When we are upset or feeling stress, the energy in our body moves toward our heart and away from our feet or limbs. When we need to focus, it helps to move energy toward our feet and try to distribute the energy through our bodies evenly. In Tai Chi or Qiqong (pronounced chiqong), this Standing Like a Tree exercise is considered the single best thing you can do to restore the body's alignment, strength, length and agility.
1. Stand with your feet apart and knees slightly bent (wider stance and deeper bend as you become more accustomed to the exercise).
2. Lift arms and hold them in front of you as though you are "hugging a tree" or you can also lift them up a bit like you are "dancing with your arms around someone's neck."
3. Set a soft gaze, close your eyes and breathe.
4. Start out doing this for a minute and then see if you can do it longer.
5. Enjoy the slight sway of your body and mind.
6. Can you do standing like a tree for 3 minutes with no talking? Can you track how the sensations in your body shift?
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