This ancient Chinese technique combines mindfulness and movement, focusing on breathing, meditation and gentle exercise.

When I attended a 2 week acting workshop my tutor showed me an example of this technique. Whilst there are many movements the one that I learnt was called deer in the forest. The process starts by maintaining a neutral position with the feet apart and balancing your body's weight evenly.

As you take in your first breath, you imagine that your head is a balloon filling up with air. Then, as you release the breath, you feel yourself becoming a deer in the forest. This practice helps the imagination, and as you stay still like the deer in the forest, you can imagine what the forest looks like and what is around you.

After being a still deer, the head and jaw becomes heavy and the hands turn into crumpled claws as you become a bear. The weight slowly pulls your head towards the floor, and as you reach down, the hands come together to collect something extraordinary from the floor. You scoop up the flowers, chocolate or anything you like and slowly bring it upwards, keeping it near your chest and then offering it to someone ahead of you, thus releasing the energy chi.

After that the hands return to your side, and for a moment they become claws that tighten up your arm and shoulder muscles to then release. The knuckles come together and as you lift your hands up to the sky the fingertips become curtains that move freely in the wind. You reach as high up as possible in a stretch, and then you drop your hands to your sides to become the deer in the forest again, and the movement repeats as many times as you’d like.

From experience this movement helps to relax your mind, muscles and if done correctly achieves complete focus. If you haven’t tried the chi gong technique, give it a try today. It is a self-healing Chinese medicine that focuses on acupuncture points and can improve oxygen flow throughout the body.

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