Breathe into Your Vitality
As a child growing up, I often heard people saying the phrase “people are alive because of the breath of air we breathe in”. In many occasions, it was teachings from the wiser and older, advising the younger ones to live up to that gift of life, by making something out of themselves in this life time.
Qi is the word for that vital breath of air in Chinese tradition. It is interpreted as energy in the English speaking world, prana in yogi community, and Ki in Zen culture. As a practitioner for myself and for my coaching clients as well as in my speaking and writing, and passion of continuous study, I am beginning to see a glimpse of its life giving nourishing magic, brought deep from source to energize everyday living.
The eastern tradition has been practicing many forms to cultivate that life energy. Yoga, qigong, Zen Shiatsu meridian massage or finger pressure are a few to mention.
That mysterious life giving energy is plenty everywhere, powering the sun to rise, shinning its brilliant light on all, living or non-living. So how come many of us feel tired and fatigued if there is abundance of life energy around us? The answer lies in our capacity to receive it.
Chinese medicine says that humans have four source of qi or life energy: yuan qi or original qi; organ qi; lung qi; and peripheral qi.
Yuan qi or original qi is said to come with us when we are first born. It is stored in our kidneys. It is understood that yuan qi determines our life span, and can be strengthened or depleted by the way we live our life.
Organ qi is the energy our internal organs need and generate, through normal functioning. There are five internal organs which are heart, lungs, spleen, live , kidneys and their corresponding external pairs. The functioning of our body largely depends on the functioning of the internal organs. And how we feed our body and how we care for ourselves shapes the healthy functioning of our internal organs or leads to the malfunctioning of them.
Lung qi is the breath of air we take in continuously, whether consciously or unconsciously. This is the amazing part of our body, the super intelligence that comes equipped with us. Whether we realize it or not, we are breathing automatically, awake or asleep. We all know how it feels when we have trouble breathing, such as in the case of a stuffy nose.
Peripheral qi is the qi that hovers over our body. It protects us from alien invaders. It is a reflection of our immunity. The quality of it is the byproduct of our overall health.
The life giving energy we take in from the exterior environment around us comes through our lungs and our skins. The quantity and quality of which depends on our capacity of intake, which explains why we are feeling fatigued when in actuality there are endless supplies of energy surrounding us. It is common knowledge in the holistic healing world that people don’t die of old age or disease; they die of hunger and thirst, due to the bodies’ inability to absorb nutrients and water, even though there is no shortage of food and water supply, at least in most parts of the world. The key is to build up our capacity for intake of fresh energy and release what is stale and stagnant.
While you are reading these lines here, consciously taking a few deep breaths, in and out, feeling the miraculous life sustaining force of your own body. Now how about cultivate a practice to breath consciously on a daily basis. Simply put your attention on your breathing, feel your chest rise with each inhalation, and relax with each exhalation. Breathe in long and deep; breathe out long and complete. Breathe in the nourishing life giving elements that is in the air, the mix of the five elements fire, water, metal, earth and wood. Feel it traveling along your veins and blood, along the way pushing your blood to reach every part of your body, powering your muscles, strengthening your bones, oxygenating your brain, dissolving the aches and pains, erasing stiffness and stagnation,…
Better yet, how about standing up on your feet right now, ground and anchor yourself in your breathing, and in your body, so there is no space in your mind for anything else but being in this moment, with you and your breathing.
Stand flat on your feet, slightly apart. Hands hang loose on the sides of your body, fingers loose. Feet firm on ground, knees bend so as to unlock tension, torso straight and erect, head held up high as if there is a string from above holding you up. Breathe in, breathe out. Feel yourself more and more centered. Let your awareness ride on the waves of your easy breathing. Now feel your feet sinking down to mother earth with each exhalation, and absorb her rich replenishing nourishing elements with each inhalation. In the meantime, feel father sun’s radiating light up above your head. Now bring that beautiful radiant beam of lights into the cells of your body, allow it to fill up every fiber of your being. Then have mother earth and father sun energy merge in your being through your meridian networks, feeling yourself complete, whole and perfectly balanced. You can stand there for about five to ten minutes, immerse in the stillness and be with your body. Practicing this early in the morning will for sure wake you up as well as energize and works way better than drinking coffee, without any draining effect. Give it a go and let me know how it works for you.
By consciously breathing, you are essentially activating the essence yin in your kidney, facilitate the blood floor stored in your liver pumped by your heart in all parts of your body, to power you in doing the things you need to live the life you want.
There are many other lifestyle details you can attend to to enlarge your energy in-taking capacity. YOUNG MIND YOUNG BODY has detailed a time-tested natural approach. Here is the link to get your copy.
May you live healthy, may you live young!
Peace and love,
Sue Ziang, H.C.
Board Certified Holistic Health Practitioner
Life Energy Health Coach
Certifed Primordial Qigong Instructor
Author of YOUNG MIND YOUNG BODY