You’re already busy — on one to-do list you have your career and family commitments and you have a whole other to-do list full of stuff that’s supposed to help you deal with the stresses of the first list. You know, the gym to keep those endorphins coming, the meditation to lower your stress levels, the weekend nature walks to help you center yourself and reconnect with your family after a busy week.

It might seem counterintuitive to suggest adding something else to your schedule, but what if there was one thing you could do that would supercharge the results of everything else you have to tackle? (Talk about a win in terms of cost-benefit analysis!) It’ll give you the boost you need to smash your gym routine, keep you clear-headed during your sixth meeting of the day, and still leave you with the energy to deal with the family when you get home. And I’m not talking about a triple espresso…

I’m talking about qigong.

If you’re new to qigong, it’s an ancient Chinese practice that, kinda like yoga, benefits the body and the mind in equal measures.

The thing I love about it is that it always gives more than it takes.

The trickiest part is fitting it into your hectic schedule. But once you’ve committed yourself to the practice, the hard part is over. Qigong is based on slow, gentle, rhythmic movements that align with your breathing. It’s instantly calming — ideal if you find it hard to close all of those open tabs running in your brain.

The real benefits reveal themselves over time.

With regular practice you’ll notice an increase in your strength and flexibility, and many people enjoy a reduction in joint pain too.

But the real plus point is the kick of energy your qigong practice will give to every other thing on that packed schedule of yours. Because the concentrated movements align you both in a metaphysical sense and in a totally literal sense too, it will help reduce stress levels in your body, improve your sleep and improve your ability to deal with whatever the day throws at you.

If you’ve never tried qigong before, I have the perfect way in: spine scrolling. You can try this gorgeous movement anywhere, even if you only have a few minutes to spare. It’s the perfect way to find a little extra energy if you’re right in the middle of that early-afternoon slump so many of us experience:

Begin by standing up straight before gently folding yourself over as far as you can manage. Consciously note each vertebrae of your spine roll forward as you complete the movement. Once you get to the bottom, flow slowly back up, again uncurling one vertebra at a time.

Practice the movement a couple of times and feel the tension ease away as renewed energy begins to flow through your whole body.

Feeling better already, right?

If you really want to ramp up your energy levels and experience qigong with a trained practitioner, my first class series is coming up in the DC, Maryland and Virginia area. I’d love to welcome you there!