Maintaining a steady level of energy throughout your busy day is not easy, and doing it without the help of caffeine may seem next to impossible for some. Here, Russell Jack, Southland-based Yoga Guru and Meditation Instructor, explains a simple, quick exercise called qigong to help you snap out of an energy slump.If you’re looking for an all-natural equipment-free technique for stabilizing energy, you’ll want to give qigong a try. The following exercise will reinvigorate people of all ages and bring them some much-needed energy to get through their busy days. The most amazing part is that it will only take around five minutes.
What Is Qigong?
Qigong is like a simpler form of t’ai chi. Its name means ‘life energy cultivation’ in Chinese. It is an ancient practice with roots that extend back more than 4,000 years and it consists mainly of a series of gentle exercises intended to allow the free flow of energy, or qi, throughout the body. Much like meditation, qigong is based heavily on breathing control and relaxation techniques.
Step 1: Find Your Space
It’s helpful for you to find a space free of distractions and not too claustrophobic. This will allow you to turn your focus inward so that you can get the most out of your five-minute exercise. It may not always be possible to avoid all distractions, and that’s okay. Should a distraction come up that needs your attention, tend to it and return to your exercise without allowing it any more power over you than is needed.
Step 2: Find Your Stance
Once you’ve found a comfortable space for your exercise, it’s time to find a proper stance to allow for the free flow of energy. Separate your legs about your hip’s width apart to create a strong and balanced base. Relax your shoulders, neck, and face, with your arms resting at the side of your body and palms facing forward.
Step 3: Find Your Flow
Now you are going to combine a breathing exercise with a gentle physical exercise. Inhale deeply and slowly as you extend your arms horizontally outward and then raise them toward the sky while extending your legs in unison. Once your arms are pointing directly upward you can begin your slow and gentle exhale as you point your arms toward one another, palms to the floor, and bring them down to return to your starting point along with your legs. This flowing circular motion should match your breathing perfectly.
Step 4: Reverse the Flow
After about a minute or so, you’re going to return to your relaxed standing position. Inhale deeply and gently in order to center yourself. Relaxing your shoulders, neck, and face once more, reverse your flowing motion, raising your arms toward the center of your body as you inhale, and then upward toward the sky where you will begin your exhale as you extend your arms outward and down in a circular motion. After a minute or so, reverse your flow once more and repeat until your five minutes is up. This exercise should make you feel great – relaxed but energized at the same time.
About Russell Jack
Russell Jack, Southland Yoga guru, lives in Invercargill, New Zealand. He specializes in Vinyasa Yoga, Qigong, and guided meditations. He is not only passionate about mindfulness and yoga, but he is also an animal lover who regularly volunteers with the World Animal Protection organization and a frequent donor to various non-profit organizations dedicated to the protection of rare and endangered species. In his free time, you can find him enjoying nature, surfing, and traveling the world.