Natural Stance

Natural Stance, as the name implies, is the simplest way to stand naturally. A naturally balanced human body responds to the challenge of gravity by bringing itself to a stable position using its bone structure to support its weight and prevent falling. The vertical alignment of the spine allows the body to spend the least amount of energy to maintain a stable, upright stance.
If you are one of the many people leading a sedentary lifestyle you may not know how to keep your body naturally balanced and aligned. If you deviate from your natural alignments, the weight of your body will not be supported by its bone structure, and you will have to engage your muscles to keep yourself from falling. Although muscular tension may prevent you from falling, muscles are never as strong as bones; muscles spend energy while the bones do their work effortlessly. Not only will this make you tired but it will also restrict your mobility and cause discomfort. Eventually, chronically tense muscles will begin to ache from the effort required to keep the misaligned body from falling.
If the body is misaligned, it may try various compensation strategies (e.g., shift the weight between the hips, tilt the pelvis, bend the spine, raise one shoulder or the other, etc.) all of which will eventually contribute to the muscular tension and pain. Learning Natural Stance and addressing the issue of balance between the feet can often help resolve such common conditions as headache, backache, shoulder pain, sciatica, and even scoliosis.
In Natural Stance, the weight of the body is distributed evenly between both legs while the torso and head are resting on the bone structure of the spine. The natural curve of the spine is neither exaggerated nor diminished.  This allows the free flow of energy throughout the organism. If you could visualize the energy field of such an aligned person, their energy field would appear symmetrical and centered.
You can experience Natural Stance by jumping up in the air and landing on both feet as softly as possible with your feet about shoulder-width apart. Notice that the easiest way to do this is to land with you knees bent, letting your quadriceps (thigh muscles) absorb the shock of landing. They are, after all, the largest muscles in the human body, which are most suitable for being shock absorbers. Natural Stance allows you to maintain natural body alignment, distributing most of your weight on the bone structure of your body, rather than the muscles.
Notice how bent your knees are. Naturally, the deeper you squat, the further the toes tend to turn outwards away from the Centerline with the knees following suit. Experiment with bending your knees enough to cover your feet when you look at them. You may ask your practice partner to test how stable you are in this stance. Compare this to other positions where your knees are locked or do not sufficiently cover your feet from sight.
Taking a Natural Stance is an exercise in awareness in its own right. It is an excellent way to begin exploring the practice of Qi Dao.


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