Storing energy, opening hips, strengthening the spine
Some introductory chi kung exercises focus on building and storing energy in the lower abdomen, called the lower ‘tan tien,’ which means ‘the field of the elixir.’ This is the area where most of the vital organs inhabit. Storing energy here can nourish the entire body. Many people do not store their energy in their body, rather it is floating outside of their body in thoughts of the past, the future, and pouring into cyberspace through digital devices.
These practices can help the reader regain this lost energy. Once it flows back in their bodies, it can support the numerous biological and psychological functions of all the organs.
There are also exercises for opening the hips, strengthening the spine, and loosening the psoas muscle. Each of these aspects of human anatomy are compromised by our modern lifestyles. Sitting, commuting, and lack of interaction with the Earth can close the hips, weaken the spine, and make the psoas muscle very tight. As the Taoists say, “the strength of the spine is the strength of the organism.”
-From The Alchemist’s Tao Te Ching: Turning Your Lead into Gold