WUJI (pronounced "woo-gee") is the first position of any of the Chinese martial arts practices, especially with the Taiji and/or Qigong styles. Wuji refers to an erect posture of equilibrium that is described as the most balanced & relaxed posture that can exist midway between the states of Yin & Yang. This posture is hidden in plain site at the beginning of nearly every martial arts form. Even at extraordinarily advanced levels of exercise, we should always begin with a period of quiet standing in the Wuji position – the position of primordial energy.

This is the most important lesson you will learn in your practice, and any instructor who does not spend considerable time on this in your classes, especially your first, shouldn't be teaching. If you don’t begin your practice in this way, you will have not prepared your mind & body properly for your Taiji and/or Qigong journey, and the rest of your practice will be noticeably off.

The Wuji position involves simply standing still in a comfortable & relaxed way. It's an opportunity to "check in with yourself" by paying careful attention to any tension within your body & its effect upon the nervous system. At the same time, it becomes a moment of deep relaxation that you will eventually look forward to doing each day. Simple as it may seem, this opening position, if correctly practiced, holds the key to unlocking the storage house of your great internal energy reserves.

Peanuts Stance
Learning how to relax first is the key, so you must select a place that represents a tranquil environment for you. You may or may not want to have the appropriate music on as well. Here is the checklist to help you begin your journey:
  • Stand with feet hip-width apart, toes pointing forward either parallel, or turned slightly inward or outward;
  • Head should feel like it’s suspended from the sky from its crown point;
  • Pull your chin a little back so that upper part of your spine gets in the straight line, releasing any tension in your neck;
  • Shoulders soft & rounded;
  • Arms loosely at your side like you are supporting a Robin’s egg under each armpit;
  • Hands softly open with fingers pointing to the earth;
  • Knees softly bent;
  • Notice the softness of your breathing and let go of judgments & mind chatter.
This practice of standing still is an ancient discipline with thousands of years of history. You stand aligned between the earth & the sky, connecting the two great forces of Heaven (Yang) & Earth (Yin). When you stand still in the Wuji position, with your body correctly aligned, you are drawing energy (Qi) from the earth, and accelerating its flow throughout your body. With practice, you will learn to appreciate these fundamental forces of energy in your body. If you get into the habit of beginning your exercise in this way, with the full force of your will & spirit, not only will your entire body & mind become synchronized, but you will also have the feeling that the forces of heaven & earth are becoming fused together within you.

This illustration is a little exaggerated but I felt it necessary to include for the notes. This is a version of the Wuji Stance, and represents the "Tree Pose," (or "hugging a tree"), which can be held for 15-30 minutes or longer, as a standing meditation alone, or before practice.