Qi Gong offers valuable tools for overcoming many of the challenges that life presents us with. Sometimes, we practice Qi Gong to help us welcome the energy of a new season. At other times, we simply practice to maintain and nourish our energy for our daily life. Whatever your needs are, Qi Gong provides powerful resources for helping you realize the intentions you’ve set for yourself.
In our previous blog post, we explored how Qi Gong can help us to overcome depression and cultivate joy. Realizing that our physical body is our container of all emotional energy, it is essential that we pay close attention to it when seeking to work with our feelings. Today, we’re going to give you an opportunity to see how even just a quick and simple Qi Gong exercise can make a big difference to your emotional state. This practice is especially relevant for people with depression, but it’s also an excellent tool for anyone who just wants to feel better.
Preparing to practice:
In order to enjoy a nourishing practice, it’s important that you give yourself a little time and space to focus on yourself. This doesn’t need to take a lot of time, but set aside ten to fifteen minutes to complete the exercise and sit with yourself after. You can be in your home, your backyard, or a nearby park. Try to minimize distractions and allow your full attention to be directed to the routine.
We suggest reading through these instructions before you start. Don’t worry, they’re not complicated and they’re easy to remember. Of course, if you forget something feel free to look back at the text to refresh your memory. Below, we’ll provide in-depth instructions followed by a brief outline.
Okay, here’s how the practice will go:
Start by standing with your legs about shoulder’s width apart and with your hands at your side. Allow your back to be straight, but also make sure you’re relaxed and not holding tension. If you’re not able to stand comfortably, feel free to sit in a chair.
Once you’re standing or sitting in an upright yet relaxed position, check in with your body. Bring your attention to your chest, your stomach, your hands, your feet, your head, and any other part of your body you wish to feel. Notice any thoughts, feelings, or sensations that come up for you. Try to not to judge your experience, but simply be aware of what is happening within you.
Now, we’re going to activate our internal life-force energy. To do this, start knocking on your chest with closed hands. Your hands can alternate between the right and the left. Knock as hard as feels good without causing pain to either your chest or your hands. Really let your hands tap your chest and bring your internal energy to life. This should wake you up and stir up energy, but shouldn’t feel at all physically unpleasant.
As you knock, focus on breathing deeply in through your nose and out through your mouth. As you exhale, imagine clearing out any circumstances or energy that are making you feel down and depressed. Inhale nourishing Qi, exhale sadness, pain, and anxiety. Let your imagination of your exhale be whatever feels right for you to release. Whether you view your sadness as a color, texture, feeling, or energetic matter, just let it go with your breath in each exhale. Continue doing this for one minute.
After about sixty seconds, stop knocking on your chest and let your hands rest peacefully at your side. Continue to breathe deeply and slowly, in through your nose, out through your mouth. Make sure that your shoulders are rolled back and your chest is open. Check in with yourself again and notice how you feel. How does your chest feel and the emotional energy within it? Have you experienced any sort of transformation? Again, try not to judge whatever comes up for you. Rather, just hold space for whatever is true for you in the present moment.
Okay, here’s a little summary of the exercise:
Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart and notice how you feel. Try sitting if standing isn’t comfortable.
Knock on your chest and breath in through your nose and out through your mouth.
When you exhale, imagine clearing our any circumstances or energy that makes you feel down or depressed. Do this for about sixty seconds.
Stop knocking, continue breathing, and check in with your body again. Notice how you feel.
This is just one simple exercise that can have a powerful effect on your entire outlook for the rest of your day. In Lee’s upcoming Qi Gong for Depression Workshop, we’re going to go in-depth as we explore many more amazing practices to help release sadness and cultivate joy.
Some of the Lee’s practices will be breathing and activating routines like the one we just tried. Others will be flowing movements to tonify and nourish your vital life-force energy. Lasty, Lee will also introduce us to some key pressure points as well as Eastern psychology to help us transform depression into inspiration and vitality.
The workshop is a great opportunity for those suffering with depression, as well as for those who are just seeking more skills to overcome sadness and boost their internal energy. With lifetime access, all participants will be able to return to the material to continue learning or find little extra support. Think of these practices as your “tools” for a healthy, happy life.
All positive change starts from within, so click here to learn more about this opportunity for transformation and growth.