Zhan Zhuang weight balance?

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Zhan Zhuang weight balance?

Postby caesar » Fri Nov 04, 2011 6:15 am

Hello,

I'd like to do Zhan Zhuang on my own but I quit in a yang school where they did most of stuff very differently than in most schools.

Now I'd like to ask ways to do Zhan Zhuang without hurting myself. So I was taught to keep weight 100% on heels. Is there any sense in that? It feels easier to relax if I bring weight more to the center: 50% ball and 50% heel

Is it ok to keep my elbows below shoulders, having the hands being about at the same height as the chest/throat, knees a little bent?
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Re: Zhan Zhuang weight balance?

Postby sengtsan » Fri Nov 04, 2011 12:49 pm

Hi caesar,

Some answers to your questions for zhan zhuang practice.

Keep the center of the feet (Yongquan points) lifted lightly and place your body weight exactly onto the center of your feet.

Bend elbows and drop them slightly (so they are under the shoulders)

Beware of the knees, they shouldn't be bent farther than the toes of your feet or you will injure them (your knees).

Erase the lumbar lordosis as far as it is comfortable for you to do so to open Mingmen point and protect your lumbar vertebra (try this : put your back against a wall, you shouldn't be able to insert your hand between the wall and the lumbar region of your back. Of course you should respect your morphology, some people have some kind of hyper lordosis and can't erase it).

You are correct about the hands. But there are different options: hands in front of lower Dantian, etc.. See what is best for you if you are a beginner.

Don't forget to slightly stretch the shoulders by curving the back as if you were hugging a big ball . It will open Dazhui point [url]http://acupuncturetoday.com/mpacms/at/article.php?id=27591[/url] and allow a good qi flow in your arms.

If possible, ask your teacher for corrections.

Don't forget to RELAX
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Re: Zhan Zhuang weight balance?

Postby caesar » Sat Nov 05, 2011 11:37 am

Hi sengtsan!

Thank you for the tips. A few questions still...

Keep the center of the feet (Yongquan points) lifted lightly and place your body weight exactly onto the center of your feet.


Does this mean that the weight actually should be a little bit more on the heels?

And...

Don't forget to slightly stretch the shoulders by curving the back as if you were hugging a big ball .


Is it the same thing as pushing a little bit forward from the shoulders? If I do this, I feel like there's more tension in the shoulders.
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Re: Zhan Zhuang weight balance?

Postby sengtsan » Sat Nov 05, 2011 12:18 pm

Hi caesar,

you wrote: "Does this mean that the weight actually should be a little bit more on the heels?"

No, not in my experience. Actually, you open the Yongquan point by grasping a very little the ground with the toes. It will lift up a tiny bit the arch of the foot. Do it first with your intention only and then add a very light physical gesture. Nevertheless, the weight can be distributed quite equally all over the feet. Put down first the heels, then the exterior edge of the feet, then the toes -from little to big-, grasp lightly the ground with the toes (without tension), and find the center of your feet, and settle your weight there.
English is not my native language, so my explanations may not be as accurate as needed..

you wrote: "Is it the same thing as pushing a little bit forward from the shoulders? If I do this, I feel like there's more tension in the shoulders."

I am not sure I understand what you mean.
What I do is rounding a little bit the upper part of my back without compromising the verticalness of the posture: the shoulder blades move away a little from each other, and this gives the back some light stretch and opens the Dazhui. So yes, there is a little tension, but not pain or anything that could prevent you from resting in the posture and more importantly from breathing normally (normal abdominal breathing). What can happen after some time is that the arms feel like they are suspended in the air without effort from you.
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Re: Zhan Zhuang weight balance?

Postby sengtsan » Sat Nov 05, 2011 2:52 pm

Hi again caesar,

I was just thinking that in case the tips I give don't help much, just discard them. I am doing zhan zhuang for 2 years and a half only but my practice has evolved quite much since I began. I began with general guidelines you can find into Lam Kam Chuen's books (just google it you will find the book for sale and some you tube videos in 10 clips- very useful). It's been only a few months that I added some details. I bet it would have been quite difficult for me as a newbie to pay attention to all the details and to bear the incomfort of the beginnings for 25 mn.
So if it applies to your situation, just have a look into Lam Kam Chuen's book,take it easy, and enjoy first and foremost what you are doing. You can add all the refinements you want later. Just make sure you won't injure your knees or you lumbar region.
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Re: Zhan Zhuang weight balance?

Postby caesar » Sun Nov 06, 2011 4:26 am

Hey! Thank you once again for the tips. My lower back and tailbone have been pretty tense and painful so I want to be very careful for not making mistakes...altough perhaps as you kinda said, keeping too many details in the head while doing the exercise might lead to not relaxing at all...

Perhaps I should just stand there as long as I can and see what the body wants to do. Yesterday I tried what happens if I just stand without any zhan zhuang posture, with knees slightly bend for a while. I noticed how useful it was, my body kept telling me to search for the weight balance all the time and noticed how I stiffened many parts and then let loose...
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Re: Zhan Zhuang weight balance?

Postby sengtsan » Sun Nov 06, 2011 4:37 am

Hi caesar,

you wrote:" Perhaps I should just stand there as long as I can and see what the body wants to do. Yesterday I tried what happens if I just stand without any zhan zhuang posture, with knees slightly bend for a while. I noticed how useful it was, my body kept telling me to search for the weight balance all the time and noticed how I stiffened many parts and then let loose..."

Yes! This is exactly how I have begun myself! You will find it very rewarding.
Go ahead, and thank you for this interesting discussion. Let me say again that you may find some very valuable informations in Lam Kam Chuen book.

Have a good practice!
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Re: Zhan Zhuang weight balance?

Postby caesar » Sun Nov 06, 2011 7:29 am

Thank you too, it has been helpful! And I will check that book, also the youtube clips seemed very good.

Cheers.
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Re: Zhan Zhuang weight balance?

Postby joeblast » Thu Nov 10, 2011 7:04 am

hehe...grounding or rooting? if one is focusing more on grounding, one neednt curl toes. you can relax the feet and ankles, it almost lets you sink a little better and "connect the sacrum to the ground" in a manner of speaking.

another thing about the shoulders (and this may have been said in another fashion) but start out with your arms down, rotate the palms backwards and note the opening of the shoulder blades in back.

begin inhalation from the bottom of the diaphragm where it overlaps with the psoas muscle and with the underlying things relaxed you can feel the breath connect with the ground, so to speak

and dont forget to smile :)
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