This simple Taoist meditation can immediately alleviate sinus congestion, start to regulate blood pressure, and balance the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems.
In traditional practice, it is used for qi regulation, organ health, and syncing the body systems with the natural energy and rhythm of the macrocosmic orbit, for health and harmonious living.
Lie down comfortably face up or sit in meditation position with a relaxed and upright spine, eyes closed. Rest the tip of the tongue on the roof of the mouth touching the back of the upper teeth. Squeeze the anus and perineal muscles to activate and close the circuit of the microcosmic orbit. Relax the muscles.
Take a moment breathing in the low belly (the lower Dan Tian) internally in the area between the belly button and the sacrum. Feel the breath fill this area, and feel the belly relax down on the exhale. Notice any sensation in this area of awakening, softening, opening, sparkling, or tingling. It may take some practice. Don’t worry, just notice.
Move the breath and the attention to the tip of the sacrum and slowly inhale through the nose as best as possible. If congested, the inhale may be partly through the nose, and partly through the mouth at first. Inhale the breath up the spine slowly, noticing each area of the spine, up the neck and back of head to the top of the head at completion of the inhale. Count this as 1.
At the top of the head start the exhale down the center front of the face and body, completing at the perineum. Do not rush and notice each area on the front of the body as the qi passes. Count this as 2.
Continue the circuit by starting the inhale up the spine from the perineum. Count 3.
Continue this circuit with the breath, noticing, and counting. Count up to 10, up the back is odd numbers (yang) and down the front is even numbers (yin). Do 3 cycles of 10. Notice if and where the qi or breath slows or needs extra time to pass. After a few cycles notice if the qi or breath move more evenly and smoothly.
If you want to visualize the qi and breath like a small ball of light rolling on the circuit, smoothing, healing, energizing each vertebra and organ that it passes. Let the breath wash, calm and replenish each area it passes.
Let the mind and eyes be soft and smiling. Let the breath be soft and smooth, long and relaxed—not too fast, and not too controlled. It might speed up once it smooths out a bit.
After 3 cycles of counts to 10, you are finished. Notice any change in the state of energy in the body. Notice if sinuses are more open or less tension in temples and face. Notice if you feel calmer or more grounded.
A common energy pattern for us is that all the energy goes upward and stays in the head and shoulders, causing different symptoms, such as sinus congestion, high blood pressure, neck and shoulder tension, headaches, ringing in the ears, low back weakness or pain, and ungroundedness. This is from overuse of the mind, focus, work, study, overthinking/over worrying, and under practice of body awareness, breath work, and qi regulation.
When we bring the energy down with mindfulness and practice, it allows the vascular system in the head and face to relax, often times immediately relieving symptoms such as sinus congestion and high blood pressure. It also anchors some energy in the kidneys, strengthening the low back and allowing for a sense of calm and peace.
The microcosmic orbit practice syncs our bodies’ natural rhythms with the rhythm of the cosmos-or the macrocosmic orbit, of the Earth, and the Solar System. We put ourselves in sync with the flow of what is happing in this astrological moment and benefit from the energies of it.