Would you like a simple way of increasing your vitality and health? The key rests in cultivating an internal life-force energy called ‘Chi’.
‘Chi’ is another word for our life essence, it is also referred to as ‘prana’, ‘Qi’, or ‘Ki’. Chi a subtle physical energy that permeates reality. We can feel it running through the trees, in the atmosphere, our bodies, and throughout the universe. We can consciously cultivate and enhance how much Chi we flow through our being, which has benefits to our overall health and well-being.
We are all born with this life force energy, if you observe children they are energetic, active, and expressive because they have an immense resource and connection to their life force energy. As we get older our vital energy can get depleted and this is part of what leads to the aging process. Other things that can deplete our energy include chronic stress, overworking ourselves, “burning the candle at both ends”, or various health conditions that do not get addressed.
Fortunately, there are techniques and tools that we can use to build and strengthen our life force energy. When we have strong Chi it’s like having the fountain of youth within us. Strengthening our Chi helps us to enhance our vitality and refuel ourselves with plenty of energy to accomplish what we want to do. It helps us to maintain balance and have vibrant health.
I remember the first Tai Chi teacher I took lessons from when I was in my early 20’s. He was this little chinese man well into his upper 70’s, but he didn’t look a day over 50! His health was strong, he was full of life, and he had an impressive ability to balance and control his body movements down to the finest detail. He swore that his health, youthfulness, and longevity was a direct result of the power of Chi, which he cultivated daily through his Tai Chi practice.
Chi building exercises are one of the main tools we can add into our spiritual practice that will enhance every area of our life. We can begin by practicing Chi strengthening exercises for just 10-15 minutes per day. We can also create a routine with the exercises that suits our lifestyle, possibly practice 3 times a week for thirty minutes and increase the length of practice to one hour over time. Finding ways to incorporate Chi-building practices in our daily lives, like on a lunch break or first thing in the morning, helps us build our energy consistently.
Have you ever hit that afternoon slump around 3pm on a workday? If so you might have felt like you either needed to take a nap or go get a caffeinated drink to push through it. If instead of getting that latte, you took 15 minutes to do some Chi exercises, you’d find your energy pick right back up. And even better, it would sustain you through the rest of the day and into the evening, with a greater sense of clarity and wellbeing. Daily practice helps us to reap all the maximum benefits. Instead of taking a mid day coffee break take some time to build chi. We can give ourselves the gift of time connecting more intentionally with ourselves and build our energy.
Chi is also connected to our willpower and our breath. It is with our will that we draw in energy from the universe around us to flow it through our body and through our aura. This helps to raise our vibration, enhance our vitality. It gives us more energy for everything we do. In addition, Chi exercises have this ability to help clear and keep the energy circulating in the aura.
Chi is very much about balance in all things – mindy, body, and spirit. Every movement made in a Chi-practice mirrors between left and right sides of our body, as well as coordinating our breath with the body movements. This focused bi-lateral motion also balances the two hemispheres of our brain and supports us to have good brain chemistry.
Steps to Building Chi
1. Get Present in your Body and Become intentional with the Awareness of your Body.
- Before beginning, take a few moments to notice where you’re at spiritually, emotionally, and physically. This will help center your awareness and connect you to the energy that is flowing through you. Simply allow yourself to experience wherever you are, or anything that you may be present to. Whether you’re feeling relaxed or tense, or perhaps you desire more positive or peaceful energy. Observing where you are at the start of your practice helps you to flow more energy and notice the shifts that occur during the practice. Chi-building exercises will naturally support greater self-awareness of your energy levels.
2. Stand with your Hand on your Hara and Take Deep Conscious Breaths
- The next step to building chi is connecting to the breath. Place your hands flat on your lower abdomen and begin to breathe into this area. In eastern traditions this part of the body is called the Hara, Tanden, or Dantien. We’ll call it the Hara, which is a Japanese term that also translates as, “one’s true nature.” It’s a reference to our life essence, which is stored and built in an energy reservoir located in the lower abdomen or sacral chakra.
- The focus point is about 1 inch below the naval. Bringing our attention and breath into this area of the body connects us deeper within and brings us to a point of stillness.
- Begin by breathing deep into the Hara until the lungs are filled. As you breathe in, draw the breath in through your nose and bring it all the way down to your Hara area. Expand the Hara as the breath comes in. As you exhale through the mouth, contract the Hara area to push the breath out until the lungs are emptied. With each in-breath, imagine you are drawing in energy and vitality from the universe around you. With each out-breath, imagine you are expelling any toxins, tension, or fatigue. Continue this rhythmic and focused breathing, taking slow deep breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth.
- Five minutes of focused breathing like this, with your hands on your Hara, will already start to build the Chi.
3. Imagine Light and Life Force Energy Coming in from the Universe Around you.
- Taking time to build our Chi enhances our ability to flow light and life force energy through our bodies. Continue to breathe and cycle the energy from within and around you. You can imagine it purifying, healing, and renewing your aura and energy. As you continue to practice this connection will strengthen and more energy will be able to flow through.
4. Move the Chi
- The next level of building your Chi would involve a movement-based practice. There are many forms, including Tai Chi, Qi Gong, Aikido, Wing Chun Kung Fu, Chi Do, a even some forms of spiral dance that works with breath and follows the flow of Chi as it moves through the body and expresses in more free-form movements.
- In the Modern Mystery School, we practice a form known as Chi Do, which was a system devised by Founder Gudni Gudnason after he had studied and taught many forms of Chi practice since a young age. He pulled together the key movements that form the foundation of all Chi systems, and put together a simple and easy-to-remember sequence of these movements to build Chi and get it flowing through our body and aura. There are many Guides within the Modern Mystery School who offer instruction in this system, and it is also included as part of the tools and methods taught during the Empower Thyself training and initiation program.
- Once our Chi becomes strong through regular practice of the foundational movements, we can then take it further and work with more advanced forms of Chi Do. The advanced Chi Do practice frees us from any rigid system of movements and gives us a way to uniquely move the chi through our own individual expression. It becomes a powerful and fun practice that really raises our vibration and sense of connection with both inner Chi and that of the universe around us.