The philosophy that physical motion is a necessity for life is at the heart of the ancient Chinese practice of qi gong. When performed consistently, the immediate and long-term benefits are numerous: restored and enhanced health and vitality, increased motor skills, improved mobility, balanced energy and a more focused mind.
Qi gong comprises hundreds of individual exercises that you can mix and match. Though it may take a few tries to get accustomed to moving in such a slow, relaxed manner, with regular practice you'll be pleasantly surprised at how calm, centered and energized you'll feel.
What to do: Perform these popular qi gong moves daily or even twice a day (morning and evening) as an individual practice or precursor to other activities. Repeat each move 6 to 8 times; the set should take about 15 minutes to complete. Due to the gentle and flowing nature of the exercises, you don't need a formal warm-up or cool-down. There's no equipment required, and you don't need to change your clothes. As you move, place the tip of your tongue against the roof of your mouth; this helps to induce calmness and focus.
Breathing: Breathe rhythmically and deeply. To enhance your practice, inhale through your nose, expanding your rib cage and belly; exhale through pursed lips, gently pulling your belly in.