Qi Gong is known as a healing practice. The body and mind are overstressed, and focus is very difficult at that time. Qi Gong is also known as Chi Kung, with chi being the energy that flows from your body. Qi Gong uses not only gentle movement but phrasing that can help center the mind. There is a wide range of exercises that have to do with focus and clarity, which is our purpose for this reading. The essence of Qi Gong is joyfully implementing the exercise for maximum health benefits.
The first element of Qi Gong for our purposes is deep breathing. Deep breathing helps to control your focus. When you are feeling unhelpfully emotions like anger, depression, or a general feeling of just being upset, it throws off your breathing. You tend to breathe rapidly and this disrupts the flow of oxygen to your lungs. Deep breathing has multiple purposes. It calms you down, then gets needed oxygen to the lungs and when you hold and release, it works to get the lymph flowing and remove toxins from your body.
Start by bringing a deep breath of air into your lungs and focus on it going not only into your lungs but activate your diaphragm and pull deep into your abdomen. Hold and release, trying not to think of anything other than breathing. You could even visualize the air as a color, such as blue and see it moving deep down into your body, revitalizing your system and your soul. To exercise your focus muscles, pick a number of breaths that you want to do, say 20-25. As you are doing your breathing and focusing, keep a count. Should you lose the count because your mind wandered somewhere else, begin again.
The breathing exercises are done best when you are standing erect. Now if you want to lay down and do them, pick something like a yoga mat to lay on. You always want the spine to be nice and straight, with the rib cage open and able to receive the air. Having a hunched spine will decrease effectiveness. Now it is time to look at specific Qi Gong exercises for focus and energy.
1. The Three Swings is using three separate swinging motions of your arms while twisting your torso. To start, stand with your feet slightly apart for good balance. Hang your arms loosely by your sides. Feel them as light as fluffy clouds. Slowly begin to twist your torso to the right and then to left, allowing the movement, to make your arms begin to swing. You do not put any power into your arms at this point. Once you have completed this motion for a few minutes, begin to add a little power to your arms and let them rotate around to your back gently slapping at the kidney area. Continue for two to three minutes, taking deep regular breaths.
To cap off the three swings, begin to swing your arms so that both go up to the left of your head and back to the center in front of your groin. Swing them upwards to your face and then down to the groin area. Then continue to swing but this time both hands go up to the right-hand side of your head. And continue that pattern over and over. As you go from left to right, the momentum will bring you from flat-footed to coming up a bit on your toes.
2. This next exercise to quiet your mind and improve focus. Standing with your feet about six inches apart, let your arms hang loosely by your side. Start by gently raising up and on your toes and then let your weight drop. Don’t raise too high and if it is painful, either stop or put a thick mat under your feet. As you are doing this exercise, empty your mind and just find a smooth rhythm. Once you have been doing this for one minute, you will change the regular breathing to a count of two. Breath in deep going up and down, up and down, then begin to slowly exhale, going up and down, up and down. This is 2-count breathing.
This exercise will declutter what is floating around in your brain and give you clarity and focus, all while doing something that takes very little effort.