As taught by Master Jou, Tsung-Hwa, the Tan T’ien is not merely a reservoir, the repository of energy; it is the energetic motivator, the mover of Yin and Yang in the body.
Heng – Let the body compress like a dark star, Tan T’ien gravity pulling everything towards it; then in a 3 dimensional sine wave, Ha let the body fill up, fill out. Full extension, which yields, softens, pulls inward again.
There are gates in the body’s structure. Bai Hui is the top of the head, fontenelle territory where the parietal and occipital bones meet. Hui Yin is the bottom of the torso, the perineum. Yong Ch’uan is the sole of the foot balance point. Lao Gong is the palm point where middle finger tip will touch. Let the gates open with Heng, close with Ha.
A story of the regenerative power of T’ai Chi from my association with Master Jou, Tsung-Hwa follows. We were eating breakfast at a local restaurant, while he declaimed (as ever) on the powers of chi flow and his use of the Heng Ha exercise. He called to his student at the end of the table, “Jay! Do you remember my varicose veins?” “Why yes, Master Jou” came the response, “I remember them.” Seated next to me, Master Jou proceeded to hike up his trousers and lay his bare leg on the table. It was baby skin, silky soft without a trace of blue. He had connected Heng Ha to his veins, pulling them into youthful vitality.