Finding Your Center – Part 2 of our Video / Blog Series on
“Tai Chi for Better Balance”
Finding your center: As we continue learning about “Central Equilibrium” (Zhong Ding the first of 13 Basic “Jin’s” we learn in Tai Chi Chuan), we discover how to locate the body’s center line. In approximately the middle of this line is the physical center of gravity, called the lower Dantian, “sea of qi” or the “elixir field.” This is where you focus your intention. The true lower dantian is located about two to three finger widths under the belly button, and half way between the front and back of your body. This is your center. To move the body in any direction while practicing the form, you must move the center first. Every movement in Yang Family Tai Chi Chuan 108 Form originates from this center.
Sinking the pressure: There are many health benefits to sinking the internal body pressure into the lower abdomen (dantian). These benefits depend on the body’s ability to use gravity in this way. For instance, the internal organs need this gentle sinking pressure to work well. Your intestines, colon, prostate, and bladder all need internal pressure for healthy function and efficiency. Unfortunately, most people tend to hold this pressure in their chest area, pulling gravity up instead of letting it sink and fall where it’s really needed. This causes imbalance and puts the heart and lungs under more stress and pressure than they should ever handle, causing a whole list of other problems. Always sink the chi down into the lower abdomen; this is where it belongs.
Martial arts benefits of sinking the pressure downward is increased balance and stability and also ease of movement — as well as much more power. Start thinking lower and moving lower. When you do this, you will never need to reposition yourself when, say, you are walking on thin ice, or defending yourself, but you will be ready for it – because you will already be in your center.
Stay calm, be focused, and remain centered in everything you do…
Know thyself: Once you are aware of where the body’s center is located, then you can start moving throughout the rest of the body and find the center of each muscle, joint, and organ. This will help you to know your body and pinpoint sicknesses and other issues you might be having and fix them before they become a big problem. It is difficult to heal something that you are not aware of.
Years ago I had a friend who was very sick. She was so numb to feeling (ting jin) inside her own body that she didn’t even know she had a serious problem until, finally feeling so terrible, she went to the doctor. She found out that one of her organs was literally rotting. This had obviously been a problem for quite a while but she didn’t know about it until it needed to be removed due to dead tissue and a sepsis infection. In Tai Chi we learn to feel (ting jin) inside our bodies and really know ourselves from the inside out. We might not be able to heal each and every thing that comes up in life, but we can certainly know when there’s a change in our own bodies and get appropriate medical help right away.
The Tai Chi journey begins by finding your center, and who knows where it will end.
This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill – the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill – you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes. ~ The Matrix
This video below is Part 2 of a 4-part series on “Tai Chi for Better Balance” using Yang Family Tai Chi movements and principles to help with finding your center.
(watch Tai Chi for Better Balance video 1 in our previous blog)
This Tai Chi for Better Balance series was created and is taught by Sifu Michael Paler, founder and Master Instructor of the Tai Chi Association of Colorado Springs, CO and creator of TaiChiOnlineClasses.com