Simple meditative stretches for more energy as the season changes from winter to spring.
People often notice that as the spring season approaches, they are not as energetic as they would like to be. Adherents of Eastern Medicine believe this is due to the fluctuation in the biorhythms of the body. In the wintertime, muscles are contracted, and our qi energy and blood circulation tend to be more constricted. In the change from winter to spring, the organs increase their functioning capacity and need more energy.
Winter can be a time of accumulating the energy we need for the rest of the year. However, if we’re not very active, we may not have enough energy for the increased demand spring brings. This contributes to our feeling more tired in the spring. We may also feel lethargic, even dizzy at times, and we may have less appetite or more digestive problems.
Meridian exercises can help. This type of mind-body exercise combines movement, postures, coordinated breathing, and focusing the mind on the body to stimulate qi energy flow through the energy channels of the body (called meridians). In addition to energy flow, meridian exercises can also increase energy accumulation. Through such techniques, we always have a way of managing our own energy, which forms the basis of health in Eastern Medicine.
Try some or all of these meridian exercises to increase your vitality this spring
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands on your waist. Relax your neck and shoulders.
- Inhale. Exhale slowly while bending from your hips to touch your palms to the floor with your fingers pointing toward one another.
- Inhale. Stand and raise both of your arms above your head, stretching with your palms toward the sky while simultaneously rising on your tiptoes.
- Exhale and slowly return to the original posture and repeat 3 times.
REACH, TWIST, AND BEND
- Stand with your feet together. Place your hands, palms up, at your sides and close them into firm fists.
- Inhale. Raise your right hand toward the sky. Open it so the palm faces up and your elbow is slightly bent, pointing to the side. Follow this movement of your hand with your head and eyes.
- Hold your breath. Twist your upper body to the left.
- Bend slowly from your hips. Grasp your left ankle with your right hand. Keep your knees straight but relaxed. Focus on your lower abdomen and lower back.
- Exhale. Return to STEP 1 and perform to the opposite side. Repeat 3 times on each side.
PUSHING QI ENERGY
- Stand with your feet more than shoulder-width apart and bend your knees over your toes. Inhale and slowly bring your hands, palms up, toward your chest.
- Hold your breath as you slowly push your palms out to the sides.
- Hold and then bring your hands to your lower abdomen, palms down.
- Exhale and bring your hands down to your sides.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Inhale and interlace your fingers. Raise them above your head with your palms facing the sky, and follow the movement with your eyes. Hold your breath.
- Bend from the waist and reach your arms to your left side, circling down to the center and over to the right side, and then back to the top.
- Repeat twice to the right and left sides.
- Exhale. Unlock your fingers.
SITTING HAMSTRING STRETCH
- Sit on the floor or on a chair. With your left hand, grasp the bottom of your left foot.
- Keeping hold of your foot, extend your left leg at shoulder height. Keep your knee straight but soft. Place your right hand on your left knee with slight pressure as you stretch.
- Gently tilt your head backward, following with your eyes. Hold for several seconds and release.
- Repeat this exercise with your right leg. Perform 2 more times with each leg.
FORWARD BEND WITH CLASPED HANDS
- Stand with your feet together and interlace your fingers behind you. Keep your knees straight but soft.
- Inhale. Bend your torso forward, bringing your head toward your knees. Drop your shoulders, letting your arms swing out behind you. Straighten your arms and bring them forward without locking them, relax.
- Exhale. Slowly stand up. Repeat 3 times.
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*Editor’s Note: Find these exercises and more in Ilchi Lee’s comprehensive book, Meridian Exercises for Self-Healing. Get your copy through this Amazon affiliate link or at your favorite bookseller.
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