The next step in Zhang Zhuang Chi Kung training is to start “Holding the Balloon”. This position forms the basis for many of the more advanced exercises, and speeds the inner circulation of energy through your feet, up through your entire body, and to your hands and head. Try holding the second position for up to five minutes as your starting point. You will probably experience considerable pain from the tension in your shoulders, arms, and knees, so warming up is vitally important prior to this new level of exercise. This is partially muscle fatigue and partly the reaction of your nervous system. Be patient, this path takes discipline and diligence. Nothing you are doing is harmful. As you hold this position, imagine that you are resting on a series of helium balloons that support your full weight with their ability to float. To begin with, as you stand quietly holding the imaginary balloon, review all the guidelines for this position.
From the first position, the Wu Chi position, sink down slightly. Your knees bend as you sink downward. Your head, torso, and pelvic girdle remain gently aligned, exactly as they were in the first position. Your spine unfolds downward and straightens naturally. Do not bend forward. Imagine you are simply resting your rear-end on the edge of a high stool. Your weight rests equally on both feet. Imagine that you are holding a large inflated balloon between your hands, forearms, and chest. You are gently keeping it in place without tension. It is resting naturally on the inner surface of the circle formed by your fingers, palms, arms, and chest. Your armpits and upper arms rest on two small balloons. Your thighs gently hold one balloon in place. A huge balloon takes your weight behind you. The weight on your feet remains slightly forward.