Xingyiquan - Santi Si - A different approach

Published by Xue Sheng in the blog Ramblings of a Nèijiā Madman. Views: 393

Or at least different that what I have been taught.

I have been taught over the years that basically what you need to do is stand in Santi shi for as long as possible per side. Example: first stand with left leg forward for 20 minutes and then switch and stand with right leg forward for 20 minutes. I have also been told that if you cannot stand in Santi Shi for at least 20 minutes per side, per day, that you are not even a beginner. And that 30 minutes is the minimum requirement. I have also been told that you 30 minutes is a good goal to shoot for, but who has the time in the 21st century to take an hour out of their day to just stand there and 30 is better than 20, 20 is better than 10, 10 is better than 5 and 5 is better than nothing. I have also had a teacher that switched off every 5 minutes to reach 20 minutes. However, to me, the 5 minutes and switch, gives you nothing, no strength, no structure, not internal and no linking of upper and lower. But that is something for another post

I have been reading;

The Internal Practices of Sun Lu-Tang
Compiled and Translated by Bradford Tyrey

Sun Lutang (1860 - 1933)
Standing in Santi Shi, left hand extended

And he had a slightly different approach, for internal martial arts reasons, that I am giving a try. However, the expected amount of time is a bit hard to get but 30 minutes was mentioned in one area.

He was concerned about building Qi in the body and balancing Yin and Yang and in order to do this he recommended doing Santi Shi at different times of day.

I will simplify what was written here, but if you are interested it is found in the chapter titled “The Essence, Smoothness of Qi Within the San-t’i Posture”

“While standing in Santi shi one must begin practice when the sun rides the southern Heavens {during the afternoon hours when the sun apexes in the southern sky]”

This practice is to increase old Yang (male) energy. You stand in Santi shi with your left hand forward and for 72 breathes concentrate on absorbing and concentrating Yang energy in the region of the solar plexus. Then relax and allow the energy to accumulate in the Dantian.

Then you are done with Santi for the time being and will resume in the evening.

In the evening you stand in Santi Shi with right hand extended and you also need to be facing North since north is the direction Sun Lu Tang where Laoyin or Old Yin (female) energy is strongest. In the after evening Santi you are focusing on the Dantian to increase Yin Energy. For 36 breathes you try to feel the accumulate Yin energy around the body and then for 36 more breathes you accumulate Yin energy at the dantian. and then you need to continue standing for what can be at least 30 more minutes while allowing the energies (Yin and Yang) to mix and settle.

I am not getting into a discussion here about Yin & Yang or Qi what I find intriguing is the separation of left and right Santi shi by hours and the times of day recommended to stand in Santi Shi.

Not one of the teachers I trained Xingyiquan with has ever suggested a time of day to stand and they have all pretty much recommended stranding in left Santi to be immediately followed by right Santi. In the past I have always tried to stand in Santi in the early morning or early afternoon and of late all at night, But I am finding I simply do not have the time to stand, all total, for more than about 10 minutes. But then I am not really scheduling it either, I am just trying to fit it in wherever possible. I also do not seem to have the drive and determination, that I had in my 30s and 40s, to just stand there.

I am going to give this type of standing training a try and see where it takes me, possibly if I have scheduled it and I separate left and right, I may just get my drive back to build up to 20 or 30 minutes a side, per day.

And I thought maybe others might be interested in this approach

I’m done
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