Theory of the Lower Dan Tian

Hi folks! I hope the practice is going well for you. By now you should be starting to get used to the daily routine of stretching, working the body, the core and starting out with the (very few) exercises we have given you so far. With regards to practice, you should carry on with this work. It generally takes a few months to build a foundation in the exercises and for the body to start changing properly. I have re-included your suggested timetable from the last post here once more for you. There is no need to change it around just yet.

In the video posted below we have a short talk I gave in 2014 in Glastonbury, UK. Here I am looking at the absolute basics of the lower Dan Tian with a group of beginners. What I would like you to do is watch the video and make some notes on it in your note book. The reason we need the theory is because it informs the practice and helps to ‘shape’ the correct mindset that we need for the arts. The theory starts out basic but then increases in complexity as we go deeper. I am currently teaching on the retreat here in Sweden where we have around 100 people training. most of them pretty senior, and it is very hard work! I have told them we have a new group developing in London and many of them are looking forward to seeing how you do with the practices!

Best of luck in your training….

Session structure 1 = Body-based

  • 30 minutes = stretching and loosening (shoulder rolls and so on)
  • 15 minutes = core work (planks, leg raises and so on – be sensible)
  • 30 minutes = Practicing the alignments and principles for Wuji standing & first two Ji Ben Qi Gong movements (check list – use a mirror)
  • 15 minutes = Actual lower Dan Tian work, find the LDT and start the ‘turning’ exercise

Session structure 2 = Energetics-based

  • 30 minutes = stretching and loosening (shoulder rolls and so on)
  • 15 minutes = Practicing the alignments and principles for Wuji standing (check list – use a mirror)
  • 15 minutes = practicing moving up and down maintaining principles whilst moving (2 Qi Gong exercises)
  • 30 minutes = Actual lower Dan Tian work, find the LDT and start the ‘turning’ exercise*

Try to follow this structure as best you can and work sensibly.

*The reactions from the lower Dan Tian can be quite strong at the beginning when they start so dont push it too much. Progress slowly and gently. Consider easing into it with 5-10 minutes on lower Dan Tian turning and then resting the mind on LDT between these sessions. You dont want things to become too crazy just yet as you also need to work on structure and give the body time to stabilise the process.