Standing Practice 

Benefits of Taoist Standing Practice 

Whether it’s called Iron Shirt Chi Kung, Zhan Zhuang, or I-Chuan, Taoist standing practices produce a number of health benefits. In a basic sense, these standing postures lead to great health and a structurally aligned spine and posture. Along with good diet, physical activity, and meditation, these standing postures can be a key part of Taoist exercises that lead to vitality and health. 

When our body relies on the stacking method to hold itself up, the weight of the structure is supported by the bottom and the pelvic floor and organs can start to sag. When one practices standing, the structure is supported by connection and balancing the tension of the musculoskeletal systems. Taoist methods of standing and moving chi kung teach the body to distribute its weight across the entire structure. 

Physical benefits, in addition to those mentioned above include: alter a weak structure into a strong structure, develop strong boundaries for life through the belt channel and internal chi pressure, detoxify and exercise organs and glands, pack energy into organs and fascia, root down to the earth, and generate energy flow in the meridians of the body. 

Emotional benefits of Taoist standing postures include condensing chi into a manageable entity, changing negative energy into positive energy, ability to control ones energy rather than the energy scattering, abdominal breathing which slows down the nervous system, and a feeling of grounded-ness in one’s own body.

Spiritual benefits of standing practices build upon one’s ability to more calmly perceive life around them. When we see and feel connected to the rest of life, it is easier to see what we have in common. Shifting focus to common ground with life around us, mental chatter calms down, and compassion arise on its own.

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