Friday, January 12, 2018

Dantien: Your "Center of Life" and How Mindfulness of Dantien Helps You

This morning when I was doing my daily taiji (tai chi) form, I was having trouble with my balance.  I had a lot on my mind, and my mind was not on my dantien.

 Dantien means "elixer field" in Chinese,  or "energy field".  When I did taiji and qigong with a group and our Chinese master, he always emphasized moving your energy into the dantien when finishing a form, and to picture your dantien as "there is a fire in Dantien", keeping that fire going.

And when you do taiji or qigong, keep your dantien forward.  Follow your dantien.

I wasn't paying attention to my dantien this morning, and not leading with dantien, and that's why I couldn't keep balanced.

I live in a gated community, and the windows that overlook the street are usually busy during the day with people walking, running, taking dog for a walk.  I notice so many people, especially older senior citizen age people walking with their head down, their shoulders hunched, not straight and tall.  I know how easy it is to not have good posture.  I walk daily, depending on the weather, and  make it a point to stand tall, like I am suspended on a string from the Heavens.  That posture puts the dantien forward.  And that's the best posture.

I see advertisements for taiji classes, and some of the classes designed for senior citizens. I also see taiji classes for veterans to treat physical and emotional problems rather than over-medicating. If you take a taiji class, you know you have a good instructor if they highlight the importance of dantien and putting your dantien forward when you move.  When I do taiji with mindfulness of my dantien, I have good balance, even when I scooping up qi like "snake creeps down", kicking, spreading wings.  I have osteoporosis and refuse to take the osteoporosis drugs, but I do physical work to compensate, and keeping balance is important for building strength.

A good taiji instructor will tell you when your posture is not right for the moves, and it usually involves keeping dantien forward.  If you are learning and doing taiji on your own, keep dantien forward and you will have a good taiji experience.

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