without taking any medication.
Stance Practice Standards
Let us focus on the practice of stance now. We generally distinguish between static and dynamic stances. Let us concentrate on the static stance for the time being. We may talk about the combination of dynamic and static stance later when we have a chance.
There is a standard standing posture for the practice of the static stance as shown in the figure below. We listed seventeen important points here for in-depth consideration. We have listed the same points on some other practices when they have the same requirements. That is why they are called the standard for stance practice.
01 Head: The head should be central and lifted
In taiji, it is called xulingdingjin. We may also say that the baihui acupoint on our head should be central when we lift our head. When we lift our head, we should pay attention not to lift our chin, but to draw it inward. If we have a prostruding chin, we should practice this posture to correct it. The key point is not to tilt our head left and right or front and back, but keep our head vertical.
02 Eyes: Eyes seem to be closed but not closed
Our eyes are about to close, but they are not closed. That is, our eyes are narrowed into slits. For beginners, if you find it hard to follow, just close your eyes directly. It is important not to open your eyes to see distracting scenes around you.
03 Face: With a smile on our face
We think everyone knows this without further discussion. However, the great masters will tell you that smiling is good for the circulation of chest-energy. True. For some people, when they are angry, they find it hard to breathe.
04 Tongue: Tongue touching the upper palate
The touching should be light. Do not apply force.
05 Neck: Relax the neck vertically
This needs to be coordinated with the first point. If the chin is drawn in, the neck will naturally be straight and vertical.
06 Back: Straight back
Keep your back straight, not hunched over. What is back pulling? To put it simply, do your stance and then take a deep breath, and sink your shoulders. At this point, your back is in the state of being pulled.
07 Chest: Contained and open chest
When you exhale until you are out of breath, the state of your chest is a contained chest. When your shoulder blades are opened outwards, your chest is an open chest.
08 Shoulders: Loose shoulders and open armpits
Loose shoulders means to relax the shoulders. There is a simple way to do this: drop your shoulders so that they are back and down, combine it with shoulder blades opening to both sides without using force.
Everyone knows about open armpits without discussion. If you do not know what it is, hug someone.
09 Elbows: Hanging and floating
To put it bluntly, it is the falling elbow in taiji. The elbows should hang down and out, relaxed without pushing.
10 Hand: Palms contained
This is relatively simple. Relax your fingers and bend them naturally without using force.
11 Abdomen: Retract the lower abdomen
Retract the lower abdomen slightly without using force. Use the navel to locate the mingmen acupoint.
12 Tailgate: Relax the tailgate
The tailgate is the position on the back where the navel is directly facing. The tailgate is naturally curved and should be convex. To relax the tailgate, you sit on a high stool and touch your tailgate. It must be protruding outwards. Thus, in this practice, you stand as if you are sitting on a high stool so that your tailgate is relaxed. This is also a requirement in the practice of taiji.
13 Crotch: Round and hanging
When we practice the stance, we require our crotch to be rounded as if there is a balloon between our thighs which may even move upwards when we try. Also, it requires us not to clamp our crotch.
Letting the crotch hang is actually a bit difficult. We need to use our internal strength to lift the crotch up. For a beginner, just suck in the lower abdomen, using the mind to think about lifting the crotch without forcing it.
14 Tail: Drooping the tail
Refer to the diagram below.
How can we make the tailbone sag? In fact, it is very simple to do. Turn down the pubic region slightly. The pubic region corresponds to the front and back of the sacrum, and the downward turning of the pubic region will cause the sacrum to turn backwards and upwards, and the tail will hang down. This may require us to practice often to soften our soft tissues to make it easy to do. The ancients described the tailbone as a bell hammer based on the drooping shape of the tailbone.
The performance of taiji in the crotch is one horizontal and one vertical. One horizontal refers to closing the front crotch, opening the back crotch, and stretching the two hip joints horizontally, which is called round crotch and pan hip. The purpose is to strengthen the stability of the lower body and the flexible center of gravity conversion.
The one vertical refers to the downward turning of the pubic region and the backward turning of the sacrum, so that the coccyx sags and the waist is naturally straight. The upper and lower sides of the solid leg become an axis which allows flexible rotation.
15 Crotch: Seemingly sitting but not sitting
It is required that the root of the thigh and the body form a loose triangle, as if sitting on a high stool. If it is out of your imagination, go to a bar and sit on the high stools to feel it.
16 Knees: Relaxed with internal rotation
Pull both knees slightly inward. To what extent? Buckle the knees inward, if you feel the force on the inner side of your feet, then you have reached the limit.
17 Feet: Flat and parallel
The distance between the soles of the feet is as wide as the shoulders, and the heels are slightly turned outward. The feet are flat on the ground, and the weight is evenly distributed on the soles of the feet.
Call to Action
Folks, that is all for now. If you think this article may be beneficial to your friends and loved-ones, feel free to forward this article to them. Life cultivation is mostly for older people with declining body health. If you are young and energetic, this may not be your cup of tea. However, if you have family members or friends who are middle-aged or older, they may want to practice life cultivation to maintain a life without pain or medication.
Stay tuned for the next episode: More on the stance technique.
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