Standing Postures

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    Hi folks,

    I’m interested in how you employ standing postures in your work. How much of it do you do? (Yes I know, for Martial Artists the Answer is always “more standing” ;-) )How do you mix it? Do you use different postures or only one?



    Now i trying to learn some methods on standing postures wich is described in this book: cohen zhan

    It has more or less complete guide on sequences and timing in case you want to improve your health or martial ability.

    For now i use only 3 postures.



    Hey thanks for the link; I will check it out.

    What 3 postures do you use?

    I basically use three postures, namley San Ti, and (don’t know if these are really the correct names) Wu Ji and the one we called “holding the Pillar” (My first teacher always tried to translate into German).

    From the three, I am training San Ti for the shortest time, but I find it produces a lot of energy and really helps getting my arms ready for heavy blows with downward energy.

    The Wu Ji I do mainly for meditating, relaxing, centering (and now of course dissolving)

    The one with the pillar (What is it’s correct name) I do for developing Peng.

    My question came from the problem of how to combine my training in these posture for best effect. Rules, guidelines, experiences, etc.

    Another question rose up this week: As I get more familiar with the postures I can hold them longer and longer, and it gets more pleasant to do so… BUT: If I stand for more than about 40 minutes I get the feeling of my feet getting flattened against the floor, and there is diminishing bloodflow in the soles of my feet so that I have to stop. Blood returns fully after about 5 minutes. Will this pass with time or am I doing something wrong?

    Oh and a funny thing. German has an expression for this feeling: “Sich die Füße in den Bauch stehen” (Standing your feet into your stomach) :-)




    Now i practice so called wu ji ( without hands hi), then Holding the ball ( embracing the tree. Than support the sky.

    I am only a beginner in QiGong, so i want to progress gradually, i want to study 4 postures for health ( all i write is acoording to book, which i mentioned before). 7 organ healing postures, and then, after a while, 10 martial arts postures. As far as i read there are combinations of postures in time. When you some how modify Qi flow with your hand positions ( during standing)

    So i think there are probably a lot of sequences and postures. There are books and internet sources… But what is most important for me, that while i am a beginner i can discover what inside the container of posture, gradually, day by day, developing from inside.

    So if you have questions on standing QiGong ( as far si understand it is also calling Zhan Zhuan Gong)

    So my question to community, is it suitable to use music while tanding? For example there is music specially created by chinese doactor Wang Xui Dong for standing meditation.

    So happy practice for everyone, and joy and smoothnes



    Hello Иван and Markus

    I hesitated responding when I first saw this thread- good to hear others diving in a fav of mine (I wrote a couple other posts related to my below.. not sure where)… hope below might make sense, even if you have to read through a few times… with practice-sessions in between…. it became a bit long, but twas what I wish I’d read way back, so if what little I’ve ‘thought-I’ve figured” (I’m still trying to get-it).. I hope length of below isn’t too scary :) ~long [luck in your practice(s) [
    re the phrase “Standing your feet into your stomach” (I like that, although that seems like a positive term if I heard/read the metaphor, but does this mean that feet-squished falling-asleep type feeling? then it isn’t relating a position-feeling so much :) counter-intuitive than for me..:) did I context that correct, for what you wrote?

    if so, that being a result of your posture, it would seem you say you “can” hold up for 40mins and then arghh-ouch.. as you ease out, wouldn’t that mean you were sort of tuning-out to your body and/or powering through the posture? (ala 70% and all that).. seems to be nearly all Western, let alone the other ChiGung trads (fire-method, Confu-shun, Buddhist, etc).. besides the Tao-Water method which is about awareness and feeling more and not going in to the strain-zone
    [of course only possible to practice like that after having practiced a while to be ok with idea of practice without it being “effort-based” -also counter-intuitive.

    squashed being something that could be from “the chain’s weakest link” idea (tightness in the system is gathered and loosens up, so all your tightness in hips and breathing and spine, all collects in your ankles- but also the lumbar-lowerback nerves, which enervate the feet, so likewise would shut down the bloodflow to feet.. (I know when I was standing and actually got some “opening” I thought it was a strengthening of my feet needed, but ends up fluid-flow (my insides, spine, etc was/is still quite tight/bound, as all that shifts, it affects 5 pts on periphery (2ft, 2hands, crown of head)… and with “pressure” upon feet those the easiest to feel..

    But look at it as a metaphor like how people at computers- hunched over peering at their screen…. the longer they sit at once, the more turned off and zoned, the more the spine hunches and contracts (which shuts down nerve awareness- harder to focus eyes, thus more strain to “see” = learn/hunch more… and it also restricts breathing… which also further contracts spine.. ugh
    -if one takes breaks each hr, or has a reason to stand/turn away to reach for something.. it pauses the downward cycle a bit (maybe breaks it, maybe just gives a slight-chance to notice it).. but if stay focused all day (from morning, then they look up for “lunch-midday”.. and as they “return to the room” oww (much like many think Meditation is flying-away and “return to the body”.. .when really the spine/breathing/guts all contracting as sit.. just like the computer-posture (and perhaps parts of your standing posture?)
    Just potential if this adds anything… (idea to try on… could you get it that during the practice, and even up to the last moment of a practice session- how ever long, how ever intense- you are still rested and at ease-connected.. vs that intense sort of “used” feeling.. if that makes sense- from a “work-out”…. as stay in 70% (remaining 30% of your capacity avail for recoup-upgrade.. 100% of what you feel you can do- let alone if push for “strain” feel- part of your Energy is used just to hold you together), then over time your 60-70% ease range will be beyond what your beyond 100% used to be..

    but difficult-contextMindShift (not sure if you’ve heard Bruce comment upon that concept, that being one of the more fundamental things I’ve learned from him… but the most leverage, and oft contradictory to other ChiGung trainings…
    I’m not sure if you each have tried Standing (per the books you’ve read from) in the way I finally figured after a while- was actually the first way it is taught-written about. but the image of “plant-feet and lift arms” … which can look the same, but feels -T o tally- different than …. have you each seen those figures that are plastic sheets of some kind, sort of like balloons (oft of Snowmen, or SantaClaus.. or “Halloween” pumpkins -blown up, oft person sized (maybe 6ft ~2meters or so) or even at Car Lots, where the air leaks out the top and it keeps blowing so they weave and flap like “dancing” .anyway, tried to describe in case not familiar, hopefully that clicks)… if you are like a waterballoon.. with deep in armpits, and in hipsockets, those 4 areas loosened sort of deflate towards your intestines-lower ab.. and then sort of “inflate” from inside there.. and feel the fluid expanding (literally the blood, and synovial) down legs, as well as up and out-along arms Expanding outward. -not lift arms, while standing, but almost like falling down.. legs almost like bending into a Squat to sit and collapse ~drunken-style.. but then inflate a bit (at first the size of the Sphere wont expand that far, but keep it connected, as it goes outward.. slows and then reverses back into to your gut.. then pause/gather and send it out.. not a metaphor, but physical-concrete fluid… as it frees up a bit it get more evenly-balanced as well as further outward… and can stay hang out there… without locking in place.just using that inflate-filling the balloon sort-of feeling to “fill” (peng….) your posture.
    At first its expands… slows… collapse a bit… then expands.. slow.. stabilizes a bit (for a moment) then slowly collapses… and then expands.. stablizes more evenly for a bit longer (later hold it more steady, yet filled without actually ‘locking’ so “holding a posture” doesn’t end up feeling “held” so much is filled.. just for longer- less a structure Engineered in place with rods and cables, like a mech-crane, and more like an electrical-motor… to stay in Pose, the elect-current needs to keep flowing, turn the elect-current off, the motors stop.. and the “balloon starts to deflate” (per gravity, let alone if you use to lift something, or resist another pushing on you….)

    Hope most of that might make sense II wrote a couple other post comments related to that on this forum previously, not sure where)- that seems the “elusive obvious” (as Feldenkrais’s phrase was), how to awaken the intrinsic-power and “effortless-strength”
    (effortless, meaning not “errk” singlar nerve-spindle trigger of on-off type movement, as well nearly always do… not effortless in learning how to do- as “difficult”.. but also a different kind of strength.. so many “writers” and “Teachers” of “internal-arts” (all in quotes as I think, my bias, if they miss this.. they are missing this subject)… most seem to have the idea of “be less tense, but the movement and muscles are used pretty much the same”.. thus TaiChiChuan becomes a different set of moves, but still Karate or still isometric type strength vs a “different-animal))
    To circle back- poses: I used to work “warm-up” of that deflate-inflate, which sort of goes forearms closer to pelvicbone-waistband level.. so as expands ends up like “Hug the Tree” (hippy- Tree Hugger pose- I call it :) .. whether you have the elbows down and hands-forearms “mostly straight up(slightly angle inward as rise)”.. or at nearly 45degrees (so palms as closer together then in the first variation).. or as some pictures show where the forearms are nearly (but not quite) horizontal.. elbows (and inside the armpits- deep tissue back inside of ribs- fwd shoulder-blade/scapula.. really released down… draining and further releasing inside of the tissue of hip joint (put your fingers at the “love handle pts” at the ab edges just above the pelvic bone.. and down in there, the tissue that links the “intestine area” to the “inner thigh” of legs (under-interior to where your front pant’s pockets are.. “Kwa”)… if the feelings ISNT lift the arms, but actually drain- release-soften inside “shoulder’s nest” (armpit-deep) .. that rises hands-arms.. (and goes into the hip-kwa area.. also soften release)…

    like a crane/pulley system.. weight goes down, to pull rope through pulley above, which then lifts… (easier said than done.. I know. and at first body/mind will say this doesn’t work- I feel less strong.. to do it I’ld just do… XYZ (the old way).. but new development… builds changes deep, fast).. this above may be obvious to either-both of your, as you may be doing this in standing already.. if so just for anyone else looking to see, is standing just lifting your arms in to a “scarecrow position”? -i’d say not quite…

    so I’d awaken-tune in the fill-inflate dynamic.. stabilize in TreeHug a few moments, and then a low (either WuJi, or the pose with palms facing down, lowered nearly straight- but Not- so palms below hip jt level).. but don’t “Break” your pose… just like in meditation… or ChiGung.. when you have a steady flow-connection, and shift (another practice/movement, or ending for the session).. don’t just drop and “shatter” flow.. and do else.. instead transition- keeping that connection… standing pose same way- the TreeHug- full- connected, then use the deflate-inflate dynamic to ReShape your pose (not just drop the arms, but change their shape to point-reidirect them.. helps to focus and activate the legs when arms this way… so I’d start in this pose, after Transition in/”Build it”… try and build up the sphere from guts-intestine (I use concrete terms, vs “DanTien” as I’m talking the tissues/fluids not an idea-image, actual movement to drive- up to shoulders and along arms, and down “through” to the legs… fill up the feet (if they are squashed, you let them collapse- deflated… gone ‘dead’… fluid~blood… part of that ‘new’ strength’ that devels…

    if you do palms lowest pose (WuJi or as above).. and then rise to TreeHug (again not “lift” arms. fill (~peng).. also how Change inside to transition one pose to another “without a break/shatter of low”?).. watching/feeling for when you lose connection (may only do for a min or so, even if you were powering through for 20-30-40mins previously… ).. before lose connection- go back down– reconnects/change and rest as the fluid pulled into hands by gravity… as warmed up- try a higher pose (if you do- a “Holding up sky” type even, if elbow below shoulders, but fingertips at eye level or higher).. staying down (not lift to get there- etc.) and have the same sense of connection in all three.. each makes certain aspects more released, and others more “pulled/pushed” (thus opportunity to release/lengthen… overtime). -thus a different method to link- sequence the standing poses (SanTi being more tricky.. note the Metal-Splitting fist moves- fists pull into belly-button, and then Drillupward, and then armpits/shoulders/hips twist a bit as the split “peek-a-boo” (how that activates and connects up, in a shorthand-fashion the above positions/connections?.. symetrical poses are easier to notice Left-Right imbalances first.. and then do a-sym, like SanTi.. as otherwise may not recog how each side is differently-bound)

    -last- try slight aiming of how palm is facing- fingers stretch a bit to connect,shoulder-blades to spine/lower-back to knee-legs… like adjustment of the old “Rabbit-Ear antenna” -like slightly (small twist this way that) of old-style “Knob” radiodial… at times, the micro shifts can make a diference IF you know what the Channel (TV show, or Radio station- in the prior example).. if you sense the connection a position-standing pose is giving, then tweak to bring it more online… all the while watching for the nerve- rev up (that vibration static sense in the electrical-signal “effort”)…

    feel the air around your soaking into your posture, and feel the ground-under sighing/ gentle almost-rising like a breeze barely felt…

    just a thought- luck



    Hey Gary, thanks for the enormous reply :-)

    I am sorry that I won’t go answer to every sentence, I have some time pressure; but some of the things you said really made “click”.

    One thing is the 70 percent rule. I don’t usually power through resistance (I am somewhat of a lazy guy…), and I practiced standing Qi Gong enough, so with the exception of San Ti, which is still relativly new to me, it really doesn’t require much effort to stand, I don’t need to force any position I am familiar enough.

    BUT the point where my feet give in is the same time my concentration tends to start drifting. So yes, physically I observed the rule, but not mentally. Thanks for the pointer.

    Another thing is residual tension. I have not yet observed the connection, but I actually have some parts along my spine where I tend to hold subtle tension. It might be that this impairs keeping the feet open – and since it is only a subtle tension, it will only be felt if I go near my limits.

    Oh, and no, standing your feet into your stomach is not pleasant; it like squishing them.




    Hi all,
    I have probably a strange question to ask, regarding standing Qi Gong meditation ’embracing the tree’. I am very new to the whole practice, so I guess I am making a mistake somewhere.

    While I stand with hands in front of my chest (embracing the tree), relaxed and all, every time I have this strange sensation of energy entering my legs from below and running up my legs. If I continue it will end up all the way up to my head.
    I read few days ago that this is a real dangerous way of becoming un-grounded, causes light headed-ness, and is overall detrimental to my energy body in particular. if that would make sense to you.

    Can you suggest where I am making a mistake, and how to correct it?

    Thank you in advance.
    (It might have been explained somewhere before, but off hand I cannot find the right answer)




    Hi Sonya,

    Not a strange question at all!

    There are two major currents of energy in the body. The descending current, which flows from the heavens down to the earth. And the ascending current, which flows from the earth up to the heavens.

    The downward current of energy is the safety system in the body. It’s what clears out bad energy, stagnant energy, energy that you can’t use, etc.

    The upward current of energy is the “fun” one. It’s the one that makes you stronger and can help open up the latent abilities of the mind and body.

    Because the upward current of energy is the fun interesting one, people often times spend a lot of time focusing on it. They want to quickly get strong or manifest some interesting ability. This can cause real problems if you haven’t properly developed the downward flow of energy first. Now, you might be able to raise all sorts of energy into your body, but if it gets stuck you don’t have any way to safely release it.

    As an example, let’s say you do lots and lots of upward current work. Then suddenly, you start to get migraine headaches every day. You go to your teacher and ask what you should do. He might tell you to dissolve downward and get the energy out of your head. But since you haven’t practiced this very much, it’s really hard for you to do and it takes forever! Very annoying, because in the meantime you head will hurt like hell. This is an oversimplied example but you get the basic idea.

    In your case, you are noticing the upward flow of energy. This is a natural flow and it’s always occuring. It sounds like you’re just noticing it. There isn’t any danger in that. The danger comes from consciously working on magnifiying and strengthening that upward current of energy.

    In your personal practice, I would always focusing on dissolving downwards or sinking your energy downward. It’s a very safe way to practice.

    Hope this helped,



    Thank you, Janak!
    I was hoping for an explanation like the one you just gave me.

    I will try to focus on more bone marrow clearing technique, since it is moving the energy from out and in downwards. I study also from a book I have by Kenneth Cohen. After I posted this I went for a shower and just got this image of bone marrow cleansing I used to do. I guess that is a double answer all in one evening.
    Thank you.

    My problem is that I not only notice the upward flow, but it does affect me. In the beginning it helped me sleep better when I was under some sort of an energetic ‘attack’ or influence, but with time now it is not helping me, but rather destabilizing me.

    I will practice more moving energy flow down, also with meditation I just learned, and I hope with time the two currents will become balanced.

    Thank you again!



    Hi Sonya,

    Glad I could help!

    If you haven’t read it yet, I’d recommend Bruce’s book “Opening the Energy Gates”. It’s his book on Standing Qi Gong. Sometimes people don’t realize that because the name of the book doesn’t contain the words Standing Qi Gong. I believe he talks in detail about the upward and downward currents of energy, how they work and why he recommends on working with the downward current first.

    I know what you mean about outside energetic influences. It feels like both the upward and downward currents of energy help with that. The downward current seems to help get rid of outside energy once it gets stuck in you. The upward current seems to help keep the energy out of you in the first place.

    Bruce teaches an advanced Qi Gong set called “Spiraling Energy Bodies”. It’s the Qi Gong set where he teaches you how to work specifically with the upward current of energy. I remember one of his older students likes to refer to that set as “Psychic Self Defence” because it’s so useful for protecting you from outside energetic influences. That name always stuck in my head, I thought you’d get a kick out of it! =)

    Hope this helps,



    Hello Sonya, To followup on Janak’s great response, and thorough coverage… I’d add the idea (which is covered in detail in the book he mentions, Bruce’s “Opening the Energy Gates” -I don’t mention it as a plug, as I’m not associated with EArts bix, just one of, if not the, best energy-books I’ve read… so many yrs back :).. the idea of “sinking the chest”
    As a metaphor, slightly exaggerated, as if you are standing straight, and then lean back to look straightup above. How not only the spine bending back, but the sensation of stretching (~lengthening) inside the soft-tissue of the torso.

    That ‘lifting’ of the front-ribs (even slightly- likely you are not doing something that feels like that, but most people- if hold up your arms “to hold the ball/tree hug” to get them supported and up into position it is like a hydraulic filling up below… ) -mechanically triggers the rising-current via the tissues (espec in torso, but in legs, if you are triggering the lifting from the legs feeling) So if perhaps you might be thinking of a sensation of grabbing-hugging a ball or something with some weight (like a planter-pot), and raising it up, thus drives- even gently, through the legs up with lifts arms.. etc…

    -instead, have arms in place, and just like a ballloon being filled up with water- with the bottom of the balloon resting upon a table/floor.. so that the water enters in, descends and then fills-up.. thus the top of the balloon is lifted, but indirectly from the filling down upon the floor-ground.
    just as the downward E (not just the affect felt of the descending fluids) can be more diffuse (thus drowsy type) vs the electric-type distinctness of rising (which contrary to diffuse-focus is very distinct “this is happening here” which the rising current can give).. once the Energies are more clearly felt, it is clear how you are, and how else is, and what the Energy flows are.. and not mixed (thus can related to the inside-outside influences.
    I hope above might help, in the context of my (longer) post-comment above this.. my two not as directly succinct as Janak’s (and any comments he might have on what I wrote-referenced), especially as my sense of Ken Cohen’s writings seem to operate in the concept-feeling (thus thinking of lifting arms can trigger subconscious-images which trigger phy-reactions, more so than in other systems).

    The other model I’ve liked (I feel compelled to write this, as I didn’t comprehend these aspects from what I learned when I started, and the headaches- fried out system wasn’t “the fun part” :)… -the model-concept of a Potter tossing clay onto the ‘wheel’ (“Seating” it)…

    letting its weight solidly descend and adhere-stick to the ground- spreads out a bit (that same term used in push-hands contact- listening-alive)… thus the solid-foundation on the ground, not bracing anyway, rooted, which the top of the clay is contacted.
    [if the clay was placed, a bit at a time, upon the potters-wheel, in the end a similar type of mound would appear at the end.. .but it would be completely different as the density-connection of the clay would be as if each layer of clay was ‘lifted a bit” vs a downward smushing-continuity.] anyway- this is all about the first moment of the posture, as well as checking on-going that it stays settled. (strengthen the back, soften and drop the front- even/espec down the legs.. as if each of the two legs were those water-balloons referred to above).

    I hope this comment of mine might add and make a bit more comprehensible the description I placed in the prior post (as the references there could help in the feeling of the boy not being the same as usual.. but be in posture as a fluidic-elastic structure..
    [this was supposed to be a quick comment, but hard to put what words to it- (easy to show/correction to feel something in person)]
    anyway- luck

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