In the practice of Taijiquan there are four qigong practices that each individual must learn to fully master the art. These four Taiji qigong practices are. 1. Standing Stake qigong ( Zhan Zhuang). 2. Static moving qigong, 3. Rocking qigong, 4. Moving qigong.
Taiji Zhan Zhuang Qigong or Standing Stake is properly the more less practiced of the four qigong exercise methods especially by the elderly who much prefer the more moving aspects of Taijiquan. All of the postures that are used within the practice of Taijiquan can be used in the practice of Taiji standing stake qigong. One of my teachers would lets us practice our Taiji form and then gets us to stop at certain postures and hold them for a certain number of breaths.
Taiji standing stake qigong practice teaches correct body alignment, plus it strengthens both the body and mind and is supposedly the best way to cultivate energy (qi). In the practice of Taijiquan one of the reasons why it is performed slowly is that your are also practicing Standing Stake Qigong meaning that you are holding each posture slightly longer than normal while slowly moving, this is called “Stillness in Motion” which helps each individual to strengthen their muscles, tendons and ligaments, plus the bones. Energetically you are cultivating and circulating the internal energy around the whole body changing essences ( jing) into energy ( qi) into spirit ( Shen) into emptiness ( dao).
Most people much prefer to practice the more moving exercises of Taiji qigong which mainly promote the circulating of the blood and energy. The moving exercises of Taiji qigong also develop flexibility and improve relaxation by releasing muscle tension,anxiety and stress which make them more popular as I have already mentioned.