How do you spend the first 30 minutes of your day? Whether you’re a busy parent or an overwhelmed student, life has a lot of demands to throw at you. While upholding your responsibilities to others is a noble decision, it’s also important to honor your responsibilities to yourself. One of these is to make sure that you stay grounded in your own true intentions, vision, and energy.
One of the most critical times to cultivate your energy and intentions is in the morning. How you spend the first few minutes of your morning has a significant impact on the rest of your day. Without clarity and focus, you risk falling into a state of stress and reactivity. We all know what it’s like to feel muddled and out of alignment with ourselves and the world.
Given the importance of cultivating a morning routine, we thought we’d dedicate a blog post to sharing how Lee starts his days. For him, the morning is a sacred time to find direction and inspiration for his work, relationships, and overall well being. Hopefully, this can offer some insight into your own morning practice
Starting the Day with Clarity and Vitality
Lee’s morning routine starts while he’s still in bed. Before sitting up or getting dressed, Lee spends five to ten minutes doing some deep belly breathing.
He starts by putting one hand on his chest and the other on his Lower Tan Tien (at his belly button). Then, he focuses his attention on his breath as he does a long, deep inhale. As he inhales, he seeks to first fill his lower abdomen with air, then his ribs, and finally his chest. As he exhales, he releases the air from his chest, then his ribs, and then his lower abdomen. This allows him to maximize the depth of his breathing and its nourishing qualities.
By dedicating five to ten minutes to breathe before he even gets out of bed, he brings his awareness to his own being before the rest of the world has a chance to contend for his attention. It also brings his Qi to the center of his Tan Tiens and gives him a sense of composure and peace. Now, when Lee gets out of bed, he’s doing so with purpose and direction.
After his breathing practice, Lee stands up and prepares his Pu’er tea. He seeks to stay present with the process and not view it solely as a means to an end. For him, preparing tea is part of his morning meditation that helps him to cultivate an appreciation for the little things in life. If his children are with him, he also prepares their breakfast.
When his tea is ready, he sits down and drinks it slowly. Lee is fortunate to live next to the ocean, so he’s able to sit at his kitchen table and view the vast waters through his window. As he teaches in his classes, the natural world is abundant with Qi, and spending some time being present with nature is a great way to absorb its nourishing energy. Sometimes, Lee is able to catch the sunrise.
Lee’s morning “tea ceremony” is also the time that he sets his intentions. He thinks affirming thoughts about the path that lies before him for the rest of the day and renews his clarity on his mission and purpose. When he finishes his tea, it’s time for some Qi Gong and meditation.
Usually, Lee spends about 20 minutes doing Qi Gong, which is a cornerstone of his mornings. Through his practice he awakens, cultivates, and circulates his Qi, bringing vital life force energy to his full body and mind. It’s no secret that Lee is deeply passionate about Qi Gong, and for him, it’s a way to start each day with energy and vitality. By practicing Qi Gong, he also further aligns his being to manifest the intentions he’s seeking to realize that day.
After his twenty-minute moving Qi Gong practice, Lee transitions into a meditation practice. For him, meditation is part of Qi Gong and offers another important way to work with his internal energy. Sitting meditations are a great way to practice visualization exercises, as well as become deeply connected with oneself. Lee’s morning meditation usually lasts about ten minutes. When he’s ready, he opens his eyes and starts his daily activities.
Lee’s morning practice is a great example to gain ideas from, but there are still many nuances that are important and valuable. If you still aren’t completely sure how you want to integrate Qi Gong in your mornings or daily life, we have the perfect opportunity to help you discover more about what works for you!
At Holden QiGong, we’re excited to announce our upcoming Qi Challenge. During this experience, Lee will teach simple yet powerful exercises to help you be your best self throughout all of life’s experiences. As Lee’s morning routine demonstrates, even just 20 minutes of regular practice in the morning can make a world of difference in how you feel during the rest of your day.
Lee will also help you feel confident in how much time is right for you to practice. We get a lot of questions about when and how much to practice, so we’ll be discussing it in more detail. Lastly, Qi Gong is more fun when you’re part of a community, and that is exactly what the Qi Challenge will offer.
This is a great opportunity for new practitioners and seasoned experts alike. If you’re ready to further your practice and connect with others, click on the banner below to learn more.
Written by Ian Drogin