Study Guide 3

 

 To pass this unit you will need to be able to:

3.1 Explain the benefits of wuji.
3.2 Explain the purpose of Qigong
3.3 Demonstrate the 5 Zhan Zhuang postures

 

 

Wuji
The Wuji stance is one of the most fundamental stances used in Tai Chi and Qigong. Nearly every style of Tai Chi and Qigong begins with this posture and also ends with it too. Have you ever heard the expression " Tai Chi comes from Wuji and returns to Wuji."
Later on in the course you will see how this relates to the Yin Yang concept


Wuji is a philosphical concept and a meditative stance that employs abdominal breathing.
  • Stand upright with your feet 'hanging' straight down from your hips.
  • The feet should be apart and not touching.
  • Let your arms hang naturally at the sides of your body.
  • Ensure that your head is held up but that your chin is slightly tucked in.
  • You should aim to achieve a straight line running down the centre of the body.
  • The tongue should rest on the roof of your mouth.
  • Check that you are rooted to the ground.
  • Ensure that no tension exists in the body.
  • Clear your mind.
This is wuji - also known as the Infinate Ultimate Stance.
The stance is very easy to learn, but remember this is only the body postion. It can be seen as a qigong in it's own right.

 

 

 It is important that you realise that the position alone is not enough to be called wuji - the position is only the external form. The stance is an important part of training and should be practised regularly to obtain the benefits that it can bring. Deep relaxation and inner peace are developed by this stance training. With time, and practise, you will begin to feel internal energy, or qi, flowing around your body.

In Chinese literature it is defined as "the great emptiness" or "the great nothingness," It can be discussed in terms of both the physical and the mental state.

In Chinese martial arts, Wuji refers to "an erect posture of equalibrium" - the most balanced and relaxed posture that exists midway between the states of Yin and Yang.



Below are some of the benefits that can be gained by practicing wuji:

  • Strengthens the leg muscles.
  • Provides deep relaxation.
  • Allows you to enter the Qigong mode where the brain pattern is changed to alpha waves.
  • Has the same benefits as a meditation.

"Qi Gong switches the nervous system from the stress related ‘fight or flight’ mode to the restorative healing mode of the parasympathetic branch. EEG shows that, in people practicing Qi Gong, the cerebral cortex enters a state of calm that few people experience, even in sleep." Ref - www.exercisetoheal.com/What+Is+Qi+Gong%3F.html

"Brain activity fluctuates in four known categories of brain wave patterns: beta, alpha, theta and delta patterns of consciousness. Normally, when we are at our most alert conscious state, beta brain wave patterns are predominant in our brain wave activity, although all four patterns are usually present to some degree.
However, meditation will slow the brain wave pattern until alpha brainwaves become the dominant pattern of consciousness. This alpha brain wave pattern is indicative of our most relaxed waking state, when we experience less stress and therefore are at our best state for learning, memory retention, as well as the performance of other mental tasks."
Ref -
www.chikung-unlimited.com/Benefits.html



You may find it of use to check out the links below to ensure that you understand the benefits in detail.

Qigong Institute

Qigong mode


* Please note that your 2 recommended books both show different foot positioning for the wuji stance - one has the feet close together but not touching, the other has the feet wider apart. All that is important, is that you understand the difference between wuji and horse riding stance.(Horse riding stance is usually seen as a wide leg posture - the position for riding a horse)


 

 

The Purpose of Qigong

Qigong




What Qigong is - put simply! Click here

Qigong stretches your muscles, makes you more flexible, promotes circulation of the blood and lymph through movement, promotes relaxation and patience through quiet meditation.


From a Traditional Chinese medicine point of view : The purpose of Qigong exercises are to achieve a better balance of yin and yang not only within the body but also between the body and the external world. 




Master Lam says that "Chi Kung strengthens immunity, builds internal stamina, eases chronic illness, and relieves common ailments by stimulating the flow of energy".


Qigong can be looked at from simple or complex points of views, it involves breathing, meditation and movement (in some cases the movement comes from just breathing). You will find lots of different explanations and viewpoints if you search on the internet.

Qigong comprises of formalised movements or stances, many of which have been passed down through the centuries. The Qi flow is 'manipulated' through various techniques i.e. breathing and movement.
(If you need a reminder, you might want to click on this abdominal breathing link )
In China, qigong is actually prescribed in some hospitals. Some also have qigong clinics for their patients as an adjunct to other therapy. Some studies have shown that patients who receive both kinds of treatment get better faster (and stay that way more reliably) than patients who only receive one.

The links below will provide you with more information on the purpose of Qigong.

Link 1

Link 2

 

Zhan Zhuang
(pronounced Jam Jong)

The Qigong that you will be studying, is the Zhan Zhuang system of internal energy exercises. You may also know it as Standing Like A Tree. If you do not have the recommended book for this part of the course, the video clips below will be sufficient for your practical study.

The stances can be performed and adapted for people of all ages, mobility and fitness - hence they are a great Qigong for health.
We are only looking at Positions 1 -5 for the purpose of this course. There are another 4 positions, but they have a strong effect on the circulatory system. Because they can raise blood pressure during training, we will not be practising postions 6 -9.

As you will probably have Master Lam's book, we will not go into lengthy descriptions of how to postion your body for each stance, so please ensure that you read all of the descriptions in Master Lam's book, for the positions below. If you don't have this study book then the videos below should be used to guide your practise.

At this point, please don't get bogged down or diverted by the Ba Duan Jin exercises. These are known as the Eight Strands of Brocade and are a totally different set of Qigong exercises.

These are the positions or stances that we are working on for this unit.

The video links below are highly recommended. Hear and see Master Lam Kam Chuen!
1. Wuji -
Click here to see this position

2. Holding a Balloon -
Click here to see this position

3. Holding your Belly -
Click here to see this position

4. Standing in the Stream -
Click here to see this position

5. Holding a Balloon Infront of your Face -
Click here to see this position

You are should now ready to do the assignments for this unit but please remember that you need to practise the positions for your final assessment and can Skype your personal tutor for help with corrections.