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Standing Meditation

Posted by berniejackson on 2006.05.20 at 22:34
The following topic was submitted by kungfu_fightin:

The intent of this post is to start a discussion on standing meditation as it relates to internal martial arts. We will discuss "standard" elements, posture, breathing etc. We will also discuss the effects of this training, for example does it really make a difference in your kung fu skills. With that in mind let the discussion begin.

Comments:


kungfu_fightin at 2006-05-23 22:17 (UTC) (Link)

basics of standing

Different instructors will have different thoughts on this, but I though I would summarize the critical elements of standing.

1. Erect posture - head gently lifted, elongating the spine.
2. Pelvis rolled under, as opposed to pushed forward.
3. Wide or narrow horse stance, or a one legged stance (crane or cat).
4. Arms held with hands about collar bone height, elbows below wrists, arms may be rounded or slightly eliptical (fingers further from your sternum), depending on your end goal.
5. Breathing can be natural, or reverse. The tempo and force of your breathing should be controlled, but relaxed.
6. The environment should enable you to connect your mind and body.
berniejackson at 2006-05-30 16:55 (UTC) (Link)

Re: basics of standing

How did you first notice standing meditation making a difference in everyday life and/or martial arts practice?

For me, the first concrete benefits have been better posture, with my spine and my arms, when exerting force, making everyday motions more effective. For instance, when I close the liftgate on my car, I used to lean into it and slam it hard with lots of shoulder power; otherwise, it wouldn't latch all the way. Now, I just drop my weight a couple of inches while hanging on to the gate, and I add a small amount of arm pull at the end. The whole thing is almost effortless.

Also, when I push or pull something, my elbows stay down on their own, whereas I used to bow them out to the side. This comes from standing in thunder posture (rounded arms as if holding a ball), and mountain posture (palms face forwards as if pushing), both of which we do with the elbows down. This felt unnatural to me at first, but now, after regular standing meditation, it feels "right." The structure is more sound, so it takes less muscle to hold it and thus less effort to push/pull. I can feel the improvement in all the little things I do throughout the day.

I think regular standing has brought this about in two ways: (1) my body has gotten used to the new posture, and (2) this posture has stayed at the forefront of my attention (i.e., I have not forgotten about it). That is, regular practice puts it into my "muscle memory" as well as conscious memory.

I'd love to hear other people's experiences with this, especially with regard to push-hands or sparring.
spanky
fingermouse at 2006-07-09 02:20 (UTC) (Link)
I've notice the difference when hitting pads and also during chi sao.
When you get the posture and structure right you can transmit force with very little effort. The closest analogy I have is in tennis when you hit the with the "sweet spot" on the racket and everything just feels right.
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