Zhan Zhuang is a specific Chi Kung method often used in the practice of Tai Chi Chuan. This ancient and unique standing approach to training, from China, is based on the Taoist principles of harmony, simplicity, and naturalness. One practices Chi Kung to centralize, cultivate, condense, and balance one’s internal energy, also known as Chi, inside the body, whilst relaxing the mind and improving one’s vigour and health. Used by many Tai Chi practitioners, Zhan Zhuang can also be practised independently, as can frequently be seen in public parks and gardens in Chinese cities. Like Tai Chi Chuan, Chi Kung can be practised regardless of age, lifestyle, or level of fitness.

The Chinese ideograms for Zhan Zhuang, 站樁/站桩, can also be translated as “post standing”. Zhan Zhuang Chi Kung uses a series of upright standing postures that do not necessarily involve explicit physical movements. Frequently, the complexity of this exercise is underestimated due to its apparently static positions. Those who have experienced the Zhan Zhuang method soon recognise that it, like Tai Chi Chuan, requires considerable physical and mental effort. With regular practice of this exercise, one’s Chi is stimulated, cultivated, and concentrated so that it can be applied in different ways.

In the same manner that Tai Chi Chuan can be used as a method for managing and circulating Chi and healing, Zhan Zhuang and vital energy cultivation can also be applied to the development of spiritual awareness, for medical purposes such as curing physical ailments, maintaining good health, and in some cases for providing assistance to others. The energy work inherent in practicing Zhan Zhuang acts like a medicine for the body and mind, improving the quality of life.




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