My main reason for exercising used to be making sure I could stay in a size 6. All that changed when I heard the words, "You have cancer."
Through chemotherapy and radiation, my workouts gave me a sense of control over my body and a world that had been shaken to its core. On the days that I had energy, my Tai Chi master and I would stroll over to Central Park to do our simple practice outside. In those moments I felt blessed to be right where I was, in the body that I was given.
While I may not have always understood the why and how of my Tai Chi practice, I knew it was enabling me to maintain a full and vibrant life through my treatment. I would wake up feeling exhausted and after three simple Tai Chi exercises, I would feel present, in charge and uplifted.
Whether dealing with an illness or just the stresses of daily life, this simple exercise will help you move from "working out" to "working within."
Gathering The Chi
- Begin with feet hip-distance apart, knees soft, arms at your sides. Feel your body sinking towards the earth.
- Breathe in, turning your palms out and slowly scooping your arms overhead. Imagine gathering positive energy from all around you.
- Exhale, slowly drawing your arms down in front of your body, palms facing the floor. Pause when your hands are just below your belly button. Repeat until you feel energized and calm.