Alfred Huang, a Tai Chi master from China and author of books on Tai Chi and the I Ching, once taught me a very simple qigong exercise that he practiced everyday. Mr. Huang was imprisoned during the Cultural Revolution in China because of his profound knowledge of acupuncture, the I Ching and his mastery of Tai Chi. While in prison, Mr. Huang took advantage of his time in solitude to deepen his mastery of the qi of his own bodymind.
The qigong exercise is very simple but very powerful. Learning how to think with your gut gets you back in tune with the innate wisdom and intelligence of the body. As you breathe in, breathe in all the love of the Universe, as you exhale, exhale forgiveness to all things in the Universe, including yourself:
While sitting comfortably with your back straight, place your left hand directly on top of you right hand. Then place both hands directly over your belly button. (For men place the right hand over the left hand). The centers of both palms should be aligned directly on top of each other. Relax your shoulders and arms. Relax your entire body. Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Inhale slowly and deeply while exhaling slowly and deeply. Try to make each breath slower and longer. Continue for 5 to 10 minutes until you feel deeply relaxed.
I recommend this exercise not only for people who are always “in their heads”, but also for people who are trying to lose weight, and have them practice it before eating to lower cortisol, benefit digestion and help them absorb nutrients better.