Energy Exercises for Actors
Most acting roles are very demanding physically, much more than the majority of the viewing public realise. In addition performing can lead to some stress. Finally it is almost impossible to exercise when in a show, on set, or anywhere else it will distract others. A good idea would be some form of energy exercise that is done as quietly as possible.
Since October 1994 I have been practising Zhan Zhuang Chi Kung on and off. It was a progression from doing T’ai Chi Ch’uan at night classes. I eventually went over to doing Chi Kung when I changed career paths and could not take the T’ai Chi classes.
Recently I was at Perform 2014 and one of the seminars was on breathing (the seminar was called “Essential Vocal Techniques”). It lead me to thinking that Chi Kung could be the energy exercise all performers need to keep fit.
What is Zhan Zhuang Chi Kung?
There are many forms of Chi Kung (energy exercise) – some focus exclusively on the mind, posture, breathing, or movement, or they may combine only some of these elements. Zhan Zhuang Chi Kung fuses all four (mind, posture, breathing, and movement) into a whole system.
The goal of Chi Kung exercise is to stimulate the flow of energy internally in the body so that it effectively rushes through and clears the entire network of Chi Channels also known as Meridians.
The book below is a good introduction to the whole system of Zhan Zhuang Chi Kung. Follow the instructions in the book and do not try to skip ahead. This is not a quick way, but you will find it is the most beneficial way to exercise for long-term benefits. Zhan Zhuang Chi Kung can be started at any age, and please consult your doctor if you have any health concerns.
Below are two videos showing Zhan Zhuang Chi Kung in action – warm up exercises and Day 1 of Zhan Zhuang by Master Lam Kam Cheun – shot in London’s Chinatown.
I will be showing these videos and other videos in blog posts and will link to those to the bottom of this page.
Warm up Exercises
Day 1 of Zhan Zhuang
Enjoy the Energy Exercises
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