Standing Like a Tree

Start by tuning in.
Start in basic stance, knees bent, back straight, arms at the side of the body. Raising and lowering the arms, co-ordinating with the breath and quieting the mind. Raise and lower the Chi, raising the arms, bringing the energy back and grounding the Chi. Focus the mind on your activity, ignoring external thoughts and open the body’s energy channels.

Position 1 – Triangle
Stand with your arms away from the side of the body, wrists flexed. Connect to Heaven and Earth energies and use your inner smile. Use horse riding stance.

Position 2 – Knees
Raise and lower the Chi three times, as in the tuning in process, but bring the energy down towards the knees. Stand with the hands over the knees, palms facing downwards.

Position 3 – Golden Sun
Raise the hands to the level of the Tan Tien, palms facing each other as though holding a large ball between them.

Position 4 – Upward palms
Raise the hands to the side of the body, level with the heart, palms facing upwards.

Position 5 – Downward palms
Turn the hands over, palms facing down as though resting on two large balloons.

Position 6 – Embracing the tree
Bring the hands towards the heart, palms facing towards the heart as though embracing a tree or holding a balloon between the hands and the heart.

Position 7 – Nurturing
Bring the hands back to the Tan Tien, this time with the palms facing towards the Tan Tien.

Using the positions
You can do all of these exercises in the above sequence or just concentrate on a single position. Build up the length of time you stand. Aim eventually to do nine breaths in each position. Breathing should be relaxed and extended. More advanced students can use the exercises to practice abdominal breathing.

Try to avoid tension when doing the exercises. If you feel tension in any of the muscles try to relax the muscle rather than fighting it.