On an energetic level, stress is actually stagnant chi. When things pile up in our lives and in our psyches, we either become exhausted and depressed, or hyper and driven, or some combination. When you can access a sense of spaciousness, regardless of how busy you are, your chi will move freely and bring about transformation. — The Way of Joy
A lot has been written about the health benefits of meditation, particularly in the area of stress reduction. I believe that, on an energetic level, any practices that create an internal opening—whether they be sitting meditation, yoga, Alexander Technique, Feldenkreis or automatic writing, moving Chi Kung or prayer—create a sense of space, both in the psychological sense of “taking space” and physically inside of the very cells of our bodies, because as we breathe deeply, we oxygenate our blood. We can then open up the energy bound up in stress and transform it into something that can serve us instead of drain us.
What kinds of changes do you feel when you become centered in the face of stress?
Vicki Dello Joio, founder of The Way of Joy: A Spiritual Fitness Program, is a teacher, speaker and performing artist. Integrating over 40 years of Chi Kung practice with other martial arts as well as her work in Yoga, Feldenkreis, physical fitness and theater, Vicki has developed a dynamic set of tools to increase awareness, transform obstacles into opportunities and enhance creative potential. Book: The Way of Joy, CD: Short Meditations for a Busy Life.