3 Exercises to Strengthen & Balance Your Energy During the Busy Holiday Season

Holidays are in full swing and so are our triggers, blind spots and shadow selves. Remember what Ram Dass said about spiritual progress? If you think you’re enlightened, go spend time with your family!

As the year winds down so do our spiritual reserves. By the time the holidays roll around we’re often overtired, cranky, impatient and resentful. Chin up, kind heart. The holiday spirit is within you. The secret to leading a positive, happy life (translation: perfect well-being and Joy) is to balance and align your energy, or Qi (pronounced “chi”), with what and whom you value. In other words, are you living an authentic life? Do you feel comfortable in your own skin? When are you in your sweet spot and standing in your inner Light and Joy?

The reason I love Qigong and Chinese Medicine so much is because by practicing these traditions every day, no matter how busy I am, balance and peace bless my mind, body and spirit. Like the weather, Qigong does not hold back; what it has offered me is available to you. There is always enough sunshine for everyone!

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Here are three of my favorite Qigong practices. They’re perfect for this time of year since the exercises strengthen and balance energy when we’re busy and overindulged.

Take a conscious breath. When you direct your attention to your breath, your focus is clutter-free and calm. When we don’t think, we’re peaceful. Take a long slow inhale through your nose. Pause. Now exhale slowly through your mouth. Pause. Feel better already? Good. In that moment of peace, you were enlightened. Wow.

Open your energy centers. In Chinese Medicine there are three major energy centers, called Dan Tiens. Your upper Dan Tien is located in between the eyebrows, your middle Dan Tien in the center of the chest and your lower Dan Tien is below your navel. A blockage in one or all of these energy centers will cause varying levels of imbalance and suffering in the mind, body and spirit. Watch and follow along with the Qigong practice Opening the three Dan Tiens: 

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Shake it off. Just like Taylor Swift suggests in her catchy song, when something is bothering you – shake it off! We are one of the few animals on this planet that don’t shake our bodies after we experience fear or trauma. Watch below and follow along with the Qigong practice Shaking the Tree:

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I wish you energy and balance this season and always. May you forever remember that the secret to a happy, positive and joyful life is within you. To bring peace to the world, we must first strive to make our inner world peaceful.

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Now go get enlightened by enjoying time with your family!

To joy in the season and peace in our worlds.

Love and gratitude,

-Chris Shelton


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About the Author

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Chris Shelton is a certified practitioner and teacher with 15 years of clinical experience in Qigong, an ancient holistic health modality that combines traditional Chinese medicine with movement, breath and visualization. He’s helped thousands of people across the United States and around the world reclaim their health and enjoy lives free from chronic pain. Chris has worked with Special Olympics teams, professional martial artists, weight lifters and celebrities looking for deeper meaning in their lives. Chris’ belief in the healing powers of Qigong is rooted in first-hand experience. As a teenager he suffered from a devastating back injury that left him in constant pain and partially paralyzed. He attributes his full recovery to Qigong, a holistic approach perfect for people who want non-invasive, affordable and empowering healthcare.Chris’ work has appeared in newspapers and magazines and been featured on radio and television. He is founder of Morning Crane Healing Arts Center in San Jose, California, and the author of Qigong for Self-Refinement. Chris is often found chasing after his favorite herd of turtles: his wife, four kids and one grandkid. His second book, Ancient Medicine, Modern Miracles: Tools for Healing, Eliminating and Preventing Disease, is currently being read by publishers.

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