Dan Tien Breathing
Begin by standing in a peaceful and quiet environment, free from direct wind and sun. The idea is to be warm but not overly hot and not too cool. Chinese people find the exercise most beneficial when practiced outside in the fresh air. Plan to stand for say three minute to a quarter of an hour maximum.
Step 1. Find
vertical alignment. - Begin with at least one minute of vertical standing. Have
the feet side by side and the arms relaxed at your side. Keep your legs,
back and neck in a straight line. Gently raise your head up and stretch the back
of your neck and back. Two acupuncture points are important, the first is Beihui
at the top and center of the head, and the second is the Yung Chung which
is located in the center of the ball of each foot. Gently extend and lengthen
the body between these two points.
Sink into Wu Ji. - Allow at least one minute for this phase. Allow your
body to sink down, whilst you are lifting up the head and neck. Relax and sink
your chest, bend your knees and relax completely. This posture is called Wu
Ji in Chinese and is the same as the opening posture of the Tai Chi Quan.
Step 3. Step
out to the side. - Without looking down, take your left foot out sideways and
place it on the ground at a distance of shoulder width, or slightly less. Then
transfer your weight, so that you are balanced on your feet. Pay attention not
to lose your composure which you have gained from the previous two steps.
Raise the hands. - Slowly take your hands up and place them, palm over palm,
just below your navel. This position is called the Dan Tien in Chinese.
It is considered to be the energetic center of your body. Breath slowly and
evenly, without laboring your breath. Initially stay in this phase for 5
minutes, then with practice increase your duration to as much as twenty minutes.
Do NOT on any account strain your muscles. If you feel uncomfortable, check your
alignment and stand slightly higher. Make sure that your breathing is natural
and easy, draw each breath mentally into your Dan Tien. This will
gradually relax and warm your body from the center outwards, until you hands and
feet also become warm.
Step 5. Lower
the hands. - Slowly lower your hands back to your sides. Then consciously relax
your; shoulders, then elbows and finally the hands.
Step back. - Bring your feet back side by side and then rise up slowly to the
vertical alignment position.
Throughout this exercise your body should begin to feel warm and comfortable.
With continued practice even the soles of your feet will feel warm. Particular
sensations can be felt in the center of the palms and the center of the balls of
the feet (Yung Chung).
Over the medium to long term, with continued practice, the legs will become stronger and the circulation more powerful. Simply the act of focusing your mind on an exercise like this will free you from anxiety and stress for twenty minutes. This can be of tremendous value !
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