There are a variety of postures used in Qigong meditation. Going forward we will be discussing the two most practical positions for day-to-day use: sitting and standing.
Sitting Qigong Posture: For many people, the simplest way to get started is to sit on a chair.
Sit on the edge of a chair or bench, with only the buttocks and not the thighs resting on the surface. Do not lean your body against the back of the chair.
Place your feet flat on the floor, parallel to each other, shoulder-width apart with toes pointing forward.
Your knees should be bent 90º, your thighs relaxed.
Straighten your back to align the vertebrae in your spine. Your shoulders should be slightly pulled down and relaxed, with the chest caved somewhat.
Tilt the head so that the chin is slightly tucked in to align your head and neck with the rest of your posture. Relax the arms, bending your elbows, with your palms resting in your lap facing either upward or downward, fingers slightly curled and spread apart in a natural position.
As in all Qigong meditation positions, let your tongue relax in a natural place between the upper palate and the ridge of your upper teeth to form a bridge for your Qi energy to flow.
If you are comfortable sitting on the floor or a meditation cushion, please follow the above guidelines for that position as well.
Standing Postures & Meditation Positions
Observe the following steps to align all standing meditation postures and ensure smooth, uninterrupted flow and circulation of blood and Qi. Standing body postures include both still and dynamic forms. Non-moving forms such as Zhan Zhuang (Post or Tree Standing) and Rooting Qigong do not require movement of limbs or trunk. Dynamic forms include tai chi forms or the Eight Piece of Brocade form.
Whether you are practicing still or dynamic Qigong meditation, you should adhere to the following steps for correct body postures:
Except for one-legged stances, you should stand with your feet flat, shoulder-width apart with your body weight spread evenly balanced on both feet.
Tuck your tailbone in to straighten out the lower back. Your knees should be slightly bent to allow circulation of blood and Qi in the hips and legs and to help keep the vertebrae straight and upright. If done correctly, your inguinal canal should be indented, and the back of your buttocks and thighs should be very relaxed.
Straighten the vertebrae: since the Qi flows up the spine, it is essential to maintain a straight meditation posture to ensure clear, unobstructed pathways for the Qi to travel.
Drop the chest and shoulders. By dropping the shoulders and slightly concaving in the chest, you ensure that all tension is released. A relaxed thoracic cavity will also guarantee better circulation of Qi and blood to the internal organs.
Align the head and neck with the rest of your meditation posture by slightly pulling in the chin toward the chest.
Gently press your lips together and place the tongue against the upper palate just before the ridge of your upper teeth in a natural resting position. Performing this action creates a bridge for the Qi to circulate from the top of the head down toward the torso.
When you have observed all of these steps, your body posture and meditation position will align for the Qi and blood to flow. Follow these steps for all standing body poses — both still and dynamic qigong meditation forms.