Well, of course we have to start off by saying you “shouldn’t” get carried away indulging in the holiday feasts. We are human though and often that isn’t something that we want to think about this time of year. We have new years resolutions coming up for goodness sakes right?
So, this is one way to look at it. But if you prepare properly, you may surprise yourself and actually not overindulge or hurt yourself. See my other blogpost for more info on this and other tips to thrive during the holidays.
Here are three simple Qi Gong exercises that will help prime your digestive fires, or alternatively, help you feel better after you indulge. Please leave your comments below…I would love to know how this helps you! I have also thought about shooting a quick video demo, please let me know if you would find that helpful. Additionally I can always teach you these or several others in a one on one 30-60 minute appointment.
Grasping the Ball
Create an imaginary ball with your hands at the level of the abdomen, starting with your hands on each side of the ball. The size of the ball is optional but should be a comfortable size relative to the size of your abdomen. Once the ball is established, start to expand and contract the ball from side to side. Remember to keep your shoulders relaxed and your elbows dropped. The expanding of this ball can correspond to your breath, increasing in size as you inhale and shrinking as you exhale. Again, feel the connection between the ball and the torso. If this is difficult, try to imagine this ball inside of you, feeling your hands inside of your lower abdomen. After 5-10 times, rotate your hands to hold the ball on its top and bottom. Expand the ball up to your head and down below your naval. After 5-10 times, rotate your top hand to the bottom and the bottom hand to the top. Then, change hand positions again, placing each hand on the diagonal sides, expanding and contracting. Finish with rotating the initial small ball at the starting point for five breaths.
Flow of digestion
Hold your arms out in front of you at shoulder height, keeping them slightly bent and at a 45º angle from your chest. Starting with the right hand, arc it in towards the chest bone. Touch the chest bone and in one continuous movement bring your fingers down the centerline to just below your naval. Then, as that hand comes back up to its starting position, the left hand starts on the same movement as the right hand has just completed. As you become comfortable with this movement, start to naturally and gently turn your upper body (from the hips) towards the hand that is coming in. The hands should be alternating positions simultaneously, slightly resembling the motion of swimming. Practice 20 strokes with light pressure, be sure to feel the connection between the hands and the torso.
Encircling the Torso
Make medium size circles on the abdomen with the palm of your hand. Rest the other hand on top of the active hand. Start one direction (i.e. clockwise or counter-clockwise) for a couple minutes and then switch. Feel the connection between the hands and the abdomen or feel as if your hands are inside the abdomen. You can actually start and finish the entire routine with this.