Qigong Practices to Reduce Stress and Strife
First of ALL, what is Qigong?
“Qi” refers to the life force energy that exists in all things, material and non-material.
Everything you see, or don’t see, is an expression of Qi.
“Gong” is the art and practice of tapping into this life force energy, which is a learned
skill. With a little guidance, you have the potential to harness your Qi in order to
benefit your own life and the lives of those around you.
Qigong is a method for growing and maintaining vitality, cognitive function and
overall well-being. It is not based on belief—meaning, you do not have to believe in it
for it to work.
A major benefit that Qigong offers is to provide the tools for developing greater
awareness of how you feel, so you can release toxic emotions while reducing stress
Qigong Practice #1 to Qigong Practices to Reduce Stress and Strife:
Pulling Down the Heavens
The practice of Pulling Down the Heavens is a staple of Qigong. Do this simple,
sweeping movement before and after every stretching or exercise routine, or at any
time of day to calm your mind and lower stress levels.
Starting from Wu Ji posture—feet shoulder width apart, knees lightly unlocked,
shoulders relaxed, chin and tailbone slightly tucked—inhale and raise, or float, your
arms wide to the side, palms up, arms gently curved.
At the top of your reach, as you begin to exhale, turn your palms over and bring the
arms down, palms passing in front of your head, chest and abdomen.
Repeat three to 36 times.
Qigong Practice #2 to Reduce Stress and Strife:
Shaking the Tree
Humans are one of the only animals who don’t “shake off” the harmful effects of
stress and strife. Think of two swans fighting in a pond. Once the altercation is over,
the birds separate, stand tall and flap their giant wings. Now the fight is over.
After a stressful conversation or unpleasant event, or as a preventative measure, take
a moment to get out of your head and into your body to literally shake, wiggle and
release what is present. If you have privacy, shake your head, arms and legs for a
moment or two. If you’re not alone, open your mouth wide and do a giant, quiet
exhale. Shake it off! Now you’re a beautiful swan.
Qigong Practice #3 to Reduce Stress and Strife:
Heart Healing Sound
First, focus on a situation from the past or present that creates emotional pain for you.
This could be something that triggers the feelings of abandonment, loneliness, fear,
anxiety, etc. Then, imagine a pink or red cloud filling up into your Heart as you inhale.
Then, exhale and make the HAAA sound, either audibly or underneath your breath.
As you make this specific sound, imagine that emotional feeling leaving like a dark
cloud, going several feet away from the body and down into the ground.
Do the HAAA sound 3 to 36 times, and you will notice a difference in how you feel,
while also possibly changing the trajectory of your life circumstance.