Saturday, May 2, 2009

Dancing the one point

The one point: the center of gravity, center of centers, the center between heaven and earth. The discipline of Aikido refers to it as the one point, in Tai Chi it is known as tan tien. Physically, it is about two inches below the naval in the center of the pelvis. We can build ki or vital energy (prana or chi) by breathing into the one point. When we move from this center of gravity, we move with greater power, grace, and stability. If someone were to test me (in a martial arts class), when I am NOT centered in my one point, I am easily thrown off balance. When I am present in my one-point, I can sustain the occasional blow without losing my center. This is true in the mental and emotional realms, as well. Centered in the one-point, I am present to this moment, when I am off in my mind, I can easily be distracted from my focus, or even fall prey to my own judgements or projections.

One of my favorite Nia foci, I aspire to stay connected to my one-point in all classes. When I feel present in my center of gravity, suspended between heaven and earth, I feel a greater sense of power and grace, and more connection to the beauty of the moment. I invite you to cultivate the practice of connecting to your one-point in all Nia classes and observe what happens to your dance.