Qigong Practice - methods and commentary

Still Standing Qigong

Steven - Embrace the One pose

There are a variety of postures practiced in still Standing Qigong, some of which require standing “single rooted” on one foot. “Embracing the One” strengthens overall qi circulation, energizes and contributes to heightened awareness.

Preparation: Stand relaxed in a natural setting or indoors with fresh air access. Rest in position for a minute with feet at shoulder-width and arms at your sides. Breathe in slowly and comfortably deeply, then exhale and relax down through your body to the soles of your feet. Do this a few times until calmly settled in place.
Begin by inhaling while slowly raising your arms to the front, bringing hands to shoulder height. Then exhale while turning palms toward your chest – hands and arms form a partial circle, as if lightly holding a beach-ball to your chest.
Calmly maintain this position, being still and relaxed, with knees slightly flexed. Level your eyes, gazing softly without focus. Feel as if you are being supported marionette-like, by strings which keep your head, spine, hands and arms lifted and aligned. Stand deeply rooted like a great tree, drawing energetic nourishment from earth and sky.
To maintain relaxation and comfort in this still pose, breath can be used strategically: If you feel tension building in your upper body, draw a deep breath, directing it into the area of tension (mid-back, neck, sternum, shoulders or arms), then exhale letting the tension evaporate. Though the posture somewhat strains your upper body, use breathing to maintain a sense of effortlessness and lightness in your torso and arms.
General Considerations: Begin with 30 to 60 seconds of still-standing qigong practice and gradually increase the time through daily practice. Some seasoned practitioners enjoy still standing for 15 or more minutes, and some like to assume a variety of still standing postures in succession for a few minutes each. When used in conjunction with moving qigong, still standing can be performed just prior to, and/or immediately following practice. Proficiency in still-standing qigong is realized by learning to make subtle adjustments in alignment, muscular involvement and breathing, while being internally gathered and alertly present. Even a short period of quality still standing meditation can be vitalizing and renewing.