Nourishing Life Tips for Summer ~ The Time of Peak Yang
We are fast approaching peak Yang of the year as the Summer Solstice nears. This is the time to be outside, move our bodies, explore new landscapes, enjoy the bird songs at dawn, dusk and twilight, build fires to share stories under the twinkling stars, find fresh, wild water to swim, drink and dunk in, rejoice in the magnificence of flower blossoms and buzzing bees, and drink in the plethora of new, vibrant greens in our landscapes of ferns, moss, needles and leaves of our forests. This is what our bodies and spirits long for at this time of year. It’s a time of movement, spontaneity, play, outdoor adventures, explorations to our wild places.
And with COVID-19, many of us across the planet have been home and restrained in our movement. Yet as open spaces start to become available again, going outside and move, wander, listen, be will help us find our way in this next step of our journey forward.
The Qi of Life is at it’s fullest at this time of year, and we, by being alive, moving and present in various landscapes, naturally start to absorb this amazing vibrant qi around us. Our sheer joy and wonder of the life around us, in turn gives back to nourish the life nourishing us. It is a natural reciprocity.
Simple Qigong to Gather Qi
One simple Qigong tool we can use to augment this natural process of absorbing the height of this Yang Qi around us, is called Gathering Qi (Cai Qi 採氣). In a simple way, we can use this exercise to gather the amazing variety of vibrant qi from the earth, Sky, trees, rivers and mountains. You can take this practice anywhere, and anytime you feel a drawn to a particular spot, know that there is something for you to receive. Mother Earth is teaching you. You don’t need to understand through your thinking mind. You can just be fully present, aware and then in doing this practice you will receive the Qi, also translated as information, from the land, sky, mountain or lake. And your presence or love is your offering and way of giving thanks, giving back.
Here is the exercise – it has a cleansing and a gathering portion:
Cleansing and Gathering – These exercises offer an easy and powerful way to cleanse our energetic, physical and informational bodies and also to gather the abundance of Qi in Nature.
The first part is the Cleansing breath. Relax your feet and pelvis; stand with your feet hip-width apart with your hands at your side. Inhale and allow your arms to float up. Once halfway up, rotate your hands so that your palms face the sky and continue inhaling or take another inhale, bringing your hands up above your head. Stretch your energetic hands high into the sky, gathering a big ball of “sky Qi”. On your exhale, bring this ball of Qi down through the top of your head, through your body, cleansing all your tissues, organs and bones, down through your torso, hips, legs, knees and out through your feet. Repeat several times — as many as you’d like.
For the Gathering Breath, you have the same inhale. On the exhale, again guide this ball of Qi in through your head and then guide it into your lower abdomen through your navel. Then let the Qi absorb into your lower abdomen (you’re cultivating your lower dantain – energy store center). Repeat as many times as you’d like.