You might be familiar with acupuncture, but what about Qigong? One of the many gifts of Taosim, Qigong is a Chinese exercise that has for long been lost in obscurity to the Western world. With the breakdown of language and cultural barriers though, the world has finally begun to appreciate what Chinese medicine has believed for thousands of years. Qigong exercises are a form of slow movement exercises that seek to balance out your chi (your life force). The Chinese believe that these exercises will clear your body of stress and negativity, thus preventing chronic diseases from occurring. Here are 7 Qigong exercises that will stretch your body, calm your mind and protect you from disease.
1. Focused Meditation
The first thing you need to remember when embarking on Qigong exercises is that you need to really concentrate on your body. This isn’t a workout routine where you can simply slip on your headphones and absentmindedly go through it. Qigong exercises require
Taoism believes that the right breathing technique will stimulate your chi and let it flow through your whole body. One of the most effective breathing exercise in the Qigong school is known as Buddha’s Breath. For this, you will first need to take a deep breath and extend your tummy to fill it with air. To exhale, slowly clench your abdominal muscles and push the air from the bottom of the lungs to the top and finally let it out. To stimulate your chi further, imagine it flowing through you while you inhale.
3. The Limp Noodle
Okay that’s probably not
4. The Up And Down Posture
Stand straight with your feet shoulder width apart and your shoulder in a neutral position. Keeping your arms down, slowly inhale and bring your hands (elbow down) to your chest. While you exhale, slowly bring your hands back down again. The crucial point to remember is to keep all your movements slow and deliberate. The power of Qigong exercise lie in their mastery over the control of your body.
5. Lifting The Sky
One of the most famous Qigong movements, the lifting the sky posture will unload you of a mountain of stress and will leave you feeling lighter. First stand with your feet at shoulder width, and your body in a neutral position. Keep your fingers slightly spread out with your palms facing the ground. Now while you inhale, slowly arc your arms in front of your body, making their way to the top of your head and follow their movement with your nose. When you reach to the top, slowly exhale and bring your hands back down by stretching them on either side and finally returning to the neutral position.
6. Play The Accordion
Well not an actual accordion, although that might be fun too. Stand in a neutral position and allow your breathing to become slow and rhythmic. Bring your palms together and feel your chi emanate from your palm chakras. Now slowly, bring them
7. Point Your Chi
This exercise is a wonderful way for you to get aware of your chi and direct it inward so it can fill your body with its healing properties. As always, start in a neutral position and point the index finger of your dominant hand towards the palm of your other hand. The palm should be straight up, the the fingers pointing towards the ceiling. Within the range of a few inches, begin moving your index finger in different patterns towards your palm. A tingling sensation in your palm will help you notice your chi being cultivated.