When the energy flows, you’re happy and healthy.
Think of a time when you wake up in the morning. You walk outside of your house and you’re greeted by the rising sun. The sun glows in your face, you stop what you’re doing because you’re starting to feel good. You tilt your head back, close your eyes, release any tension in your body. And you’re basking in the sun. The sun continues to touch your skin. You feel warm. You may even feel a glow that’s happening in your body. Then you realize that you’re going to have a great day with a better mood and a sense of calm and focus about you.
But – this doesn’t happen all the time, does it?
In fact, you rarely get to see the sun even during the day. This is because you sit around too much and then you have feelings of stagnation or chi stagnation.
And this can manifest as pain in your body – digestive upset, tightness in the shoulders or chest, maybe even a lump in your throat or stomach, and certainly depression of the spirit. Chi stagnation is one of the most basic causes of disease in traditional Chinese medicine.
Chi is the life force that flows through all things. If your chi is properly flowing, then you have harmony in your body. And your organs are functioning properly. Chi flows through the organs and maintains health and balance.
In ancient wisdom, it is thought that chi provides the energy needed to support your body function. It supports your body temperature, maintains structure and strength in your organs and keeps metabolism constant. If your chi does not flow, then there’s a blockage in your body. This blockage is another term for stagnation.
Stagnation is where chi cannot flow.
For example, liver chi stagnation comes from stress and anxiety. When the liver chi is stagnant, then the blood becomes stagnant in the area.
What are the three forms of chi? And how can you feel chi?
There are 3 types of chi:
Let’s begin with breath. And you begin by following your breathing. When you take action, your body follows the inhale as you expand, and then your body follows the exhale when you dissolve.
Inhale = rise the body up.
Exhale = sink the body down.
Breath is not just an exchange of gas, but it’s also an exchange of chi / energy between your surrounding environment (or the universe) and your body. Breathing causes internal pressure changes in the body that changes blood flow.
In Tai Chi, be aware of your inhalation and exhalation happening. You can feel the pressure changes in the body with your inhale and your exhale.
According to traditional Chinese medicine, blood flow and chi flow are connected. The breath also induces bioelectrical charges in the body, and the bioelectricity can happen in your fascia, fluids, nerves, and blood.
So when your breath can direct movement of energy in the body, and when it’s combined with specific intention and shapes of Tai Chi, this can lead to a rich pattern of energy flow throughout the body. These patterns can go a long way because there may be specific pathways that are relevant to healing.
So I invite you to move with me by using your fingers, to energize up, above your shoulders, maybe even above your head and then relax back down and exhale, sink into your feet and let go of the fingers.
Let’s do this a few times. (Follow my YouTube video for the motions)
- Following your breath, inhale up and out, expand. And then exhale. Relax, sink down into your feet. (Breathe and reach for 6 seconds for each inhale and exhale.)
- Inhale up, feel the pressure changes in your body, and then exhale back down, let go of your fingers
- Inhale up, rise up, hands up above your head, and feel a sense of triumph here.
- Then exhale, relax, settle down and sink, stabilize your body.
- Inhale up one more time slowly and then exhale back down gently.
If you do this often enough, you may feel that your fingers are becoming bloated. Your hands are starting to get really warm. If you can feel your body and be in touch with it, you may also sense a tingling sensation that’s happening in your fingers.
The bloating of the fingers, as your hands become warm, is a sign that your blood is flowing to the area.
The tingling sensation that you feel in your fingers is electricity, the bioelectrical charges that are happening within your fingers.
Feel the chi flow.
With the breath, the blood and bioelectricity, you can say that you feel an abundance of chi right now. The energy is flowing.
But you may be asking yourself: how are you going to find more time for energy to flow (or feel the sun on your skin)? How are you going to have more movement throughout your day so that you can increase your energy levels and feel abundance?
I cover topics like this all the time. Stay tuned and check my Facebook page to get more tips on how you can make your energy flow.
In the meantime, I have a special breathing video for you so that this can give you an idea of what you can do during the day. This will help you increase your energy flow. Make you feel calm, focused, as well as also increase your energy levels throughout your day.
See you in the next episode for more Tai Chi tips!