Archive

Archive for December, 2011

ZOOKINESIS EXERCISE FOR INCREASED ENERGY

This exercise will increase the flow of blood and lymph in the body, improve breathing, increase energy levels and make your body more flexible.

Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and the knees slightly bent.  Imagine a line connecting your right shoulder to your left hip.  Relax the right shoulder so that it sinks towards the left hip along that diagonal line. 

As the shoulder sinks in this way, breathe out.  Then stretch the shoulder back up to its original position and a little beyond as you breathe in.  Do the same with the left shoulder and the right hip.  Four repetitions each would be fine.

Next, sink your lower ribs into your lower back as if the front of the lower ribs were sitting on the lower back, and breathe out.  Then raise your lower ribs forward and up as you breathe in.  Again, use four repetitions.

Sink the sternum into the mid back as if it was sitting in an old chair and breathe out.  Lift the sternum forward and up as you breathe in.  Four repetitions.

Lift the left side of the ribs to the left  and then up as your body bends slightly to the right and you breathe in.  Then let the ribs settle back to the center as you breathe out.  Do the same for the right side.  Four repetitions per side. 

Stretch your neck forward (breathe in) and then relax (breathe out).  Stretch your neck to the rear and then relax.  Stretch your neck to the left and then relax.  Stretch your neck to the right and then relax (with the same breathing each time).  Do forward, back, left and right and repeat the sequence four times.

This is a basic Zookinesis series.  Zookinesis (animal exercises) is a system of chi-gung.

This sequence can be done once per day or as needed.  In just a few days you should feel a whole lot more relaxed and have steadier energy throughout the day.  Feel free to comment on your results in the comments section.

Wheeling and Dealing

Tai-chi principles can be used to better understand the economic troubles we are facing.  Most of the classroom training focuses on using the least energy to create the most effect.  We learn how we too often waste energy, both physical and mental, and we learn about how to use proper mechanics of the body and mind.

In the 1970’s many economists were worried about the fact that so much of our economic energy went into buying and selling companies rather than on actual production of goods and services.  Financial transactions became the predominant business of our country rather than manufacturing or non-financial services.  We stopped “doing” and spent most of our time “wheeling and dealing”.

I think the economic collapse is largely a result of this problem.  How much of our personal lives consist of wheeling and dealing and how much do we actually get done?  What do we do for our health, for our continuing learning, keeping in touch with friends and being creative? 

It feels like our energy is getting sapped just by working more to pay bills or trying to find work.  But sometimes exercising or engaging in creative activities acts like putting more wood in the wood stove when you are huddling under a blanket and unable to function.

When I was young, play consisted of moving and interacting with other kids.  Today it seems to consist of moving only your thumbs on the Xbox remote. 

We use the term “not doing” in Tai-chi. This term really means “not doing anything ridiculous”.  It means not wasting your energy because of poor mechanics.  So when you are “doing” the form or push hands or self defense practice, you are certainly “doing”.  It’s just that you understand what is meaningful and useful and what is wasteful.

I think we need to examine this principle in our personal and national lives.