Most of you hear me talk about the Tan Tien, during class, which is where our Qi is stored and formed. There are three centres in the energy lines, which we at the early stages of our Tai Chi focus on and these are the Tan Tien, which is just below the navel and then there is the middle Tan Tien, which over the solar plexus and finally the upper Tan Tien, which is over the third eye. These three energy centres are also know as the three kingdoms, or three jewels of life.
In this tutorial, I want to specifically speak about the lower Tan Tien, which stores our Qi. It is the main place for housing Qi before it is distributed across the body. If you look at it as a sphere or ball filled with living Qi and the root Chara at the base of the spine cooking the pot of Qi as so to speak, we then have a steam that rises up to the middle Tan Tien where it is cooled and then the vapour or essence rises up to the third eye and eventually finds its way into the crown chakra.
Before, during and after practising Qigong and the forms, we must try our best to keep our minds at this place in the lower Tan Tien...why? simple because the Qi follows the mind and during our practice we want the Qi to become calm and central and return it to its store house before we start practising and during practice let it move smoothly across the body in line with our movements. After practice we want it to return to the store house, so by focusing there we can guide the Qi back.
When we have plenty of Qi our cup runs over as too much Qi can cause restlessness and too little can cause lethargy. So it is a full time job managing Qi, or you can simply let it manage its self by doing good practice, eating and resting well. Breathing should be in line with the body, by this I mean just concentrate on being relaxed and holding a good posture. Breath in through the nose and out through the mouth making sure that your tongue stays connected to the upper part of the roof of your mouth.
In the photo I am practising the middle Tan Tien standing, and the hands for the lower and middle Tan Tien are the same. The right hand lays on the centre, with the left hand over the top. The thumbs lightly touch each other and the focus is not to put any pressure on the hands, but instead focus on the movement on the hands in time of the breathing. In fact we just become and observer of our own breath.
The feet must also be relaxed along with the entire body. To stand still is when the best healing takes place within the body as our energy knows what to do and this healing cannot take place when you are asleep or moving, only by standing still.
Expecting mothers have to slow down and eat and rest well. So if you consider your self permanently pregnant with Qi, you will look after your Qi better as it lays in the cradle of life, waiting to play, live and grow. Stand still and do nothing absolutely nothing other than breath.
Master Vasilios © 2015