Do you meditate?
If you answered no, guess again!
Every night you go to sleep you engage in the most natural form of meditation your body can experience, says Qigong master and healer Chunyi Lin, creator of Spring Forest Qigong.
"Sleeping is a natural form of meditation and a form of Qigong," he says, "It's the perfect way to balance yin and yang energy in the body."
Traditional Chinese Medicine says too much yang energy or too much yin energy can cause blockages in the body's energy channels and lead to health problems.
"But 'Qi sleeping' helps to balance your energy. During sleep, the energies of the heart, mind, body, and spirit unite," Chunyi says. "It's so wonderful because you are practicing Qigong while you sleep!"
To help you sleep like a baby—and fine-tune your energy while you do it—consider these tips from Chunyi:
- Exercise daily to detoxify acidic energy in the body. Walking, slow running, weight lifting, Qigong, yoga, or tai chi can all help you go deeper into sleep so the body can balance more quickly.
- Eat a light meal in the evening, and stop eating two hours before bed.
- Don't drink any tea, coffee, or alcohol at least two hours before bed.
- Avoid watching violent movies or TV shows before sleep. "As you sleep, those images are still processing in your brain, in every cell in your body," Chunyi says, "It can prevent you from having a peaceful sleep."
- Before bed, take a hot bath filled with a handful of sea salt, or soak your feet in a basin of hot water with three tablespoons of sea salt.
- Go to sleep and wake up the same time every day to allow your body to align with its natural body clock.
- Sleep on your right or left side or on your back. This helps balance the Qi better.
- Put a smile on your face as you close your eyes. Smiling causes your brain to send out endorphins that help you feel good.
- Visualize you are sleeping in the cradle of the moon.
- Relax your body from head to toe, breathing slowly, deeply, and gently.
- Focus your attention on your lower dantian, the energy center deep behind the navel. Imagine bright, loving energy there. Send unconditional love energy to your lungs and to any part of your body where you have pain. Allow your body to feel the love.
- Send a message to your body. For example, say to yourself, "Tonight I will sleep in eight hours of Qigong meditation. Tomorrow when I wake, all my channels are open. All the blockages in my body are gone. I am completely healed, and I feel happy and healthy."
- When you wake in the morning, don't spring out of bed right away. Lie still as you take three deep breaths. Then rub your hands and massage your face. Massage your ears. Then get up and enjoy your day.
Consider eating a small baked potato as part of your evening meal. This calms the energy of the brain and pancreas, helps balance hormone energy, and helps the body relax.
When sleeping on your side bend your knees, Chunyi say. "Sleep like a shrimp, or like a baby in the womb."
Avoid sleeping on your stomach, which can cause your neck to twist and energy blockages to develop gradually in your body.
"When you sleep well and feel peace in your body," Chunyi says, "every cell has time to rejuvenate. The next morning you wake up with good energy and are ready to go!"
You can learn many other ways to balance your energy and help your body heal during the free online Spring Forest Healingfest in November. Chunyi Lin will even guide you in gentle exercises and two Sitting Meditations that develop your mental concentration and help clear your body's energy channels to promote healing.