13 methods of Zhan Zhuang
1. standing and holding a ball (bào qiú zhuāng)
2. standing like the character "river" (chuān zì zhuāng)
3. standing and push a mountain (tuì shān zhuāng)
4. standing and holding a small ball (xiăo bào qiú zhuāng)
5. standing and push the ball down (àn qiú zhuāng)
6. standing like the character "big" (dà zì zhuāng)
7. tanding and push to east and west (shuāng tuì shŏu zhuāng)
8. standing and push up (left) and down (right) (tūo àn zhuāng)
9. standing and push up (right) and down (left) (tūo àn zhuāng)
10. standing and holding the upper center (líng jìng zhuāng)
11. standing like the character "mountain" (shān zì zhuāng)
12. standing to bring all the energy back to the inside (wàn fă gūi sūo zhuāng)
13. standing and watch over the lower center (shŏu yì zhuāng)
(1. standing and holding a ball (bào qiú zhuāng) - The cycle is complete)
Standing like a pillar (Zhan Zhuang) is one of the oldest Qi Gong exercises in China. Even in Laozi's (also known as Lao Tse) Tao Te Ching Daoist scholars speaks of the people who connect heaven and earth.
In this exercise, the practitioner is refine able to perceive the flow of energy in the body better, and also correct the body posture, which is a key to Taijiquan. Initially, most students are not able to remain more than a few minutes in one position. With time and practice, it is possible to practise longer and more concentrated and finally sink into the standing meditation.
Because of the changing of positions this exercise make it much easier to stand longer time. It is also ineressting to find root and structure in different and sometimes more difficult positions than the basic exercise.