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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Rebuilding Personal Energy (Ch'i)

Building Personal Energy (Ch'i)

Over the past few days, my personal energy levels had dropped down a bit. I was a bit more tired in the afternoons, and craving carbohydrates and sugars. These were tell-tale signs that my energy and balance were off.

To start rebuilding my personal energy, or ch'i, I prepared with a short and easy yoga session (mostly to stretch out the leg meridians; these help with sleep and relaxation), and took a nap. (Always a good choice.)

When I woke up, I found a good action movie on TV that was just getting started, and did a two-hour yoga/core/resistance/stretch session. Just the basics, nothing new and certainly nothing fancy. But I felt hugely better afterwards.

Then I did some juicing with the last of the "juicing greens and veggies" that I had stored in a special kitchenette where I keep the juicer (and a garbage disposal for handling waste, even though I compost most of it). A dedicated area helps, as a week's worth of juicing veggies and greens takes up a lot of room. Also, since this is "raw foods," it's best to keep it from meats and other food types. My ingredients were: a whole small beet, a whole large carrot and a whole Granny Smith apple, a small handful of parsley, a small handful of cress, and a few stalks of celery (including the leafy parts at the top, and the "celery root" area below the stalks). This was one of the best combos I'd ever made, it was great!

By this time, my energy was perking up. I wound up doing this in the middle of the night, so my goal now is to calm down and go back to bed. However, the combination of yoga and exercise, together with the nutrients from the freshly-squeezed greens and veggies, has my energy flowing again.

It is from this slightly more energized state that I started doing some basic T'ai Chi, and the silk-weaving exercises.

I've looked online for vids of the silk-weaving exercises as described in Michael Minik's book (referenced in a previous post), and couldn't find any good, "basic" ones. I'm sure that chi kung training is similar, but at some point I'll try to do a simple little silk-weaving vid, and post on YouTube. This is a great energizing practice, especially when used in conjunction with the basic things that get our bodies moving and our energy flowing.

P.S. - I'm still winding down and getting ready to go back to bed. Herbal tea - I use Celestial Seasoning's "Sleepytime Extra," the valerian helps induce sleep, and stir in a little GABA. Also have a chug of the Calcium/Magnesium components of the two-part liquid vitamins that I get from Dr. Sievers at Care Plus in Fairfax, VA.

It's only when I've done a good bit of yoga and stretching to warm up and get my lower back released, and core work to get my abdominal muscles engaged, that I feel ready to fully take advantage of T'ai Chi. And then, only after all of that do I feel that my body is really ready to work with dance. The elements of Oriental dance involve so much stretching and flexing of our spines, our pelvic girdle, and diaphragms - and so much core strength if we are to do it right - that we can have a really good dance workout if half our time (or even more) is spent with warm-ups and preps, getting our body ready to move in the right way. Then the dance techniques flow from internal strength and connection, rather than from being "imposed."

And we have a much better chance of doing energy circulation work in dance if we've prepared properly.

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