Whenever we do any standing or moving form of qigong, including taijiquan, the beginning stance is always ”wu chi”. In Taoist philosophy wu chi means nothingness, the void that was before the Tao. This fundamental posture reminds us of the primordial energy of the universe and helps connect us to heavenly and earthly chi. In wu chi we are in a state of rest, centered and physically aligned. It is the beginning, before any motion, and the end, when activity is completed. In yoga, wu chi is very similar to tadasana, also called mountain pose. It is the basic position from which all other standing poses commence and to which they return. In tadasana, or wu chi, we are as strong as a mountain, grounded and connected to the universe. With practice of this pose, you will gain more awareness and sensitivity of your energy and physical imbalances. Emotionally, accumulated tension and worries begin to clear.
Stand up straight, your feet should be close together, touching each other. However, for balance, and as a yoga pose, place feet shoulder width apart, and parallel. Stretch soles of the feet enabling as much of the foot as possible to touch the floor. Feel grounded. Keep your head up, looking straight ahead with a soft gaze, eyes relaxed. Imagine a string attached to the spine, lifting you up gently from the top of the head, and at the same time down through the tailbone, stretching each vertebra one by one. Relax the arms, by your sides, as if you are holding a tennis ball under each arm. Hands and fingers are loose and can remain slightly away from the body, or gently touching the thighs. (Here, the middle finger of each hand will naturally be in contact with acupoint fengshui* GB 31.) Let your knees relax and sink slightly, joints unlocked. Your weight is centered. Let your lips part slightly, placing the tip of the tongue on the roof of the mouth. Breathe gently, in a relaxed manner. Vata and pitta doshas may lengthen the breath, focusing on smoothness. Mentally let go of any worries or concerns with each exhale. Stay in wu chi for as long as you are comfortable. If you wish, continue with your taijiquan movements or your yoga practice. Alternatively, use this pose as an exercise on its own to help you with balance, feeling grounded, and relaxation. In this case, try to build up to 20 minutes a day standing in wu chi.
*Fengshui GB31 is beneficial in the treatment of sciatica, lower back and leg pain
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