Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Wujifa Zhan Zhuang: Relaxing the Belly

The area of the belly we are talking about is much lower and more specific than the bigger area many people think of as being the belly. Yes, you should relax your belly as a whole when standing and when practicing Wujifa Zhan Zhuang. Today the area I am talking about is located at and just above the pubic bone.

A straightforward and functional tip for improving your Wujifa zhan zhuang practice can be as simple as noticing and relaxing the belly. This article will address the opportunities that can be discovered in your zhan zhuang practice when you start to understand how much tension people carry in the lower abdominal or belly area. You see today’s blog posting all started the other day when working with some Wujifa beginners. These new practitioners started to notice how common it was and it is for many beginners to hold tension in the lower belly when practicing zhan zhuang.

You see the lower belly really is a very common area where people hold tension when practicing zhan zhuang and even in daily life. When people are able to relax this area, they discover that they can improve their practice by sinking more weight into their legs (which beginners sometimes experience as a burning sensation in the quads).

Stand up for a moment with your feet parallel, lined up under your hips and shoulders (More information on this see: Wujifa Zhan Zhuang Alignment). Now place your hand on your lower belly at the level of your pubic bone. Now, play with tightening the area of your lower belly underneath your hand.

Notice, how many different areas of the body are affected by this kind of tension. Now quickly relax this area as best you can and notice how much more space this creates and how this changes the feeling of the pelvic floor, hips, and thighs. Go ahead and try playing with this a few times. Also remember, relax is not limp, so try maintaining a good Wujifa structured stance.

If you took the time just now you might have notice how many other areas can be affected with tension and relaxation. The reason is there are so many different fascial interconnections that take place in the lower area of the pelvis / belly. If you want to read more about the fascial systems of the lower belly you can go to “The Muscles and Fasciae of the Abdomen - Gray’s Anatomy of the Human Body - Yahoo Education”. Reading that might be fun for some people, but you really don’t need all that data to make some real progress in your zhan zhuang practice. For most people, simply playing with tightening and relaxing of the lower belly with the hand you placed over this area will give you some pretty good insights that you can apply to your Wujifa Zhan Zhuang practices.

Re-educating your body awareness takes due diligence. In the Wujifa Zhan Zhuang basic practices, relaxing the lower belly area is very important and is something many people can tend to overlook. Getting more weight to sink down into your legs is key. Troubleshooting and discovering this overlooked area of the lower belly will make all the difference in the world.

Again, the point we are making here is to remember in your standing practice is to relax the lower belly just above the pubic bone. As you do this, also remember that relaxed is not limp and strength is not tense. You can play with tightening and letting go as another “method” to give you insights on how to relax this area. After playing with this for a while, you may begin to notice how other areas of your body connect and move with this change. I want to repeat myself again and say, relax is not limp. Remember to be mindful of the Wujifa structural “methods” and to have fun.

Remember, if you’re liking what we’re sharing here, then please “+1” Wujifa in Google, re-tweet, and share our articles on FaceBook or whatever social media you belong too. Our goal is to give people real helpful information and when you share this, you are helping everyone. You can also follow us on the Wujifa Facebook page. We here at the Wujifa liangong really enjoy sharing useful information, so feel free to let your friends know about this blog and the Wujifa practices.

Also, if you have any questions or comments or insights, please feel free to share those here as well. Most of all have a wonderful day!


  1. Great info for the beginner, and an awesome reminder for those who have been practicing for a few years as well. Thanks for sharing this!

  2. Great training tip!

    I also notice that when I "belly breathe", the upper abdomen (above my belt line) expands and contracts but the lower belly area you talk about (below my belt line) really doesn't move.

    Do you think "breathing" into this lower belly area can also help to relax tension in this area? Maybe it depends on how I'm doing it?


  3. Thanks for the comments...

    Mike, simply experiencing the kinesthetic learnings are key… breath, naturally… notice what you notice… people like to complicate things way to much or to earlier. If you take small, more functional and natural steps in the beginning you will get bigger strides later on. The question of breathing is… to breath naturally, at more advanced levels… you can explore… breathing in different ways. I say this “if” ...one has access to first hand teachings and teachers to help keep people from being side tracked, even hurt (blood pressure for example from forcing the breath) that can keep them from making the easy possibilities of the simple functional gains that can be made. Simple kinesthetic experiences are worth much more than more complicated methods. I hope that helps Mike… good luck with your exploring(s)! Feel free to share what you are discovering...