Why Cultivate Qi?
Qi is life-force energy, which is developed through nei gong exercises like qi gong, tai chi and bagua. The ancient Chinese believed that the more qi you have, the healthier and more content can you be.
You can begin your Tao movement arts practice with good intentions, stay present while opening and nourishing your body, generate a lot of qi, but then throw most of the benefits away simply by finishing badly.
I’ve got three easy steps to help you bank the qi you generate in your practice, so you have more energy for living your life.
Three Steps to Get More Energy
Step 1: Relax + Focus on Your Posture after Exercise or Tao Arts Training
When you finish any exercise programme or your Tao movement arts practice, either stand or sit with the intent of keeping the body open. Be sure not to collapse by maintaining proper postural alignments.
Once you feel your posture is about as good as you can get it, turn your focus on making both your body and mind still. Let go of all your muscles as much as possible and close your eyes.
Step 2: Concsiously Release Your Nerves + Store Your Qi
After a few moments, consciously release your nervous system—relaxing your eyes and your feet in particular.
Allow your breathing to become regular and smooth. Don’t apply any force of will or you can cause strain in your body, mind, qi or some combination thereof. Let your nerves absorb the changes that have occurred during your practice. This process enhances the experience in your body’s memory, so it can more easily be contacted in future training sessions.
Next, drop your mind and your energy down into the lower tantien (just below your navel). Let your mind stay there for a few minutes gathering your qi.
After a few minutes, store the qi that has gathered in the lower tantien by relaxing the energy in the belly and letting it sink deeper into the lower tantien.
If any thoughts or feelings should arise, simply let them go without a bunch of mental gymnastics or punishing lingo, until you become very calm and quiet.
Stay here for as long as you can or want to.
Step 3: Slowly Transition into Daily Activities
As you transition from your exercise programme or Tao arts practice to other activities, do so in a smooth and gentle way, avoiding any sudden impulse or movement of the mind or body. For examplem, don’t suddenly jump up to answer the telephone (they will call back later if it is important), or let your mind jump to the work that needs doing as these kinds of reactions will create a stress response in your nerves and undo the good work you’ve done in your training. Simply remain clam and slowly transit into whatever comes next in your day. Spend a couple of minutes moving at a slow pace and only gradually increase to a regular pace of life. In this way, you can take your practice into your daily life and relax into it.
Some people think, “I do my practice and now I’m in this relaxed space”; and, conversely, “I’m doing my usual activities and now I’m stressed out”. However, the aim of all Tao movement and meditation arts is to eventually transfer the relaxed, smooth pace of your practice into your daily life.
Boost Energy For Life
After a qi gong, tai chi, bagua or Tao yoga training session, the idea is to allow your system to integrate the practice experience. By becoming very still, while adhering to postural alignments that facilitate the optimal flow of qi and blood, consciously relaxing and storing qi in your lower tantien, and smoothly transitioning into daily activites, you can bank more qi in your system’s reserves to use anytime you need a boost…in mind or body.