Zhan Zhuang is the ancient Chinese art of exercising the muscles and the mind by standing There is no visible external movement; all motion is internal. In the practice of Zhan Zhuang, we learn to relax and nervous and muscular systems simultaneously, clearing the pathway for the circulation of Chi, the inherent natural energy of the body and the mind.
1. Wu Chi
The first position in Zhan Zhuang is consided a neutral state, the starting point from where the process of cultivating one's primal energy begins. It lays the foundation for the subsequent five positions corresponding to the five elments.
2. Holding The Balloon
This position corresponds to the Wood element. It speeds up the inner circulation of energy, from the feet, up through the entire body, to the hands and head.
3. Buddha Belly
This position corresponds with the Metal element. It helps gather the Chi in the body and consolidate it in the Lower Dan Tien.
4. Standing In The Stream
This position corresponds to the Water element.
5. Holding The Balloon In Front Of Your Face
In the beginning, this is perhaps the most difficult position to hold. It corresponds to the Fire element, and is the most Yang of all the positions.
6. Push The Earth Down With Your hands
This position corresponds to the creative power of the earth. It helps transform the energy (chi) of food and nourishes the creative processes of the mind.