Dan Tien: the center of our being

Dan Tien: the center of our being

Tai Chi and Qi Gong teach that there is a gathering place for Qi (chi) located below our navel in our Hara (belly) called Dan Tien. This is the center of our being, our vital energy center.

In Tai Chi, all of our turns, steps and rotations should be directed from here - like a search-light guiding the movements of our limbs.We also try to direct our breathing down into that area, the abdomen, as we imagine the essence of our breath sinking to the Dan Tien.

In meditation, whether sitting or moving, we can use our breath to enliven Dan Tien and to still the chatter of our mind, becoming mindful of the present.Our thoughts are clarified and we experience the dynamic calm of being centered.

excerpts from Spirit of Nature by David M. Bell

Dan Tien Breathing

Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, or sit with feet resting on the floor.Place one or both hands gently on your abdomen, a couple of inches below the navel, where the Dan Tien is located. Breathe in through your nose, gently expanding your stomach outward as if blowing up a balloon. Imagine taking in chi through your nostrils and visualize it moving down to energize your Dan Tien with each inhalation.On the exhalation, contract the belly and allow the air to move out naturally. Your breath should be deep, slow, gentle, and rhythmic, like the ocean waves.

excerpt from Women’s Qigong for Health and Longevity by Deborah Dav

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