It is tempting to follow every shiny bouncing ball that comes our way, but the result is rarely satisfying. I prefer to take the simplest Qigong exercise, Knocking at the Gates of Life, and practice it until I lose myself. It is then I feel the most alive as chi moves in and through me.
It is an easy exercise to learn. You can’t do it wrong. I’ve seen children do it naturally, without any instruction or thought. They just do it. It’s a beautiful thing to see.
Knocking at the Gates of Life
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent. Lift the crown and sink your tail bone. Feel the stretch in your spine as you stand between heaven and earth.
Breath deep. Focus your breath a few inches below your belly button. We call this place your Dantien (“Sea of Energy”). It is your center and the “Commander and Chief” of all balanced movement.
Slowly twist at the waist and look behind you. First to the left, then to the right. Your feet should remain rooted in the earth, while your upper body moves as an unit, rotating on a central axis around your Dantien. Imagine your hands are heavy weights dangling at the end of your arms. Allow them to swing from left to right with the rotation, tapping your kidney area.
Your movement should be effortless. Don’t waste energy. This is something that you can do for hours and not feel tired. Instead, you will feel energized. Enjoy exploring your central axis!