Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Wujifa Two Feet and What Does This Mean?

Beginning Wujifa Zhan Zhuang practice starts with a basic foot alignment

In Wujifa our feet are shoulder width apart and parallel. What does this mean in our standing or basic Wujifa Zhan Zhuang practice? They say a picture is worth a thousand words and so I spent some time here drawing a picture for you. I hope this clears up a few questions. Yes in the beginning you might stray as your personal body may not allow this placement, yet you can allow yourself to slow discover how you can adjust toward the intention of this picture.

A helpful thing to start with when aligning the feet is to imagine a line that travels from the center of your heel to the second or third toe. Due to the types of shoes people grow up wearing there can be some deformity of people’s feet and so there can be some variation to proper foot alignment. It’s a good idea to take a little time and to get to understand your own feet as they are a foundation to you standing practices.

Shoulder width - Once you have a good idea of the vector that travels from the heel to that second or third toe you want to get both feet in proper alignment with each other as well. Proper alignment in our basic Wujifa Zhan Zhuang standing practice is to have the feet shoulder width apart from each other (see picture above). Many people practicing Zhan Zhuang standing with their feet to far apart. The feet should be under the hips and under the shoulders. That would mean the distance between the second or third toe of each foot would typically be slightly less than foot apart (approximately eleven or so inches) depending on your body type and size.

Feet parallel – This would mean that the line you imagine being drawn between the center of the heel to that second or third toe of each foot would be parallel with each other. Look at the picture above to get a good idea of what feet parallel means. Remember that many people’s feet are mis-shapen and allowances can vary. Also many people carry a lot of stress in the glutes and lower back. You can read more about this in the blog post here call Basic Tips for Zhan Zhang and Pelvis

The feet are the foundation of your Zhan Zhuang and basic Wujifa standing practice. Taking the time to get in touch with this concept of the placement of the feet will change and help you as you explore the wonders of the powerful practice.

Also see the blog post: Zhan Zhaung Alignment


  1. Hello, i just found out about this site about a minute ago, did my zhan zhuang exercise in the morning (i have been into it for 8 months now), really glad to find out i have properly unlocked my pelvis and that that part of the stance is right. Unfortunately my legs are giving me a headache as there is no Zhan Zhuang trainers here in my country, so i cant get ANY guidance on it. As i said, doing it for 8 months, not overdoing it, only the 3 warm ups and Wu Chi posture for begginers, dont plan to advance further until i get it right since it is the root of this whole exercise system. And thats where my feet come to bother me, they are very very misaligned due to 20 years of unconscious life and terrible body maintainence and it gives me such a headache on how to properly align myself cuz my feet require me to have them facing outwards, and my left bone under the knee is kinda rotated more then the right one. So I am having very big problems aligning myself properly, even tho i can stand for 10+ minutes now i dont want to cuz i know my feet arent in right positions, so i tend to do it as much as i can trying to relax the legs and get em in the right position. Is that the best way to go about it? :S Since if i try to stand for more time in position with legs parallel i feel great strain on muscles around my knees, sometimes so hard it stops my training as i cant stand it. Is that a good or a bad sign? I really hope you get this message and answer it since i have noone else to talk to about this. Thanks allot, peace

  2. Hello Synthetic,

    You can also write to us here:

    It is ok to slowly, slowly, work from a place of comfort toward a comfortable alignment. The edge of comfort allows us to grow and to continue to train. Slowly, slowly over time you'll work towards comfortable alignment over weeks and months. This means practicing on the edge of comfort so it is comfortable to continue practicing. Some people have deformities and common sense should always be used. Finding and discovering you is the most important thing while training. There are special cases where a personal alignment that is good and is what is best. Work for what is best for you.