Friday, January 22, 2010

Zhan Zhuang lately...

A large part of Wujifa training is comprised of Zhan Zhuang, or simply, "Stance" training. Stance is a useful practice for one to develop all the connections that make up so called "internal strength". There are many facets to what is seemingly a simple practice and you can read more information (really brilliantly laid out stuff actually) on the Wujifa blog here

The other day while getting stance corrections and, having asked about what exactly that "connection" feel is (fascial stretch, particularly in the back in my own experience; although this is only one small part of it), I assumed my stance as usual. After a few adjustments (arms parallel, shoulders moving rolling back, etc.) on my usual problem spots, I began to really feel a distinct stretchy type of feeling in the center of my back. Voila! This was the beginnings of the so called fascial stretch. And while I don't even pretend to begin to understand where this all leads, I can now recognize the feeling, and make all the adjustments on my own (or so one would hope) to find this same feeling. What can I do to make the feeling stronger? How can I play around with this feeling, and what makes it go away?
Rick, from the Wujifa blog, told me to look in the mirror sideways to see what was going on. "Slide your knees forward, and then sink! Sliding the knees forward allows room to sit"...and while I realize that my own written description might not make sense, this simple demonstration made me understand so much in learning how to get the stretch in the lower back. And at the same time, this "Slide the knees forward and sit" has been drilled into me over and over...why had I missed it so many times before? In the end, despite being shown the door countless times, I just wasn't ready to walk through the door...

So, I encourage all of us to keep playing around...even if we aren't ready for certain things, if you play around enough (and keep jumping back on the horse...thanks for that Dan!), you'll walk through that door eventually!

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