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The Wall by Shifu Lloyd Ward


This is Shifu Ward Playing Tai Chi reaping the benefits of The Wall

The Wall is a Shifu Ward tailored mind, body & spirit exercise routine that builds internal strength, quiets the mind, and opens channels for chi (inner energy/spirit) to flow freely.


The Wall was developed from a combination of Chinese Taijiquan Qigong and Western techniques of direct engagement and immediate payoff.

With regular practice (highly recommended daily), immediate progress will be your reward.

A basic introductory session takes 20 minutes. An advanced high-level session takes 60 minutes.


Basic principles:


1. "Relax under Tension" - Is essential to all we do. The more we feel tension and stress in our body, the more we relax into it.


2. "Be Present" - We are present and experience the "now," entirely.

Do not let your mind wander to all things outside the now. No wondering about what to cook for dinner, what to buy at the store, why are you doing this (The Wall), when will it be over, etc.

3. "No Worries" - We have no worries and no judgments. Just be and let be.


4. "Our Minds are Quiet" - We focus on internal tensions and accept the sensations while we engage our minds to release inner tension through relaxation.


5. "Pain vs. Hurt" - We understand the difference, and we accept, release, and overcome all pain. At the same time, we avoid hurting our body by proper alignment and continuous internal sensing of hurt while we accept pain.


6. "Protect Our Knees" - In Taiji and most standing/walking/running exercises, the knees are involved. It is important to always protect your knees with proper alignment. Generally, and especially for beginning levels, it is imperative that we keep our legs "biased in" not "biased in." This does not mean forced in, but rather naturally biased in. The tendency will be for our legs to open (increase the distance between our knees). Do not let this happen. At all times, keep your knees "biased in," naturally. It may feel as though you are pinching your legs in, but actually, you are keeping them straight and in alignment with your feet. IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT YOU STAY INTERNALLY FOCUSED ON KNEES BIASED IN AT ALL TIMES ON THE WALL. Continue to monitor and adjust constantly. If any pain is in your knees, you must adjust your knees to eliminate the pain. We will accept the pain in our thighs, calves, and feet. WE WILL NOT ACCEPT PAIN IN OUR KNEES. We will adjust our alignment and our rise up out of a lower position to eliminate all pain in our knees.


7. "Breathe for Life" - We always breathe in controlled, smooth, quiet, deep, and relaxing ways—more on breathing later.


8. "The Power of 8" - In Chinese culture, 8 is a number which means balance and harmony. When counting in Tai Chi practice, it is recommended you count in 8's, not 10's. When we start, we will stand, relax, and take eight deep, relaxed, and smooth breaths. When we finish, we will do the same. Whenever we do repetitions of anything, we will do in sets of 8, not sets of 10 that are customary in western sequencing.


The Wall - Basic Introduction

There are six distinct feet placement positions where you will be on flat feet in the first position and on the balls for your feet (like a toe raise) in the second position.


Therefore, there are 12 positions in which each position is held for 1 minute as follows:


Position 1


1. Feet together with your heels, derrière, and shoulder blades against The Wall. Your head is not against The Wall. Your head is erect, directly above your neck, as if a string is connected to the top center and being pulled straight up into the heavens. Your arms are relaxed and hanging down naturally from your shoulders, and your hands are relaxed with your fingers extended and stretched with no tension.

2. From this position, bend your knees and sink down (lower your body) until you reach your natural limit and hold that position for 1 minute. Let your mind find the stress and tension points inside your body and relax into the tension and let your body continue to sink, naturally. Do not force. No worries. Just be and allow to be. Breathe slowly and deeply.

3. At the end of 1 minute, slowly ascend (raise) your body. See and feel your body like a feather and rise on the balls of your feet without moving your feet position on the floor. Your heels will come off The Wall. That is ok. However, keep your derrière and shoulder blades on The Wall.


4. Hold this position for 1 minute. Go higher if you can. Go lower if you must to complete the 60 seconds. No matter. No worries. All that is important is you stay present and complete the 1 minute.

5. When the minute is complete, slowly lower your feather body to flat feet with your heels against The Wall.


6. Breathe deeply and slowly as you deliberately move your feet off The Wall 4 to 6 inches. Bend your knees as you let your derrière and shoulder blades touch The Wall. Your head, arms, and fingers are positioned the same as in the first position. 7. Next, sink down to your limit by bending your knees, being sure to keep your feet, knees, and legs together. 8. Hold this position for 1 minute, relax into the tension, and let your feather body to sink naturally. Do not force - just let it be. No worries. No contest.


Position 2


1. Feet spread apart shoulder width with your heels, derrière, and shoulder blades against The Wall. Your head is not against The Wall. It is directly above your neck as if a string is connected to the top center and being pulled straight up into the heavens. Your arms are relaxed and hanging down naturally from your shoulders, and your hands are relaxed with your fingers extended and stretched with no tension. 2. From this position, bend your knees and sink down (lower your body) until you reach your natural limit and hold that position for 1 minute. Let your mind find the stress and tension points inside your body and relax into the tension as you let your body naturally continue to sink. Do not force. No worries. Just be and allow to be. Breathe slowly and deeply. 3. At the end of 1 minute, slowly ascend and raise your body. See and feel your body like a feather and rise on the balls of your feet without moving your feet position on the floor. Your heels will come off The Wall. That is ok. However, keep your derrière and shoulder blades on The Wall. 4. Hold this position for 1 minute. Go higher if you can. Go lower if you must to complete the 60 seconds. No matter. No worries. All that is important is you stay present and complete the 1 minute. 5. When the minute is complete, slowly lower your feather body to flat feet with your heels against The Wall.


6. Breathe deeply and slowly as you deliberately move your feet off The Wall 4 to 6 inches. Bend your knees as you let your derrière and shoulder blades touch The Wall. Your head, arms, and fingers are positioned the same and in the first position. 7. Next, sink down to your limit by bending your knees, being sure to keep your feet knees and legs together. 8. Hold this position for 1 minute, relax into the tension, and let your feather body to sink naturally. Do not force - just let it be. No worries. No contest. Just let it be.


Position 3


1. Feet spread to 1/2 to 2 times the width of your shoulders, with your heels, derrière, and shoulder blades against The Wall. Your head is not against The Wall. It is directly above your neck as if a string is connected to the top center and being pulled straight up into the heavens. Your arms are relaxed and hanging down naturally from your shoulders, and your hands are relaxed with your fingers extended and stretched with no tension.


2. From this position, bend your knees and sink down (lower your body) until you reach your natural limit and hold that position for 1 minute. Let your mind find the stress and tension points inside your body and relax into the tension and let your body naturally continue to sink. Do not force. No worries. Just be and allow to be. Breathe slowly and deeply.

3. At the end of 1 minute, slowly ascend (raise) your body with your mind. See and feel your body like a feather and rise on the balls of your feet without moving your feet position on the floor. Your heels will come off The Wall. That is ok. However, keep your derrière and shoulder blades on The Wall.


4. Hold this position for 1 minute. Go higher if you can. Go lower if you must to complete the 60 seconds. No matter. No worries. All that is important is you stay present and complete the 1 minute.


5. When the minute is complete, slowly lower your feather body to flat feet with your heels against The Wall.


6. Breathe deeply and slowly as you deliberately move your feet off The Wall 4 to 6 inches. Bend your knees as you let your derrière and shoulder blades touch The Wall. Your head, arms, and fingers are positioned the same as in the first position. 7. Next, sink down to your limit by bending your knees, being sure to keep your feet, knees, and legs together. 8. Hold this position for 1 minute, relax into the tension, and let your feather body to sink naturally. Do not force. No worries. No contest. Just let it be.


Congratulations! You have completed the introductory level of The Wall.

Now come off The Wall and stand erect with your feet shoulder-width apart, arms hanging down relaxed and fingers extended without tension.


Breathe deeply and slowly. As you inhale, allow your feather arms to rise like a jumping jack wide, slowly with little to no effort until your arms are fully extended straight up to the heavens and hold that position for two full deep breaths.


Upon your third exhale, allow your hands, arms, and shoulders to sink (lower) as follows: fingers, wrists, elbows, shoulders. Keep your knees slightly bent at all times as your arms completely sink to your sides.


Then raise and lower your arms the same way twice more.


In the third sequence, when raising your arms from your side to the heavens. Balance your weight on your right leg and step in with your left leg so that your feet are together.

From this position, lower and raise your arms three times.


On the third and final time, hold your arms up to the heavens for eight breaths, then lower to your side, and step out in a relaxed and deliberate way.


Again - Congratulations!

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