Wouldn’t it be nice if turning up the heater and hiding under a blanket wasn’t the only way to stay warm during winter? After all, there once was a time when humans didn’t have all of the modern conveniences that allow us to avoid cold temperatures. In those times, many cultures focused on turning inward to find warmth and comfort.
Chinese Medicine and Qi Gong can teach you many things, including how to harness your internal energy to warm yourself up when the temperature drops. In this blog, we share a simple yet powerful exercise that has been used for thousands of years to cultivate internal warmth. We also address the benefits of using your internal energy as a source of heat.
Internal Versus External Warmth
In the twenty-first century, most people rely primarily on external means to stay warm. In fact, “staying warm” is generally synonymous with turning on the heater or putting on a jacket. Most people don’t even consider the possibility of warming themselves up using their own internal energy.
While heaters and coats are certainly nice to have, it’s still valuable to be able to use your internal energy to stay warm when it gets cold outside. Just as physical exercise is good for your health, being able to generate internal heat helps keep your energy strong and vital. Not to mention, it allows you to be less reliant on external sources of heat.
The benefits of being able to generate internal heat are reflected in the now-popular practice of cold exposure. As the term implies, cold exposure involves exposing your body to cold temperatures in a safe and controlled way (i.e. turning on cold water for a few minutes when you’re taking a shower or taking an ice bath). When you do this, you’re able to activate your body’s self-warming abilities and experience a variety of health benefits. Some of these benefits are directly connected to the process of generating internal heat within your body as a result of cold exposure.
If you don’t feel like jumping into a tub full of ice water just yet, you can still activate your body’s natural ‘warmth-producing’ abilities through certain Qi Gong exercises.
Igniting the Inner Fire Qi Gong Exercise
Igniting the Inner Fire is a simple yet powerful Qi Gong exercise designed to activate your internal energy and generate heat. Below, we’ve shared the exercise both in a video and in written instructions.
To start this exercise, begin by standing with your feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart. Take a few deep breaths to relax your body and center your energy.
When you’re ready, put your hands together in front of you so your palms are touching. Then, move your hands over to the right side of your body and raise your right elbow so your hands rotate on top(?) of each other. As you move your hands to the right, shift your weight onto your right leg and look to your left.
Then, do the same movement except to the left. Shift your weight onto your left leg and move your hands over to the left side of your body. Raise your left elbow and let the palms of your hands rotate as you look to the right.
Go back and forth between your right and left sides. As you do this exercise, you should feel your internal energy activating and generating heat within your body. Continue going back and forth and do the movements for about three minutes. If you want to do it longer than that, you certainly can. When you’re done, return to your center, put your feet together, place your hands over your lower abdomen, and take a couple of deep breaths before you go about the rest of your day.
If you’d like to learn more Qi Gong exercises for boosting your internal energy and staying warm this winter season, be sure to check out our on-demand Qi Gong for Winter workshop.
Cultivate Your Internal Energy This Winter Season
During winter, it’s important to keep your energy strong to stay warm and maintain a healthy immune system. In addition to getting enough sleep and proper nutrition, certain Qi Gong exercises can go a long way to helping cultivate strength and resilience during the year’s coldest months.
In our on-demand Qi Gong for Winter workshop, Lee teaches a variety of powerful practices designed to restore and replenish your Qi to help you stay healthy this winter. Because your kidneys are especially important for generating internal energy, many of the exercises focus on tonifying your Kidney Qi to help you stay strong.
This is an on-demand workshop, which means you can enjoy it from the comfort of your own home. On-demand workshops allow you to go back and rewatch the lessons as often as you like, allowing you to experience the benefits for years to come. Click on the banner below to learn more about how Qi Gong can help you stay warm and protected this winter season.