I have practiced the gentle and peaceful Japanese martial art aikido since 1972, when I was a teenager. That's for over 40 years, and it still inspires me greatly. Something within aikido vitalizes and delights me, just by practicing the movements.
That is qi, the life energy. The swirls and spins of the aikido movements stimulate the flow of qi energy inside me as well as the other practitioners, and whirls through the space between us. Aikido might have the form of a martial art, but in essence it's a way of dancing to the flow of the qi energy.
The word aikido says it all. It translates to the way of joining qi (spelled ki when Romanized from Japanese). I let my qi energy emerge and join with that of my training partner.
In China and Japan, most of the arts - not just the martial ones - are expressions of the qi energy flow. It's how the painters and calligraphers make their brushes sweep over the paper, how dancers move their bodies, how musicians make their instruments resonate and singers reach out with their voices. It is also essential in such healing methods as acupuncture, qigong, and reiki.
Qi is a life energy flow that should run smoothly through your body and out of it. Therefore, it needs to be treated similarly to how a flow of any substance is optimized in nature. There are five basic conditions that need to be corrected and then perfected: posture, relaxation, breathing, extension and the center. To the extent they're all adjusted, your qi will flow all by itself.
So, I've collected and developed a set of exercises for each of the five basic conditions. They're all in my book, but several of them can also be found on this website. Check the menu in the left column.
Remember this: although the exercises are quite simple and can be done by anyone without previous training of any kind, you need to be persistent. You can feel a change already the first time you try the exercises, but the effect will not be lasting without repetition. Try to do them - or at least some of them - daily. You don't need to work on them for long. A few minutes should suffice, as long as you get back to them the next day, or at least a few times a week. If you don't, your body qucikly goes back to its old habits, and your qi energy flow may decrease.
But don't take my word for it. Try the qi energy exercises you find on this website, and if you find them rewarding - repeat them. Quicker than you imagined, you'll get your qi flowing, and if you're persistent it will increase.
It's so easy, simply because it's so natural. It's what your body and your mind want, so they'll be very quick to adapt. Try it out:
Maybe it could simply be explained as a symbolic way of celebrating the joy of being alive: the breath of life, without which we quickly perish.
This breath of life can be stimulated to increase. Thereby it rises to something far more than the mere consumption of oxygen, and extends way beyond the reach of our bodies. You will definitely feel the difference.
You don't have to believe in qi energy to try it. Keep an open but also critical mind, and make your decision afterwards.
Life is a wondrous mystery. What brightens it up is precious, whether it can be seen in a microscope or not. And you know what Hamlet said to his doubting friend:
"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy."
Qi - Increase Your Life Energy