Do you ever have those days when you wake up tired, and no matter what you do, you seem to drag all day? Or perhaps it is already afternoon, and you feel like it is too late to have another cup of coffee, but your energy is dragging. You need an energy boost, but you’re not sure how you can get it. A simple Qi Gong exercise that I learned may be able to help, and it only takes a minute to do!

Growing up, my mother never let us drink soft drinks, except maybe a 12oz can over the weekend and on special occasions, and for good reason too. Most soft drinks have too much sugar and are not good for growing bodies. My mother was also cheap, and didn’t want to spend money on luxuries such as soft drinks.

Once I was on my own in college, I indulged myself on soft drinks, and immediately got hooked. I quickly switched to diet soft drinks to avoid the sugar, but still had to have a soft drink every morning, otherwise I would start to get a nasty headache. At the time, I really didn’t like coffee, so I depended on soft drinks for my main source of caffeine. By the time I was in graduate school, I was drinking a 64oz diet soft drink every morning.

It took me many years to kick my soft drink addiction, and eventually transitioned to iced tea for caffeine. That seemed to work for a while and it was actually much better for me, but could I just stop drinking caffeine altogether, and get my energy from elsewhere? Then a couple of years ago, I found a group that practiced Qi Gong, and started learning from them.

Qi Gong is an ancient Chinese practice that combines breathing with posture and movement. Qi is the Chinese concept of energy – the energy that is all around us, that makes up the world, and also the same energy that makes us tick and flows through our bodies. By practicing Qi Gong, you can increase your energy gently and naturally. It also helps you become more aware of your own energy, and how it connects and reacts to the environment around you.

Practicing Qi Gong also helps ground you. It can help you manage your stress and anxiety, and can help lower your blood pressure as well. There are hundreds of different schools and varieties of Qi Gong practices, but they all boil down to breath, posture and simple, gentle movements. Deep belly breathing is the key.

One of the techniques I’ve learned in my practice of Qi Gong is called “Inhale the World”. I like to do this short and simple exercise every day to increase my energy. You can do this when you wake up in the morning, or even during the day, such as those afternoons where you need a pick-me-upper to keep going.

To do “Inhale the World”, stand somewhere where you’ll have some space to move your arms out to your sides, and move them up and down. Stand straight with your feet about shoulder length apart, and bend your knees slightly. Hang your arms at your side. Take a deep breath, all the way down into your abdomen. You should be able to see your stomach go out slightly when you breathe in, then back in.

On your next breath in, start raising both your arms up slowly, palms face up. As you finish the slow, deep inhalation, your arms should form an arc shape, and end up over your head, facing downwards. As you breathe out slowly, move your hands down, in front of your body, without touching. By the time you finish exhaling, your hands should be back by your side.

Repeat this movement 3-4 times. As you inhale slowly, you can imagine your chest is feeling lighter and lighter. As you exhale, you feel your energy settling back down into your torso area. In this way, you are moving energy. You can also imagine that you are gathering energy from the air as you are inhaling, and then pulling it all into your body as you exhale.

“Inhale the World” is not just a deep breathing exercise. It involves awareness of your breath, awareness of the energy around you, and awareness of the energy within you. As you practice this with awareness, you’ll find that your level of energy is increasing, and you’ll experience a boost in energy. Do this exercise of conscious deep breathing while moving your arms slowly, and you’ll be amazed at what a difference this deceivingly simple exercise makes!

There are hundreds of different Qi Gong exercises. One school practices a set of five exercises every day, taking a total of 2 hours to complete! I managed to go for almost a year without drinking any caffeine at all and felt more alive than ever, just by doing this particular Qi Gong practice just once a week. You don’t have to practice for 2 hours every day or even every week to benefit from Qi Gong. Just take a couple of minutes each day to do this exercise, and you’ll feel more grounded and have more energy.

Author's Bio: 

José de la Torre is a holistic life coach and works with clients to transform their lives and their health by transforming their thoughts and beliefs, helping them find peace and balance in their lives. You can find out more on his website,, or follow him on Facebook @BeatPeaceCoach, or on Twitter @Peace_Coach.