You see them in the park sometimes: people doing tai chi exercises at the break of dawn. It looks as if they're pushing invisible objects away in slow motion and pulling them back in again... These simple exercises can have miraculous effects.
Take about 15 minutes every morning and discover how to start your day with more awareness, feeling more relaxed and more energetic.
Let your energy flow
Start by tapping your body to loosen it up. Make a loose fist and tap the inside of your arm. Start at the top and go down bit by bit to the tips of your fingers. Tap your way up again on the outside of the same arm, all the way to the top of your shoulder. This way, you follow and activate the meridians. The energy in your body can start to flow.
After a few times, do the same for the other arm. Make sure your knees are slightly bent so you won't create a blockage. Next, make two loose fists and tap your chest, belly, hips and lower back, and down along the sides of your legs. When you go down, bend your knees and try to keep your back straight. Tap around the outside of your feet and back up along the insides of your legs. Again, you're following the meridians that way. Do your legs a few times too. This is how you prepare your body for tai chi.
Make room in your spine
Stand firmly with your feet slightly apart and straight below your hips. Your knees are slightly bent again and straight over your toes. Now turn your upper body around its axis, from the center, back and forth. Your arms are completely relaxed. Start by making small, gentle swaying movements. Let your arms, shoulders and hips move along slightly. Then, make the movements bigger and bigger until finally glancing over your shoulder with the movement. Your knees are still slightly bent and over your toes; they are not part of the movement. By twisting your back this way, you loosen your spine. A few minutes is enough to loosen it up nicely. This exercise feels good in the morning because it activates your whole body.
Want to know more about tai chi and try more exercises? You can find them in Happinez 'Find your Balance'.
Text: Bianca Bartels - Photo: Oliver Pacas