Putting Your Mind in Your Tan Tien – “coming to your senses 1”
Allowing your chi (energy) to sink is often referred to as putting your mind in the tan tien [located about 2-3 finger widths below the navel] or putting the fire (mind) under the pot (nourishment center), sinking your chi has many benefits. You may notice that with your awareness centered in the tan tien region a fuller state of mind… one that gives you a sense of “being” and relaxation. When you began to think, the mind (awareness) energy contracts, moves upward and focuses in your brain. Like a limb, thinking requires a concentration of energy in order to perform the function of thought, or for example, like a limb moving independently. With your awareness focused on the tan tien, your awareness and energy fundamentally connects to the nourishment center of the body.
- Relax your feet parallel and comfortably apart on the ground; either standing to support your body or seated.
- Overlap your hands over the abdomen (tan tien).
- Breathe and let your mind join in awareness of the hands-to-body placement.
- IMAGERY Let your breath sink – as if your torso is a glass, when you inhale your breath, like water, let the breath flow downward to where your hands are and imagine the breath fills the torso (do not use force). When you exhale, keep your awareness focused on your hands and just let the breath relax out of the body. Stand or sit like this, breathing, for about 1-3 minutes. [You can also imagine that the in breath brings in nourishment and the out breath releases what no longer serves the body]
To fully understand what sinking your chi can do for you, the first time trying this technique follow 5 &6 below:
- After about a minute begin to think about what your plans are for the day, for about 30 seconds, and then
- Put your awareness back to where your hands meet the body (tan tien) and breathe.