One objective of Standing Practice aims to develop your energy and a neurological state of adaptive readiness—the mind of a sprinter in the blocks.
Standing can develop health as well as mental focus. It is a form of exercise that burns calories and helps mitigate the harmful effects of poor posture.
Standing Practice rebalances the body, respiration, circulation and mind. Standing integrates your energetic body with the pull of the earth’s electromagnetic field.
Any inner training we undertake breaks through conditioned limits, giving a sense of infinite connection between the body and the energy that animates it.
The body will naturally begin to relax when you find some equilibrium. Over time many unnecessary tensions dissipate to the point where you can even reverse short and long-standing physical ailments.
There is nothing for you to do except feel, relax and let go. The purpose of Standing is to wake up the nervous system and develop deep and natural breathing that allows your innate intelligence to shine through.
Standing allows you to stay on balance and discover how much appropriate tension you need to maintain function. You can accept and acknowledge your mental, physical and emotional state while standing in a dynamic state of balance.
Standing practice tests your ability to relax and let go. Once you can maintain relaxation for a few minutes in a natural position, you can adopt proscriptive positions to promote your Qi flow further.
A point of stillness and stability will naturally arise. This stillness is the void or nothingness out of which movement occurs.
Standing practice is an opportunity to be mindful of your posture and how postural tensions affect your mental state. Your mind and body seek balance, and if you create the foundation, your body and your energy will naturally align. You may need some pointers, but once you experience comfort in Standing, your nervous system will do the rest.
Subtle energy flow is not so easy to perceive in the early stages of practice. However, not being able to sense subtle energy is no obstacle to gaining a deeper awareness of your body and may indicate an overactive mind. Once discursive thought subsides, one can quickly feel blockages in the body. Stillness has a knack to develop sensitivity and awareness by default.
For example, having tension in and around the diaphragm and abdomen from poor use and poor posture means specific muscles will shut down your natural needed biofeedback mechanism. The receptors in tissue can switch off, blocking energy and inhibiting your movement. This state of being is debilitating to the whole organism.
The logic is that if we are in a better state of balance, we gain better circulation and do not waste energy in our chosen life activity.
The implication for anyone who wants to engage in sport, for example, is that if you have a naturally balanced posture as your foundation, then learning techniques is not a problem.
Most people are impatient and begin to force techniques when learning physical activity. Few activities emphasise, or I should say, educate the individual to use the so-called gravitational field to maximum advantage. If you can transfer forces without causing internal resistance, your training outcomes will be unlimited. The original martial art of Tai Chi Chuan( not the new age versions ) trains the body to be a conduit for transference of force to and from the earth.
Stand well and integrate with your feet and the ground; then, you will harness maximum energy with minimum effort when you move. My motto is that if you cannot stand well, you cannot move well.
Remember, what you are feeling is just what you are feeling. The first stage of relaxing and letting go is accepting what arises from internal observation, whether mental, physical or emotional.
CRC 2022 Main photograph of Yang Cheng Fu in Wu- Chi commencement of Tai Chi Chuan