“Hi, my name is Irving Yee and this is The Art Of Tai Chi - THE place for you to learn Tai Chi in one movement with ease and excitement. Learn it, practice it and live Tai Chi in every aspect of your life. I’m happy that you are here. It’s time to live and age well by cultivating your INNER CHI!”
Today, I am going to talk about falling. This is an important matter because I’m sure you know of someone in your life who took a misstep and fell down. Perhaps that someone broke a hip. Or as a result of the fall is now using some kind of equipment such as a walker to continue on with life. And unfortunately for some, having fallen makes it one step closer to death. Falling is dangerous, especially at an older age. So…
If You Want To Keep Your Balance Right And Not Fall…
Hold on to your dan tien! Do not let go of it. Do not let it get away from you.
If you let your attention slip away from it, you may very well end up falling.
Falling is a very serious business.
It is so serious that $31 billion dollars in medical costs go directly to fall injuries annually.
That’s because each year, 2.8 million older people are treated in emergency departments for fall injuries.
About 1/3 of Americans over 65 fall every year, according to the CDC.
As you get older, you need to work on keeping your balance right.
This means being in touch with your center – the dan tien.
Why is the dan tien important?
When you focus on the area called the dan tien, you improve your balance.
Balance is the key to a healthy and complete life.
If you do not improve your balance, you increase your chances of having a fall.
You have to be careful because you lose balance as you age or each time you catch a disease.
And if you think this only happens to older people, then I would advise you to start preparing for fall prevention NOW.
When it comes to your vision, your depth perception starts to decrease at 40. Your ability to adapt in the dark diminishes. You start having difficulty telling the difference between an object and its background.
Your general vision is no longer sharp starting at 50.
Doctors say that you are quick on your feet until about the age of 40. Then your physical stability decreases by about 20% in your 50s. Then you lose about 75% of your physical stability by the age of 80.
Wow! But it doesn’t have to be…
By embracing your dan tien, it makes you physically stronger. It helps you to concentrate better.
By holding onto your dan tien, you are occupying your physical center.
What is the dan tien?
The dan tien is at the center of your physical body. It is where your energy is stored. It is your center of chi flow.
It is located just beneath and behind the navel.
The dan tien is like a cooking pot over a fire.
When you are cooking, always keep the fire under the pot. Cook your food slowly. The right temperature is chosen for slow cooking. It is enough to keep the pot warm and the flame steady. This is an old Chinese saying.
Meaning, the fire is not to be so hot as to go over the pot. The food must be cooked at the right temperature.
In other words, be mindful of where your thoughts go. Have a steady, calm mind. Learn to control your emotions. Keep them in check. Let go and relax.
If you leave your emotions unchecked, you may get angry more often than not.
If you let your mind wander a lot, your focus is divided and you may be doing too many things.
When the fire gets larger, it starts to consume you.
If the fire consumes you, you may burn out or kill someone… if not yourself in a manner of speaking.
Embracing the dan tien helps you as a living being to function in a healthy way.
Feel the warmth of that embrace.
The dan tien holds the energy so you can use that energy to make all the moves you need to make in life. Look over it as you would look over the cooking pot to keep your food from spoiling.
Make sure your fire keeps burning, by always tending to it!
How do you take hold of your dan tien?
When practicing Tai Chi, you focus your awareness on this energetic center. The focus on your center helps your physical balance.
Your awareness of your center helps you integrate the upper and lower body.
Embracing your dan tien also helps you to integrate energetically with your mind, emotions and the physical body.
When you are in the process of centering, you become one. There is no conflict. The physical movements you make correspond to the emotions you feel. Your mind is there to communicate your feelings. There is no confusion.
Place your mind in the dan tien. That is how you start to take hold of it.
In Tai Chi, you learn to drop your hips.
Let go of the sacrum.
Empty out your solar plexus about 5%.
Exhale deeply with awareness.
Your pelvic diaphragm moves to meet your breath.
Your chi travels to the dan tien.
When you take hold of the dan tien, you are taking hold of your center. When you occupy your center, you have enough energy to compress down and energize to any shape your body wants to make… in total balance!
What if you embraced your dan tien every day?
Let me show you. Stand up while you listen to the audio version of this article.
Stand with your eyes closed. Relax and meditate by placing your focus and attention to your dan tien. Embrace your dan tien by holding onto it, letting go of everything else. Sense if your body is wavering.
Place your hands on the lower part of the abdomen. Your left and right fingertips are touching. The index fingers are forming a triangle around your belly button with your thumbs.
Gently sense the tissues beneath your hands. Invite yourself to go deeper with your hands.
Extend your presence through the ground on which your feet are standing.
Now remember what we learned from our breathing exercises. If you don’t remember, go back to the article to get yourself re-acquainted with The Power Of Deep Breathing.
Your feet are rooted into the ground.
Your sacrum gets anchored.
The diaphragm of your pelvic floor is rising.
Allow the organs to expand and move freely in relation to your breathing.
Sense your intestines releasing and moving with your breathing, beneath your hands.
When you do this, nutrients are absorbed and waste is eliminated. Your digestion is improving.
This release of the internal organs also promotes greater chi flow to all the systems of your body.
Support the organs with the healing touch of your hands.
Feel connected to what you can do from the inside. If you want to be more graceful, then use the dan tien to be more graceful.
Enjoy the feeling of being inside yourself as you embrace your dan tien.
Take out time to do this every day.
Your body will no longer waver.
You will get the balance right every time.