Flowing Breeze Swaying Willows

Flowing Breeze Swaying Willows


I wish to prepare myself to excel in kung fu. I have some technical questions regarding the horse stance. On page 63 in your book, The Art of Shaolin Kung Fu, you recommend not to raise your body if you get tired. So what do you do after your posture-holding session is over?


Practicing the horse-riding stance is one of the best ways to prepare yourself for excellence in kungfu. It would be better if you practice “Lifting the Sky” about 20 times before you practice the horse-riding stance.

Try not to raise your body when you are tired. When you find that you can not continue holding your posture further, raise your body, and bring your feet together in the centre, and drop your arms leisurely at your sides.

If you can jump to bring your feet together, it would be better. Just before your jump, bend your body slightly forward, release your fists (which you have been holding at your waist) and place your open palms near your knees. As you jump, breathe in gently through your nose into your chest, and simultaneously bring your open palms together facing upward at chest level. When you are standing upright with your feet together, turn your palms to face downward and lower them to your dan tian level, simultaneously breathing out through your mouth, and letting your chi sink gently — this is very important, gently — down to your dan tian. This is called “Chi Focusing at Dan Tian”. Then drop your arms leisurely at your sides.

Whether you bring your feet together in an ordinary way, or perform “Chi Focusing at Dan Tian”, remain standing upright in a totally relaxed manner with your arms hanging comfortably at your sides. Then think of nothing and do nothing for 5 to 10 minutes. This thinking of nothing and doing nothing is most important. If you relaxed sufficiently, you will find yourself swaying gently due to your internal chi flow. This is called in Shaolin Kungfu in Chinese (Cantonese pronounciation) as Yew Foong Pai Lau, or “Flowing Breeze and Swaying Willows”, sometimes read in classics but seldom understood by the uninitiated.

“Flowing Breeze and Swaying Willows” is one of the secrets in Shaolin Kungfu. As far as I know, I am the first person to explain it in public. If you do not perform “Flowing Breeze and Swaying Tree” after horse-riding stance or any chi kung exercise, you would lose more than half the benefits. It is this “Flowing Breeze and Swaying Willows” that generates the internal force in the horse-riding training, without which it becomes merely physical exercise.


The Horse Stance

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