Body Mind Connection #2 – Elliptical Mind Models-2

Elliptical Mind Models #2

Three Energy Orbits

In my last post, I described how you can use the Qigong concept of “no straight lines” to enhance internal energy movement. This involved expanding the microcosmic orbit from a vertical ellipse to a much larger horizontal ellipse. You can use the same mind models to gain finer control and more insight into your energy centres. In this post, we will look at three powerful centres; one in your abdomen (Dantien), one in your chest (mid sternum/ Heart) and one in your head (mid skull/ Amygdala).

These three energy points are not only energy centres (chakras) , but gravity centres that lie at the mid points of their respective energy lines. In this post I’ll introduce them to you, but suffice to say there is a lot more that you can do with these centres other than feel internal energy around them.

If you have practiced the microcosmic orbit, you will be familiar with rotating an energy ball or energy flow around your body.

For each of the three energy centres (abdomen, chest, head) try to imagine an energy ball orbiting around a centre point. For example for your head energy centre, imagine the ball rolling vertically around the inside of your skull, up the back of your head and down the front of your head, just like it’s a small section of the microcosmic orbit. You can use the same vertical rotation with the abdominal center, imagining it is the lower section of the microcosmic orbit. Your chest centre can then be imagined as the centre section of the microcosmic orbit.

Once you have practiced these circular orbits, you can extend then forwards and backward to form extended ellipses much as you did with the complete microcosmic orbit (see diagram). Try rotating each elliptical orbit in turn and then try the complete microcosmic orbit again and feel for the nuances.

Your abdominal orbit can make you feel more rooted, your chest one more emotionally stable and your head orbit greater control over your body-mind.

The head orbit has some very powerful uses which you can try to discover – and I’ll write about them in my next post.


Other posts:

Body-Mind Connection Through Elliptical Mind Models

Sending Yourself into a Microcosmic orbit

Body-Mind Connection Through Elliptical Mind Models

Elliptical Mind Models

elliptical mind-models


A powerful concept in qigong is “never move in straight lines”.  An example of this is a straight hand push out from a tucked in position at your side. If you push your hand straight out in front of you, slowly, your micro-movement control can be enhanced by imagining the straight movement as a curve in your mind (top diagram).

The concept of feeling movement inside your body is a strange one for many people.   But as more and more people realize that happiness, satisfaction and fulfillment are almost entirely within the grasp of your body-mind, the concept becomes less strange.

What the no straight lines approach engenders is micro-control as your mind checks what your body is doing every millimetre of the move you make.

This principle is powerful for physical movement, and can also be used very effectively for internal movement.

A simple, practical example of this is the microcosmic orbit. If you practice this already your probably already use some form of mind model to imagine a ball or energy flow going around your torso from your crown down your front, around the bottom of your groin area (PC) and back up your spine to your crown.

You can enhance the microcosmic orbit by extending the orbit model from a narrow vertical ellipse to a wider horizontal ellipse (lower diagram). The bigger and slower your ellipse, the more powerful it gets.

You can use this technique daily to not only calm yourself, but also do some useful, meaningful internal (qigong) exercise.


Do try this. If you have any questions just ask, and if you want some more powerful internal training tools, drop me a line.

related post : microcosmic orbit

Wim Hof Method – Addin #2

WHM Addin #2

Following on my from my post on Mindfully Connected structured breathing, here is another simple trick to help with the breathing.

Out-Breath Hold

My out-breath hold length varies depending on whether I am in the shower or lying down. Lying down I can hold my out-breath after the 3 x 40 structured breathing for around 1.5 minutes – standing up for around 1 minute. The addin is on the in-breath hold.

In-Breath Hold

When breathing in, I keep my abdomen flat (i.e. I don’t let my abdomen expand). Then when I have taken the in-breath, I hold it and distribute the air around my body. The way I do this is, what I call, a 5 star mind-model. Imagine that your body is a star shape with it’s centre around your abdomen (dantien) and each part of the star pointing into your feet, your hands and your head. When I distribute the air in my body I push it along the points of the star, going around the star 2 times slowly (i.e. to a long count of ten). This gives a wonderful feeling of moving energy along your limbs and up your torso into your head and a mindful sensation of inflating the fascia around your body.



The next post in this series is Moving Mindfulness.


Systema Striking

Systema Striking

I’m someone who likes to understand how to practice as much as what to practice. In our club we are fortunate enough to have not just one good instructor, but two.

The real bonus is that they do their Systema in slightly different ways – both of which are valid forms of Systema. What that means in terms of my learning is that I can work out the differences, look for the common factors, see the specifics and understand the different options available.

This has helped me look for patterns.

Something I focus on is Tai Sabaki (Japanese for body management). Over the years I have come to understand that what you see is not what you get. Which means that all the people that purely learn by rote are learning the end effect rather than the deeper skill – which may eventually present itself over time – but often doesn’t seem to. A faster way to learn is to understand the moves better.

Every hitting move has three elements to it:

– the hitty bit – the hand or fist

– the transmission part; and

– the power source.

What can look like arm/ shoulder muscle based strikes (and pulls) are in reality very different.

– the purpose of the hand is to deliver the power into the opponent – and this is best achieved by being “at one” with the opponent when power is transmitted i.e. connected. In a boxing type punch a lot of the transmitted energy is lost in the bounce and rebound.

– the purpose of structure is to deliver power down the channels that can deliver it – bones, joints and tendons, and significantly not muscle. Muscle absorbs energy – one of the needs for relaxed muscles in Systema is so that the other structures have priority.

– once you have those two elements, power can come from any number of different sources. Momentum, aka movement is one of those sources.

A Systema strike that superficially looks like it is an arm powered strike can actually use the much more powerful and less detectable forces of momentum from movement.

What this means in practice is that the fist doesn’t have to move much, but the body does and there are some wonderfully elegant ways of doing just that!

Interestingly that covers-off three of the core principles in Systema:

– Structure

– Movement

– Relaxation

And the fourth is Breathing properly.


Try some Systema you’ll learn something new about yourself!