An Ocean of infinite energy: the Dantian or Hara

On December 20, 2009 by admin

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Very often I start my yoga class by bringing the students attention to the lower abdominal part of their belly , a couple of inches below their navel also referred to as the Dantian in Chinese anatomy , Tanden or Hara. In Chinese and Japanese tradition, it is considered the physical center of gravity of the human body and is the seat of one’s internal energy (qi). Similarly in yoga philosophy, it is thought to be the seat of prana (energy) that radiates outwards to the entire body.

From a yogic perspective if this is the energetic seat of our body where we can not only store but also radiate energy outwards to the rest of our body and beyond, it is then crucial for our health and energetic balance to bring our awareness to it and to learn to work with it. When we start becoming aware of this infinite ocean of energy available below our navel, we can start practicing pulling energy out from its source instead of  pulling energy from the outside of our body to support our efforts allowing the efforts to enfold with some natural ease.

In Buddhist teachings keeping the mind centered in the Dantian helps to quiet the mind and the emotions. One of my Tibetan Buddhist teachers, Tsoknyi Rinpoche, after many years teaching to Westerners came to the conclusion that since our prana or energy (Lung in Tibetan which means wind or breath) is up in our head instead of its natural seat, (the Dantian) then it creates lots of agitation in our mind and imbalances in our body.

As Westerners it is a bit of a hard concept to bring our attention down in our body instead of up in our brain. However I invite you during this busy Holiday Season to take a few breath, imagining as you inhale that you are storing energy in your lower abdominal area and radiating it out to your body and beyond as you exhale.

Happy Dantian Breathing!

Céline Peccatte

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