Derived from traditional Chinese medicine, Qigong combines fluid movement with meditation. Perfect to add into your at-home routine.
What Is Qigong:
Qigong is similar to tai chia—think slow, fluid movements, deep breathing and visualization — but some say the techniques are a bit easier to master. This ancient, martial-art-style form of meditation has roots in traditional Chinese medicine, and is mentioned in early historical texts, including the Yijing, which influenced the development of religion, philosophy, literature, and art in China and beyond.
What Qigong Involves:
The word qigong is a composite of two Chinese characters: energy (qi) and work (gong). There are literally thousands of variations, but some common poses involve standing with your knees bent while gliding your arms and pulling your naval inward to your spine. It might seem slow-paced but contracting your abs like this strengthens your core and stimulates your digestive organs. Traditionally, qigong is used as part of herbal medicine and acupuncture therapy — many of the moves and vibrations relate to specific acupuncture meridians, i.e. the pathways on which vital energy flows.
What Qigong Does For You:
Studies show qigong can improve muscle strength, stamina, posture, flexibility and balance. It’s spectacular as a relaxation treatment, too. The meditative movements might modify circadian rhythms, helping you sleep better at night, and committing to a regular practice can relieve stress. Bottom line: It’s like having calming superpowers.
Try Qigong At Home:
Yoqi, an entire channel devoted to at-home qigong routines of different lengths and styles, so you can explore to find your favorites.
Prolong the Benefits:
To maximize qigong’s results — flexibility, better sleep, less stress and improved immunity — try these easy tips:
Stay flexible with active stretches. Loosen up your muscles so they’re more pliable with gentle stretches on a mat (the same you do before a run or barre class). Then, add some resistance while you hold stretch poses with Bala Bangle’s 1 Lb. Weights.
Try a pre-sleep ritual. Even 15 minutes in the tub can help relax your nervous system, so you can let go off stress and drift off to sleep. Try adding Muse Bath’s Ritual Salt Soak, which is infused with lavender and essential oils to calm your mind. Afterward, brew a cup of Sakara Life Sleep Tea, with relaxing kava kava root.
Drink your mushrooms. Wylde One’s Immune Shrooms contains a blend of five immunomodulating mushrooms (chaga, reishi, turkey tail, maitake, shiitake). For a quick immunity-boost, mix the earthy powder, which tastes a bit like cocoa, into your smoothies, milks or water — it’s caffeine-free so it won’t mess with your sleep.
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