Friday, 5 June 2009

Want Inner Equilibrium? Go Outside!!

I don't know about you, but the first thing I do every morning is head downstairs, throw open the patio door, go outside and BREATHE.

If you want energy for the first half of your day, just head outside first thing in the morning - the earlier the better - and take some deep breaths. I'll tell you how in a moment.

Deep levels of inner peace and harmony are not just emotional states unrelated to your physical body and your place in the cosmos. They're not just the result of attitudes and they can't be produced simply by mind games, as some people are telling you.

This deep inner peace and harmony is the direct result of you inserting yourself in the currents of harmony that blow through all creation all around you at every moment. You want to feel these currents? Good. Then go outside first thing in the morning and to this:

1. Put your hands on your hips, bend forward keeping your back straight and exhale through your mouth, totally emptying all the stale air out of your lungs.

2. Return to an upright posture, inhaling through your nose. You'll find you really don't have to inhale - your lungs will fill up again automatically. Repeat steps 1 and 2 three times - don't hyperventilate.

3. If the sun is up, feel its warmth on your skin and gently "breathe in" its warmth.

4. Do some light stretching, enjoying the crisp, clean air.

The early morning air is first of all the cleanest air of the day, if you live in a city as most of us do. It's also thoroughly charged with Qi, according to Chinese medicine and ancient Taoist research. And that explains why parks throughout China and in Chinese communities abroad are often packed with people doing Tai Chi, Qi Gong or related exercises at dawn.

Of course, you can and should get outside anytime you can, especially to places where you can be in a more natural environment. I realize that can be tough if you work downtown in the concrete jungle. I'm very fortunate in that there are two sets of woods within walking distance of my house, woods thick enough that when you're in them you can't even see the rest of the city! It's a great place to do Qi Gong.

Whenever you can go for walks through a park or even through your neighborhood, do it. Just follow your breath with your mind and bathe yourself in the harmony you feel. This will calm your mind, calm your nerves and, from a physical point of view, give you some natural vitamin D and fresh (non-recirculated) air.

As you pursue inner peace and harmony as goals in your life, you'll find yourself spending more and more time outdoors. This is one addiction you don't want to put off!

~ Dr. Symeon Rodger

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