The sedentary, work-from-home lifestyle of an artist and blogger can make it hard to be active when you’re a person that doesn’t really like the idea of “working out”. Finding energy building activities that I don’t hate has always been a struggle.
In my younger days feeling energetic and being active was not something I had to think about. I was running across campus from art classes to theatre rehearsals. I was dancing in my dorm room, on the local beach at midnight, or at any student gathering where there might be music. No wonder I was referred to as a bean pole.
But in the twenty plus years since college, finding ways to stay active and be excited about it, have fallen rather flat. Once the kids were all in school and I started working outside of the home, most of my jobs involved sitting behind a desk and plunking away at a computer. I have never been a person that could stay excited about working out at a gym. I craved activities that naturally flowed into my daily routines. But when your daily routine kept you sitting on your bum most of the day, that flow of activity reduced itself down to a trickle. OK, probably more like a dripping faucet. It wasn’t until I was introduced to the practice of Qi Gong that I felt like my activity desires were satisfied.
When I mention qi gong, people immediately ask “What is that?!” I describe it as slow strength and energy building exercises. Sort of like tai chi only you don’t move your feet as much. Or something similar to yoga only you don’t get down on the floor. You stand.
“Qigong (alternatively spelled chi gung or chi kung) is a form of gentle exercise composed of movements that are repeated a number of times, often stretching the body, increasing fluid movement (blood, synovial and lymph) and building awareness of how the body moves through space.” ~ Energy Arts
Sometimes the explanations can get a little “woo-woo” for me. But the calm slow movements revive me. And the emphasis on breathing is something so simple. Duh! Of course getting more oxygen into your system is going to make you feel better. I’ve never been one for the jarring effects of running. I do enjoy a good walk, but let’s face it in these sauna-like Arkansas summers it’s just not that alluring. But spending a few minutes a couple times a day to run through a sequence of qi gong exercises makes me feel oddly relaxed and energized at the same time. These exercises also help me combat boredom and frustration as well as keep me from snacking on stuff all day long.
Sadly my original instructor moved away but I have found some great videos on that wonder of a creation called YouTube! I have created a playlist with some of my favorites. These are easy quick 10-20 minute routines you can jump up from you desk or drawing table or easel and do.
Let me know how you like the practice of qi gong or what you do to build your energy.