I find it exciting that so many of the stress-reduction techniques for body-mind-spirit that have become popular include teachings about the importance of postural alignment for your health. When we work to align ourselves on every level, from physical to emotional to mental to spiritual, I believe we open an enormous well-spring of resources.

One of the very earliest practices to work with this concept is Qigong (also spelled many other ways, including Chi Kung). Based on Taoist principles to cultivate life force energy or qi (chi) and dating back, some say, up to 5000 years in China, qigong includes energy work, breath work, meditations, Taoist yoga, healing, and martial arts.

Both in my work and in my book, The Way of Joy, I explore some of the themes from these ancient Taoist practices, as I look at the lessons we can receive from that I call “The Three Realms of Consciousness”—Heaven, Human, and Earth.

These three realms (related to three energy centers called the triple tan tien in Traditional Chinese Medicine) are primary portals to our connection to the universe and our experience in life. How we access and use the energy in each of these realms constitutes the basis for much of Chi Kung. In short, the Heaven realm contains consciousness and inspiration, the Human realm contains intention and love, and the Earth realm incorporates empowerment and manifestation.

When you can feel your feet on the ground (Earth realm), your head in the sky (Heaven realm), and allow your chest and heart to relax (Human realm), I think you’ll be amazed how quickly you can pivot your energy to optimal capacity.

Are there times when you’ve felt the power of aligning your mind, heart and actions? 

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. Classes and WorkshopsBook: The Way of JoyCD: Short Meditations for a Busy Life.