Energy in the Tan Tien
If there is not energy in the lower abdomen, there is no energy to work with in healing meditations or movements. The three-dimensional area behind the navel is known as the “tan tien” or field of elixir. When the tan tien is full of energy, there is healing elixir to spread throughout the body.
Exercises like belly breathing, bellows breathing, ocean breathing, and full body breathing fill the lower tan tien with energy. Belly breathing can be done sitting or laying down, with the hands on the navel. Breathe deeply to make the hand rise up and down with the breath. Bellows breathing is equally as deep, but it is a little faster. Think of pumping the bellows of a blacksmith to add oxygen into a growing fire.
Ocean breathing is a standing practice where the hands lift out to the sides with an inhale. Then, upon the exhale, the hands sink back down to the hips. It is similar to standing in waist-deep ocean water and as a wave rolls through, the arms float out to the sides and the energy in the belly expands. Full body breathing can be practices by guiding the breath through the organs with the hands. As the hands rest on each organ in the abdomen, we breathe deeply for several breaths.
In summary, keep the fire burning in your belly. Connect your tan tien with the energy of nature, particularly the earth itself. Tune into the center of your being, behind the navel, throughout the day. The awareness in the belly will cause energy to grow there. Then, you’ll have a surplus of energy to move in the meridians and organs of the body.