Part of the purpose & benefits of standing calmly & quietly for extended present moments in the stillness of Zhan Zhuang and moving very slowly & smoothly during Tai Chi Qigong practices is the slowness allows us space to more deeply feel and harmonize subtler nuances of our balance, interconnected nature of our body as a whole and our feelings & thoughts with the quality of experiencing & expressing through our sensualizing consciousness. As we slow down and move with more grace and fluidity, the artificial thought distinction between our mind, emotions and body dissolves into directly feeling & quietly embodying awareness of ourselves as pure energy.
We also become more aware of where we habitually or acutely block, limit, collapse, over inflate or otherwise disrupt the natural free flowing of life energy into and through our body.
Often this happens at the major junctures of the hips, pelvis, knees, shoulders, chest and neck.
Such restrictions are often developed as a way of consciously or subconsciously avoiding feeling and relating with full recognition and appreciative acceptance of energies that are attempted to be repressed through such holdings. Through familial, religious or / and cultural beliefs that tend to normalize inhibiting various feelings, expressions & experiences, people often manifest such ways of being as blockages in their body - energy system. Which can develop into further imbalances due to attempts at compensation.
One simple example is if we feel the world is an unsafe place to exist, that we must fight and shame others who think differently than we do in order for us to feel worthy of existing or that our personal preferences for ourselves are the only "right" ones, we may harden our jaw, chest & heart. Perhaps also attempting to cling desperately to our stance in life by rigidly locking our knees or hips in order to stand up firmly.
Yet another option is to allow ourselves to relax into our center of balance in our body. As we realize that we can have our personal preferences for our own life, while equally respecting the freedom & rights of others ( and ourselves to grow to appreciate if we choose ) to feel & enjoy different experiences of being for their lives & relationships, we find we can more fully relax into our body and the earth with greater ease.
No longer using as much excess energy to harden our stance in life against the diversely expansive & fluid nature of existence, meaning and relationships, we liberate energy which can nurture a more sensitive & graceful rootedness within our own embodied center. And that of the earth, sky and all beings.
Zhan Zhuang standing meditations allow us a still space to quiet the chatter of the mind, soften and expand deep into the consciousness of our earthly body. Discovering at deep feeling levels, the spirit - heart wisdom in our physical nature. As we stand in stillness, we become acutely aware where we hold tension. And its interrelationship with our beliefs, attitudes & ways of relating.
This awareness initially develops through the feedback of discomfort, numbness, agitation or boredom such constrictions are felt after standing in a posture for a few minutes and longer. We can quickly move around out of the posture to avoid such acute sensation of our blockages. But then the blockages do not generally resolve and heal, we just skim above a surface awareness of them. Still being effected & influenced by the energies repressed or otherwise not harmonized.
As we stand in stillness, rhythmically expanding and contracting as we inhale and exhale energy, we nurture our sensitivity to the pulse of life in our body. And of our intimate interconnectedness with the earth, air, each other and all life. Allowing the feelings & beliefs associated with restrictions in our body-mind to gradually relax. To be exposed more fully to the light of loving awareness if we choose. And as we allow, to gradually release out of our body. To be digested like compost by the earth, and recycled back into pure, pleasurably healthy life supporting energies.
As we relax into the present moment, our experiences of standing meditations and Tai Chi Qigong practices become much more pleasurably comfortable, fluid, graceful and filled with loving quietude. As does all of our Life and relational experiences, as we bring this quality of embodied experience to all that we are, perceive and do.