Exercises for Releasing Frustration
Ever have one of those days? These next qi exercises are helpful in both cleansing the liver and releasing the upper body tension that sometimes comes with frustration (and sometimes, just comes.) In the first three exercises, it’s important to always keep a slight bend in the elbows to avoid hyper-extension, and only go as fast as feels comfortable for your body (particularly your shoulders). These exercises are NOT appropriate if you have a dislocated shoulder or other joint instability in your shoulders.
“Swinging Arms, Twisting Spine”: Allow one arm to swing in front of the body, hitting at the opposite side of waist. At the same time let the other arm swing behind the body, hitting the opposite side of waist, while twisting in that direction. Swing back and forth in both directions, bending knees when in the center and standing upright while twisting around. Continue for 1-3 minutes.
“Giving Yourself a Hug”: Allow one arm to swing toward the opposite shoulder, letting the hand hit the top of the shoulder (GB 21), while the other arm swings and hits below the opposite armpit on the upper back or side of body. Continue for 1-3 minutes.
“Skiing Qi”: Bend your knees and come forward bending your elbows and drawing them back like you’re skiing. Then come up, draw your arms up and come into a little back bend — using momentum continue back and forth. Continue for a 1-3 minutes.
“Shoulder Drop”: On an inhale thru your nose lift your shoulders as high as you can toward your ears, with clenched fists and arms close to the sides of the body. If you can do so steadily, lift your heals up off the floor too. Hold for a moment and then, with a forceful exhale out thru the mouth, drop the shoulders and heals down and open your hands wide (still facing down). Repeat several times.
“Punching Out”: In this group of exercises, it’s important to keep your eyes open wide (stimulating the liver) and knees slightly bent. Punch out with each arm, first to the side, then out in front, then up toward the sky, and finally down towards the ground. Each time you punch make the sound of “HA” loudly. Go as quickly or slowly as you feel comfortable doing. Repeat two or three times, taking a breath or two between each set. I recommend, if possible, doing this in a place where you feel comfortable being loud…. or, at the very least, with the door closed. Your neighbors might be a little concerned, but at least you’ll feel less annoyed. 😉