The Chinese call it qi, the Japanese ki, and the Indians prana. To Christians it is “the breath of life,” to Tibetans “lung,” and the Greeks knew it as pneuma. These are all different terms for the same concept: the life energy that each individual possesses. This potential energy is shaped by your living habits, your lifestyle, the way you live your life. Everything you think, feel, eat and drink, not to mention the way you act, live, breathe, and speak, will affect your energy.
When your energy is flowing, you feel healthy, capable, concentrated, happy, and balanced; your body and mind form an inseparable whole and you have access to all your power. When your energy is blocked, you feel pain and tension. You are discontented, irritable, nervous, uneasy or angry, and you feel vulnerable, misunderstood or sick. Your body and mind are no longer a whole, and everything you do costs you additional energy.
Every individual is able to restore their flow of life energy by making use of specific physical exercises, uncomplicated breathing techniques, simple meditations, and even delicious energy drinks. This small guide in your hands is a true treasure chest that will show you simple and effective ways of exploiting your potential effectively. All my recommendations are intended to provide support for your physical and mental wellbeing. They are tried and tested and have been sourced from my many years of experience and practice as a martial arts, Qigong, meditation, and yoga teacher and as a psychological coach. Each person will react according to their own individual energy patterns and personal capacities, however, so your mileage may vary and your experience will be as individual as you are.
Tapping the thymus gland
The Latin term thymus is derived from the Greek word thymos, meaning “life force”. The thymus gland is the most important organ in the human immune system as it secretes defence hormones. It not only influences our ability to deal with burdens and assaults on our physical and emotional state but also helps us to defend ourselves successfully. The thymus is located in the center of the torso behind the sternum, about 2 ½ inches/7 cm beneath the throat.
This simple exercise relieves stress and anxiety while also boosting the body’s defences. It will give you courage and drive, and boost your vitality. Children and young people will also benefit from this exercise. Activate your thymus before an exam, a job interview, or a lecture for greater composure, peace of mind, and self-assurance.
Sit or stand upright. Use your fingertips or fists to tap on the thymus and/or sternum for 60 seconds. As you are doing this, remember to breathe regularly and tap rhythmically, adapting the intensity of the tapping to your needs and wellbeing. You can do this exercise several times a day and children love to roar like Tarzan when they are activating their thymus glands.
This power drink is taken from the Ayurveda. It encourages and activates energy in the body and the mind, and all the ingredients are easy to get hold of. This drink is quick to make and tastes simply wonderful.
Lemons contain lots of vitamin C. This acid revitalizes, stimulates, and supports your immune system and digestion, and oranges have properties that strengthen the body and activate the digestion. Ginger stokes your digestive fires, is good for your gut flora, and reduces both your cholesterol levels and your blood pressure. It has a warming and stimulating effect, sluices away toxins, and plays a supportive and strengthening role when you catch a cold or similar. Cardamom promotes digestion, neutralizes phlegm, and has an invigorating effect on your vitality. Black pepper reduces inflammation and has a soothing and supportive effect on every part of your digestive system. Brown whole cane sugar brings warmth and balance, and exerts a slight basic effect on the body.
2 fl oz/60ml fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon) 5 fl oz/150ml freshly squeezed sweet orange juice (about 2 oranges) 6 cups water (or still mineral water) 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger 4 cardamom pods 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon black pepper 4 tablespoons brown whole cane sugar
Mix the water with the lemon and orange juice and add the ginger. Pick out the cardamom seeds and grind them to a fine powder with the peppercorns using a mortar and pestle. Add the spices and the whole cane sugar to the drink, stir well, and enjoy. The mixture should ideally be consumed at room temperature.
You can also use apple juice instead of orange juice, and you might also like to try the energy drink (see p. 36) and fitness drink (see p. 78).
Bumble Bee Breathing
This exercise is best to be carried out sitting or standing. Pay attention to keep your spine straight. Close your ears by putting your fingers or thumbs in them. During the whole exercise the elbows point to the side. Take care to keep your shoulders relaxed.
Close your eyes and breathe in through your nose. Breathe out through the nose and while doing so hum continuously like a bee or a bumblebee. Repeat this about 5 to 10 times. Then remove the fingers from the ears, relax your arms, and keep in a state of sensing for a moment.
This breathing exercise soothes the nerves and calms the thoughts. It helps dissolve mental tension as well as promotes concentration and bringing body and spirit back into their natural balance. This practice strengthens the voice and raises breathing capacity. It is a good preparation before meditation and helps with states of fear, as it fills the heart and mind with joy.