The arms are what most see, but to the expert; they are the tip of the iceberg.The body's action is like a whip, with the stance at mits foundation.
EMBRACE THE MOON, ZHANG ZHUANG
STANDING POLE, HOLDING THE BALL
Hold the arms in a circle, elbows lower than hands, palms facing inward, thumb side on top with a gap between the opposing fingers of 1/4 - 4 inches apart, at a height:
Start with 10 minutes a day, then work up to being able to stand either:
a) 45 minutes with both legs parrallel or
b) two sets of 30 minutes each, alternating leg forward, without dropping hands.
The intensity of the work is the foot and leg position and how far you sink. Through bringing the feet parallel, widening the stance and sinking lower you intensify it.
The extreme of full Riding Horse stance, is sinking until your thighs are parallel to the ground. The old traditional test was balancing a tea cup on your thigh.
Stand with both feet shoulder width apart and parallel. Legs should be straight but don't let the knee joint lock back. Hips and shoulders face square to the front, and the head is held upright. Rock side to side until you feel your weight fall evenly from the crown of the head directly down the midline of your body, to extend between your legs beneath the ground from 3-6 feet. Next begin to rock slightly back and forward from heal to toes; find the place where the weight of the body is equally distributed between the heel and the ball of the foot.
Relax and extend the toes opening up and flattening the arch of the foot to create what we call an energy well. Now let the weight of the body fall down through this well in the bottom of each foot; dropping like a stone 3-6 feet below the ground. Arms relax by your side, relax your body but extend your spine and pull your head upwards. Breath deeply through your nose using your stomach or diaphragm, not your chest.
Hollow the chest, relax the area between the eyes by slightly crossing you vision. Next open the palms of the hands, palms facing inward, with fingers pointing to each other; thumb points to other thumb, index finger to other hand's index finger etc. Hands should not be overly flat, or overly rounded; slightly rounded. Draw your elbows out slightly to create a small space under the armpit. Do abdominal breathing through your nose, let the mind and the breath drop to your center (the space between the Kidneys).
Draw in you chin so your head aligns with your spine. Relax the muscles of the mouth and jaw and lightly rest your tongue on the top of your mouth. Let your eyes be softly open but try not to look at anything specifically, take your mental attention away from the visual stimulation. You should have the feeling of being hung by a thread attached to the top of your head like a puppet. You should feel your head floating effortlessly up and at the same time the weight of your body rooting through your feet 3-6 feet into the earth. Your energy below the ground, is the base of the pyramid, the head the point.
"Sink the waist", the cocyx must be realxed and slightly uplifted, the yang qi will ascend toward heaven. This regulates the Du meridian.
"Pressing the shoulders" is like practicing the steps, urge the rear as if erecting the waist, round the crotch to support the hips, lift the chest as if back bending.
"Shoulders", usually refers to the power of the " shoulder well point", sink down to to the Yong Quan (K-1). When using the power of the shoulder well point, soften the intent and relax, there will be no obstruction. When relaxing the shoulders they feel as if they are being pulled back.
"Urging the rear" refers to squeezing the buttocks together as much as possible. The crotch feels as if it is pressing across both inwardly and outwardly with maximum effort. This is more of a text book recommendation, I myself do not emphasize it so much, and have only slight pressure. Too much pressure can overemphasize the center, throw one's plumb line off, and raise their root. I do not create any tension, rather a slight pressure.
"Lifting the chest" refers to lifting the chest as is resisting a force form the front. Relax the shoulders ass if you are putting forth strength. Both sides of the back bone press forcefully together, the energy originates from below the navel, from the internal organs revolving outward to the head and then returns.
Fiberglass resin; when cured (dried) too fast, will be brittle. Concrete will crack if it is too hot, or dries unevenly. Crystals that form under the hardest sustained pressures, are the geological jewels.
Holding a stance will cure one's stance, in the same manner a wooden boat builder will curve the boat's planks. The wooden planks (your legs) are watered and bent slightly as they are wrapped around the ribs of the boat's hull. A similar analogy is in the construction of guitar and violin bodies.
It is one thing to be fit and stretch loose enough to execute a stance; but another to have a ready made stance ready at reaction speed. One can settle into a stance, only to find that getting out of it is slow, and maneuvering difficult. Standing Pole (Embrace the Moon), Hsing-i San Ti Shi, as well as holding deep and low stances; will give one a forged instantly available foundation. One will mold themselves using this foundation as a launch platform. One's stance, joints and position must fit; like a gun to a holster.
The best cardiovascular exercise, if you can do it; starts after the first forty minutes of moderately strenuous exercise. Now the arteries and vessels are opened up and have built up the momentum in the pipes for a good flow of blood. The activity rate, lungs and heart are all optimally synchronized for this continued rate, with all of the initial sludge shot out. One might start burning body fat or cholesterol. The whole body's inner plumbing and carburetors are opened up, elastic and free flowing. Without this forty minute plus exertion, the pipes' plumbing doe not have sufficient diameter, nor the required elasticity. Internal energy based martial moves are the same; needing the results of Qigong.
As rivers overflow they usual follow previous ruts, gulches and valleys. The increased load travels the path of least resistance; which was cleared by the previous flooding. In a similar fashion; when one gets into flight or flight mode, energy travels first into these conditioned stances and combinations. Only later, is there time to think or adjust.
Qigong will build these rivers which are used as key foundation ingredients in higher move-energy. The Qigong can act to store the bioelectric type energy in the body, like a capacitor (ignition coil) stores a charge.
San Ti Shi Stance
The shoulders push the elbows, the elbows push the hands, the waist pushes the hips, the hips push the knees, and the knees push the feet.
The knees should have the feeling as though they are closing inward and the heels should feel as if they are pushing outward.
Both knees bend inside with strength which does not manifest itself. The hips urge the knees.
Click here for video of stance on ice
When a telephone pole, is bowed by the force of the Internal Iron Palm Strike, the stance launches the force as well as moves with it.
Watch internal stance here, as it resonates with Internal Iron Palm Strike.
Axe Hand; Hsing-i & Internal Strength Workout
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