I have been practicing Qigong! According to the National Qigong Association (nqa.org), “qigong is an ancient Chinese health care system that integrates physical postures, breathing techniques and focused intention.”
The other day while I was finishing my morning routine, it occurred to me that kids could do the “row the boat” to release tension in their bodies. I know it releases tension in mine. So, here it is! Practice with your child for a family moment of relaxation and connection.
First, with your hands at your sides, gently bounce up and down, gently shaking your entire body. This begins to shake free stored tension in the organs and muscles–and it feels so good!!!
Shake shake shake, bouncing the tension out.
Next, raise your hands up in front of you, palms down, holding them at chest level by your ribcage. Hold your hands loosely open, thumbs open. As you inhale, extend your arms out in front of you until they are extended straight out in front.
Exhaling, float your arms down, palms staying open until they reach waist height. Then draw them back in towards your body, raising them slowly up to rest at chest level (palms still down) once again.
You should make a big circle with your hands. Pay attention that your arms and hands stay relaxed to promote greater energy flow within. Repeat these circles slowly and rhythmically for several cycles. As you get the hang of it, invite your child to close his eyes and pay attention to how his hands feel as he circles through the movements. Then draw attention to the arms. Finally check in with the entire body. See how slow and rhythmically you can complete it.
Engage the imagination to further promote relaxation! Row your boat gently, through the smooth still lake. Row your boat gently along the edge of the lake to see the flowers on the sides or maybe a small butterfly resting on a weed. Feel the breeze on your face as you gently row along.
Qigong is about enhancing flow and is done with ease and grace, never harshness nor force. The healing benefits that come from gently circulating energy within the body with intention are vast!