Q Tip # 14-2 Posture

January 30, 2014 0 Comments
Predator sinks Chi before drinking Chai.

Predator sinks Chi
before drinking Chai.

The first fundamental of Qigong / Tai Chi is to Adopt an Upright Posture.  There are three components to this rule lift head, lower shoulders and natural stance.  Last week we discussed Lift Head / Lower Shoulders.  Today’s Q Tip covers the third fundamental:  Natural Stance.

Natural Stance is a delicate balance between slumping shoulders with head down and military posture where the shoulder blades are pinched together.  Let’s do a test.

  1. Take a minute to stand and slump your shoulders in towards your chest.  Notice how the head falls forward.  Now take three slow breaths.  What do you notice?
  2. Now, stand erect as if you are waiting for inspection.  Head and neck are tight, shoulders are pinched together.  Again, take three slow breaths.  Any difference in how you feel?  Note your findings.
  3. As the preferred alternative, relax the shoulders and fold them slightly in.  Your head will be lifted and shoulders relaxed.   Breath becomes softer and easier.  Your belly may even begin to move in and out.  You should feel relaxed.

The combination of lifting one’s head while lowering shoulders and standing in upright posture encourages “sinking the chi”  to the belly or dan tien.  This relaxation allows for softer, deeper breathing and helps center our energy.

Think of the dan tien as our place of inner strength.  The dan tien is located about three finger widths below the navel.  It is at the center of our digestion, elimination, and reproduction systems.  Western Science calls the belly (or dan tien)  the “second brain” on account of the thousands of nerve cells in our gut.  Scientists are beginning to prove what you already knew, that the second brain is able to learn, remember, and produce emotion-based feelings.

When we relax by sinking our chi we send oxygen and relaxation to the belly thus encouraging emotional stability, balance, physical energy and inner strength.  

Namaste–b

Citing:  Scientific American Second Brain

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