Authentic Taijiquan (Tai Chi Chuan) and Qigong (Chi Kung)

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Full Moon Observance
February 10, 2009
Standing Tree Postures
Try holding each stance below for two minutes. As you feel comfortable, extend the time to five minutes for each, always in a single session. Your ultimate goal is to do 20 minutes in each stance, all in a single session. It will be quite a long time before you can achieve that ultimate goal -- which will then lead you to additional opportunities for generating chi (qi) power.
1. Wu Chi (Wuji)
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, feet parallel, with stillness. From stillness comes the tranquility for true relaxation. Relax your knees, abdomen, and hips - remembering that a relaxed state is alert, not limp or collapsed. Relax your shoulders and let your arms hang loosely at your side, but with a small space beneath each armpit so that your arms are not collapsed. Keep your fingers open and alive, lightly curved and spaced evenly. Raise your crown, lower your chin, and relax your throat and neck. Look forward and slightly downward, breathing easily and naturally through your nose.
2. Holding the Belly
Standing as before, lower yourself slightly as if sitting on a large ball. Hold our hands in front of your lower belly, as if a large ball is resting on your belly, and your hands are resting on the ball. Spread your fingers as before and completely relax your shoulders.
3. Holding the Ball
Continue slightly lowered as if sitting on the large imaginary ball. Imagine you have a medium size ball in front of your chest, and wrap your arms around it in an easy circle, palms facing your heart. Your elbows should lower slightly, your arms held up by two small balloons. Relax the chest and shoulders as usual.
4. Extending to the Sides
Keeping the same stance as before, extend your arms out to your side, palms down, with the elbows slightly bent. Keep the shoulders relaxed. Your palms should feel as if resting on two balls floating on water.
5. Opening Outwards
Lower yourself a little further as if sitting. Instead of resting your hands on a ball, this time they face outward as if pushing a ball away.