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It’s hard work to feel energized and positive all the time. Some days we just want to slump in front of Netflix and ignore our emails, which is fine on a Sunday, but when you’re at work with a to-do list as long as your arm, having a few energy-boosting tricks up your sleeve can come in handy.
Enter Matthew Cohen, an L.A.-based energy whisperer. Now I know it sounds kooky, but Cohen has created a method called Sacred Energy Arts that combines qigong (an ancient Chinese practice of posture work, breathing techniques, and meditation) with yoga and ancient martial arts to help clients harness their own energy to supercharge their daily lives.
According to Cohen, we each have our own “energy fingerprint,” and he wants us all to tap into it. What’s great about his method is that you can take elements of it and use it in your daily life. Some are better suited to being alone (if you’re standing in your office gazing at the sky, colleagues may ask questions), but others you can practice at your desk. Each is there to help reenergize you if you’re suffering from a 4 p.m. slump or you want something to help ease the anxiety and tension we all face from time to time.
You may be skeptical, but Cohen has shared seven energy-enhancing hacks from his method, and they’re free and quick to do, so next time you’re feeling a bit meh, we challenge you to give one a go. Keep scrolling to find out how to tap into your energy and feel like your best self in minutes.
“Clearing is a qigong exercise developed to release anxiety, fear, and negativity,” explains Cohen. Here’s how to do it:
- Bring your hands out to your side and up over your head until your palms are facing the earth and your fingers are close together.
- Lower your hands slowly. Imagine as your hands move down that they have the ability to filter any toxins or stagnation down into the earth. The hands act as a screen on a French press. This practice is a powerful way to draw unwanted energy from your system.
“The no-fear mudra (or hand position) is a great practice to do when you wish to embrace and transmute fear,” Cohen tells us. Here’s how it’s done:
- Sit or stand with your shoulders relaxed, your chest open and at ease.
- Keep your elbows at your side, bent 90 degrees with your palms facing forward, fingers up to the sky, and wrists extended. Relax for as long as you need in this position.
The Brain Hack
“A clever brain hack, this gesture will recalibrate your energy and revitalize you in short order. This is an ancient, primal human stance symbolizing power and victory,” explains Cohen.
- Raise your arms over your head for 30 seconds to two minutes.
Align with Purpose
“When you feel fuzzy, you’re not thinking clearly, seeing sharply, or breathing deeply. Stop and take a moment to align with your core intention,” suggests Cohen. “What is your life purpose? Take a moment to remember this, and choose to have your actions support this intention and purpose. When we are aligned with purpose, we gain energy and become more clear, refined, and lucid,” he adds.
Try a Wuji
“Wuji is a potent and strong qigong posture that develops strength, power, awareness, and alignments in the body—a deep connection to the earth and a relaxed free spirit,” says Cohen. Here’s how to do it:
- Stand with your feet between hip- and shoulder-distance apart. Knees bent. Tailbone dropped. Chest relaxed. Back full. Crown of the head lifted. Gaze soft, and breath calm, long, and deep.
- Stand quietly for three to 10 minutes. Bring your attention back to the breath when you notice your mind wandering.
“Tactical breathing is a very efficient way to calm your nerves, move into a parasympathetic state (also known as rest and digest, as opposed to fight-or-flight), and become conscious of the present moment,” explains Cohen.
- Inhale for 3 slow counts through the nose.
- Hold for 3 slow counts.
- Exhale for 3 slow counts through the mouth.
- Hold for 3 slow counts.
- Repeat 9 times.
Do the Twist
“Twists are one of the fastest and easiest ways to detoxify and energize the body and clear the mind,” says Cohen.
- Sit in a chair at work or home.
- Breathe in through the nose for 3 to 6 counts, and exhale slowly and consciously; at the end of the exhale, twist slowly in one direction.
- Your arms can be strong and supportive while your belly remains relaxed.
- Repeat on the opposite side.
- Hold for 30 seconds to a minute per side.
Check out more classic energy boosters below.