- Feet parallel, shoulder width apart. Weight is evenly distributed
along the ball, outside edge and heel of the foot. Toes touch the
ground but do not bear weight. Bottom of the foot makes soft, relaxed
contact with the ground.
- Knees are relaxed, slightly bent. The rear of the knee is soft and
- The hips are soft and relaxed and slightly sunk, as if you have
just begun to sit down.
- Tailbone (coccyx and sacrum) hangs plumb. This is a matter of
intent, practice and relaxation, and will happen over time. We don't
“make” it so.
- Abdomen is relaxed. The belly gently inflates on the inhale and
gently deflates on the exhale.
- Breastbone is soft and sinks back toward the spine. The ribs hang
like Venetian blinds and float slightly forward as if wrapping around
the front of the torso. The upper back expands (unforced) slightly
upward and outward.
- Shoulders hang downward from the neck and head and float outward
laterally. The “shoulder nest” is soft and open all the
way back to the inside surface of the shoulder blades. The armpits
are open inward to the center of the shoulder joint.
- Elbows hang downward from the tip of the shoulder (A/C joint) and
are slightly bent (bowed) away from the ribs. The lower arm and hand
are suspended from the elbow. Palms face to the rear. The ground
pulls lightly at the fingertips. The “line” from the
elbow through the wrist to the fingers is straight.
- Head floats free of the top of the spine at the occiput “as if
suspended by a thread attached to the heavens.” To this end, the
chin is slightly tucked inward to straighten the cervical spine and
relax the occiput.
- Eyes are closed and free of tension. The eyelids are suspended
like window shades.
- The tip of the tongue rests lightly on the upper palate as if you
were about to utter the sound “la”.
Note: The word “relax” appears often in this outline.
Relaxation in this context means to be open, light and expansive; not
heavy, limp, collapsed or “couch potatoed.” This qi-gong
standing exercise is basically about gradually dissolving away all
unnecessary effort, that is, doing away with what is not needed.