Tuesday, May 22

Reduce Stress and Strengthen Your Body With an Ancient Chinese Exercise

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Have you ever had those moments at work where you feel persistently drowsy or have a stabbing pain in your spine because you’ve spent too many hours at your desk? What if we told you that there’s a technique that may improve your health without any medication? There’s a Chinese practice that will change your life for the better.

Translated into English, qigong is “life energy cultivation.” It’s a holistic system of coordinated body posture and movement, breathing, and meditation used for health, spirituality, and martial arts training.

5 Fun Facts couldn’t pass by this powerful exercise that will effectively help to heal life challenges ranging from headaches and chronic illness to emotional frustration, mental stress, and a spiritual crisis.

1. Crane Stands on One Leg

The exercise is intended to develop balance and agility, gently stretch your ligaments, improve circulation, and release your spine. Repeat on each side at least 5 times. Don’t worry if it doesn’t work the first time.

2. Standing Still With Absorbing

This meditative exercise improves your breathing and encourages your body to contract and expand itself to generate vitality. Visualize your breath inflating like an internal balloon. Meanwhile, imagine you are pulling energy in toward the core of your body. Continue for 2–5 minutes.

Important: Your arms should stay in the same place throughout the exercise.

3. Coiling Recharge

The exercise is perfect as a stand-alone practice or as an energizing warm-up before martial arts. Qigong involves using the hands to direct energy, often in a spiral pattern. It helps to develop energy, power, and well-being.

Important: Pay attention to your fingers — they should be turned down to your abdominal area.

4. Chinese Wall Squat

This exercise is a fundamental exercise for keeping the Qi channels in and around the spinal and lumbar region clear. It is very effective in alleviating mental and nervous disorders, and it also helps to improve kidney function.

Important: Repeat the stance as many times as you can, but don’t forget to listen to your body. Experts from the Qigong Institute recommend starting with 10 squats and increasing it daily.

5. Endurance Activator

This exercise is known as the “walk-3-miles point.” In the Middle Ages, fatigued monks practiced it to enhance stamina and improve leg strength.

Important: Avoid rounding your back.

6. Picking Fruit

This is a simple exercise, but it’s very effective. Try to lift your arms high above your head, and stretch upward like you’re picking fruit from a tree. This is one of the oldest movements of mankind, and it activates the kidneys, the spleen, and the pancreas. These organs are all activated, and the joints are lifted.

7. Full-Body Spiralling

This movement helps to open up the joints and relax the muscles. The exercise also teaches full-body integration and allows you to engage your tendons and ligaments rather than relying on purely muscular strength. Repeat 8 times.

8. Horse-Stance Circles

The main purpose of the exercise is not just training the body but training your energy and mind. It is a marvelous method that can really help to alleviate tension in your hips and improve posture, as well as opening up energy in your lower body. Assume a wide stance, keeping your feet close to parallel. Start with your elbows bent, and extend your hands overhead, allowing your shoulders to rotate so your hands face each other. Your fingertips should lightly touch at the top.

9. Bending and Lifting

This exercise improves knee-joint stability and teaches you how to lift things without hurting yourself.

Important: Bend at your knees and waist. Make sure your knees do not extend past your toes and that your spine is straight.

10. Circling Knees

This is a widespread warm-up exercise in martial arts that invigorates the legs, both up and down. Start with your feet shoulder-width apart, and slowly bend at your waist and knees. Place your hands on your knees, and circle them outward around your ankles, making sure to not let your knees extend past your toes.

What do you think of qigong? Would you like to try this ancient Chinese practice? Share with us!

Illustrated by Daniil Shubin for 5FunFacts.com

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