‘Manage Stress with Chi Kung and Tai Chi’ | TheUnion.com

‘Manage Stress with Chi Kung and Tai Chi’

Mariscela Alvarez
Submitted photo |

Stressful situations block the harmonious flow of “chi” (life force), producing physical, mental or emotional imbalance. The practice of Chi Kung and Tai Chi is a natural way to deal with stress because its essence is to find the point of balance between two opposite forces: nervous tension and inner peace. Learn to “balance the chi” under stressful situations by practicing the following components of these ancient Chinese techniques:

1. Breathing exercises.

Breathing from the lower abdomen or “dantian” in slow motion is essential in the practice of Chi Kung and Tai Chi as a tool to release stress while increasing the amount of oxygen and blood flow to the brain. The mind and the nervous system become relaxed and more alert, producing a state of balance. In this state it is possible to disengage from a stressful situation and control your reactions.

2. Meditation.

When our energy is scattered, we cannot think clearly and become easily irritable. Being in a state of meditation can help us to stay in a motionless position promoting relaxation, mental balance and concentration, as well as patience that leads to release tension and anxiety, even when the nervous system is refusing to stay still. Cultivating a meditation practice will prevent not only stress, but also depression.

3. Slow movements.

Tai Chi and Chi Kung by nature are gentle exercises practiced in slow motion. The practice of these slow movements will gradually strengthen the body and build up the life force, especially when someone is dealing with a physical challenge (arthritis, joint pain, balance issues, back injury, etc.,) doesn’t keep an exercise routine or is not aging gracefully. Start now to prevent future health issues or to improve the present condition.

4. Daily practice.

Or regular practice will increase the level of physical stamina, enabling the body to release stress and anxiety safely. It will also boosts the immune system, preventing chronic stress that can lead to illness and mental disorder. Furthermore, the body will develop an inner wisdom knowing how to release the obstructed chi while improving balance, flexibility and coordination.

The practice of Tai Chi and Chi Kung will raise the chi to a higher frequency from where every situation could be perceived as an opportunity of self-growth. Therefore, attracting positive people and situations that contribute to the natural flow of chi will be easier.

A word of caution: Not all exercises are suitable for everyone. This or any other exercise program may result in injury. To reduce the risk of injury, never force or strain. Consult your physician before starting this or any other exercise program.

Mariscela Alvarez is certified to instruct the Tai Chi White Dragon Short Form, Sun Short Form and Chi Kung exercises. Mariscela is offering a free Tai Chi and Chi Kung class on Saturday, Sept.17 at 9 a.m., at Sierra Dance Institute, 314 West Main St., Grass Valley. Regular classes are on Saturdays starting on Sept. 24 at 9 a.m. For more information, visit her at http://www.fyspirit.com or call (530) 863-0003.

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