Standing meditation benefits us in more ways than is obvious!
It is a tai chi technique that builds strength, concentration and power.
Let me share with you an article that explains why we should include this form of meditation in our relaxation and stress control programme…
In 1939, Wang Xiangzhai issued a public challenge through a Beijing newspaper. His objective was to test and prove the new martial arts training system of Yiquan, a system that placed standing meditation (zhan zhuang) at its core.
Expert fighters from across China, Japan and even Europe travelled to answer Wang’s challenge. None could beat him or his senior students. His standing meditation training produced superior results in a shorter time period, when compared to methods used in boxing, Judo, and other styles of Kung Fu.
In an essay on standing meditation, Wang Xiangzhai explained its unique health benefits…
Standing still is good exercise.
Appropriate exercises can positively affect every cell and every organ in the human body. They improve the functioning of respiratory and vascular systems, and also improve metabolism. In other words, they activate the whole human organism.
But in typical forms of exercise, before the body is tired, there are already problems with breathing and the heart is strained. So the exercise must be halted prematurely in order to let one’s heart rest, to catch one’s breath and return to a normal state.
Chinese combat science uses the opposite method. ..
This is exercise of the muscular and vascular systems, exercise for all cells of the body. The principle is to stimulate every organ at the same time. Even if during exercise your muscles become tired, your pulse stays in the normal range, and breathing is natural. After the exercise, you feel that your breath is freer and more comfortable than before.
Because there are no complex sets of movements, the nervous system is not greatly stressed; you eliminate internal tension, achieving mental calm.
Holding your arms up is relaxing.
Many variations of standing meditation require that the arms be held up, as if holding a ball, for fifteen minutes or more. At first, such postures are unpleasant, and cause tension and soreness in the shoulders.
However, the posture itself is not the problem, it only exposes the problem – an unhealthy lifestyle, so deficient in exercise that even your own arms seem oppressively heavy. After a few weeks of regular practice, the soreness will give way to more pleasant sensations. You will be able to raise your arms up with no discernable effort, and your entire body will become warm. Your joints will feel well-lubricated; stiffness or arthritic conditions will be relieved.
Time flies when you’re doing nothing.
A lack of upper-body strength is not the only obstacle to successful practice. After the soreness disappears, a succession of images will parade through your mind. Endlessly replaying the events of the past, and predicting those of the future, you should begin to recognize that you are addicted to distraction.
Starving the beast will weaken it. If you can disregard these distractions from within, do so; otherwise, remove them from your practice environment. Shut the windows and the doors. When your mind finally stops, your perception of time will change; instead of watching the clock, you’ll wish you had more time to spend in this calm and quiet state.
Static posture training promotes fluid and coordinated movement. The prevalence of these mental and physical discomforts illustrates that, although everyone can stand still, few people do it well.
Only after resolving these issues within yourself, will you discover how deeply they affect your performance. As you would expect, your balance will improve; you may be surprised to find that standing meditation benefits also include increased sensitivity, speed and power.
Click here to see HOW TO do a standing meditation.
Find out more about the different types of meditation and enhance your meditation practice… It works wonders for relieving stress.
And it is FUN!