Eclectic Energies

Energy Exercises

These exercises are meant to increase energy flow throughout the body. They are mostly stretches for the acupuncture meridians and the spine.

As this set of exercises is easy and doesn't take much time to do, it's ideal to start the day with. If you're not used to doing exercise in the morning, you might find it wakes you up better than a cup of coffee. It makes you feel clearer and calmer and better able to face challenges.

For all exercises: keep your body as relaxed as possible and breath from your belly. Do them for the left and the right side of the body.

Flexibility procedure for the feet

This exercise makes your muscles relaxed and supple, as several acupuncture points that have this effect are stimulated. As the rest of the exercises go more smoothly when the muscles are in better condition, this is the perfect one to start with.

Do this while sitting on something low, a bed e.g.

  1. Put the lower part of your left leg on top of the other knee. Hold it with your left hand by putting the hand over the ankle with the thumb over the achilles tendon. (Do not press the thumb in the space between the tendon and the ankle.)
    Hold the sole of the foot with your right hand by putting the hand over the ball of it.
    Now rotate the foot with your right hand for say 20 times total. Turn both directions and keep the foot relaxed.
  2. Hold the left foot with your left hand on top. Hold all toes with the right hand, by putting the fingers on top, thumb around the big toe and top part of the palm under the toes. Rotate the toes, both directions, about 20 times. Again keep the foot relaxed.

Repeat with the right foot.

Exercises done while sitting cross-legged

As these exercises are pretty light to do, they are good for doing in the beginning of the set.

Sit cross legged on a mat on the floor or on a bed.

  1. Hold your ankles with your hands, and slowly bend your back forwards and backwards.
    Do 4 - 10 times.
  2. Sit with your lower legs tucked under you, with your buttocks on your heels. Slowly bend your back forwards and backwards, while keeping your hands on your knees.
    Do 4 - 10 times.
  3. Cross your fingers and put them behind your neck. Alternate moving your upper back sideways, to the left and right. Let your elbow almost touch the ground at each side.
    Do 4 - 10 times.
  4. Turn your head and look back over your shoulder.
    Do this twice on both sides.
  5. Gently pull at your ears at all sides.
    As the ears contain acupunture points that access the whole body, it is a good idea to enhance their connectivity by this exercise.

Exercise done while sitting

To open the meridians in the legs.

Sit on a bed or a mat with your legs straight. Alternate turning both of your feet to the right and to the left. Turn far enough for the sides of your feet to touch the surface.
Do about 1 minute.

Exercises done while standing

To wake up some more.

Get up on your feet and stand with your feet parallel, and shoulder width appart. The knees should not be locked, but a bit bended and relaxed, so energy can flow uninterrupted.

  1. Walk in place, by alternately stand on the toes of each foot. Move the opposite hand forwards, as if walking.
    Do 10 - 20 times.
  2. Move just your shoulders around, up, to the back, to below, to the front.
    Do 4 - 10 times.
  3. Turn your arms, in windmill fashion, in front of you.
    Do 4 - 10 times.
  4. Turn your arm at the side, holding the muscle right under the armpit with the other hand.
    Do with both arms, 4 - 10 times.
  5. Gently stretch one arm up and one downward.
    The upper hand with palm facing upward, fingers pointing to opposite side,
    the lower hand with palm facing downward, fingers pointing to the front.
    Keep for a one or two seconds, then slowly and relaxed change positions with palms facing each other.
    Do 4 - 10 times.
  6. Put your hands on your hips and turn your bottom around, by moving it to the front, then to the right, to the back, to the left, the front, and so on. Also move counterclockwise.
    Do 4 - 10 times.
  7. Let your arms dangle at the sides and turn your upper back around to the left, to the right, and so on. Keep your arms and upper body relaxed, move from your hips.
    Do 10 - 20 times.
  8. Put your heel on a table or chair to stretch the back of your leg. Lay your hands near the knee to gently stretch a bit further.

You might also be interested in these books about energy exercises at

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Eight Simple Qigong Exercises for Health
The Eight Pieces of Brocade
by Jwing-Ming Yang

A set of exercises to improve energy flow in the body, strengthen the organs, and enhance body awareness.
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Qigong Empowerment
A Guide to Medical, Taoist, Buddhist, Wushu Energy Cultivation
by Shou-Yu Liang and Wen-Ching Wu

A wealth of energy exercises, from simple to advanced, of several different styles.
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Qigong for Health and Martial Arts
Exercises & Meditation
Ten Essential Sets of Qigong Exercises

by Yang Jwing-Ming

Sets of energy exercises of different styles, internal as well as external, for health and martial arts.

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