As we start to feel the seasonal shift towards autumn, it can be a bit harder to motivate ourselves to get out and exercise. Here at humble warrior we've been trying a new approach to exercise - drawing on ancient Chinese teachings around qi.
It's all about the qi
According to ancient Taoist teachings, qi (pronounced 'chee') is the life force or energy, and everything in the world results from the movement and change of qi. The basic idea is that a healthy flow of qi is needed to maintain well-being.
Keep it flowin'
The key to keeping a healthy and balanced qi is to avoid 'blocking the flow'. We can do this by staying active. But it's not a simple case of just doing more exercise. In fact, the teachings warn against doing overly rigorous activity too often - instead, moderate activity through the course of the day is recommended.
So what does that mean for me?
The first step is to punctuate your day with some mini bursts of exercise. Even if you are sitting at a desk all day, you can still 'keep the flow'. Try to get up and stretch every hour, take a lunch-time walk or ditch the elevator for the stairs.
Next, try to blend a mix of 'yin' and 'yang' style activities into your exercise regime:
'Yin' activities are nourishing - think yoga, pilates, stretching, walking or tai chi.
'Yang' activities are more vigorous - such as running, cycling, boxing, aerobics or HIIT.
The goal here is to do enough 'Yang' vigorous activity to ensure the qi is flowing freely - but not so much that we deplete our reserves of qi. At the same time, we need enough 'Yin' nourishment to feel vibrant and healthy inside and out. As ever, it's all about the balance.
Stay humble out there!