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Article: John San Juan' Yoga & Qi - Unlock Your Qi and Pranic Energy with These 5 Simple Yoga Poses

John San Juan' Yoga & Qi

John San Juan' Yoga & Qi - Unlock Your Qi and Pranic Energy with These 5 Simple Yoga Poses

I know I'm not alone when it comes to the endless benefits that come from yoga. I myself have been practicing for over five years. It really helps with my mindset and my body. I felt it was important to feature my favorite yoga teacher John San Juan and really dive deep in to the practice.

Who are you?

John San Juan. Creative entrepreneur, designer, plant wizard, puppy lover, and yogi.
Instagram: @john.san.juan

How long have you been teaching yoga?

Five years. At the time, I had a career in corporate entertainment and received a Masters of Business from Cornell University. I did a hard life pivot and became a yoga instructor instead.

Why is yoga important? How does yoga make you feel?

Many people are shifting their focus from fitness to overall wellness. Yoga provides everything we need: from mental health, a sense of well-being, and because the physical practice involves both strength and stretch. When our focus is fitness oriented, the strength and the stretch is often imbalanced. The practice of yoga provides mental health benefits because the physical practice is "moving meditation". Our mind follows the movement and quality of our breath within the poses, and therefore we concern ourselves only with what arises during each breath cycle. This is the practice of mindfulness - watching/witnessing, rather than just doing/performing. Cultivating mindfulness is essential for well-being because we dissociate and detach from the constant stream of thoughts, some of which can be dark and self-diminishing.

The combination of mental and physical conditioning is why yoga is an efficient and important means for people to achieve personal well-being. Most practitioners feel elated, expanded, healed, awakened, joyful, and clear-minded after practicing yoga. While endorphins give us the sense of physical uplift and happiness, endorphins are also temporary. Within hours that post-workout sensation fades completely. Yoga's sense of overall well-being however - both mentally and physically - lasts much longer than endorphins. This is why yogis come back to the mat with joyful excitement because expanding into personal truth and wellness is much more motivating than going to the gym, which let’s be honest, can be a chore and a drag sometimes.

How can yoga keep us young?

Yoga stands apart from other ways of physical exercise because it is primarily the practice of breath work. More truthfully, it is the practice of pranayama. Prana means life force energy, which is linked to the breath because it is the first thing we did when we entered this world (inhale) and the last thing we do before death (exhale). Yama means control. The practice of pranayama - moving life force energy through the entire body - combined with the physical asana practice has amazing benefits of replenishing every cell in the body and healing what is ailing or atrophied.

There is virtually no other physical exercise like yoga where breath focus and control is a primary concern. Additionally, a normal part of practicing yoga is to practice inversions. An inversion is any asana (pose) where your head is below your heart. In normal living, the heart must exert more effort to bring blood and oxygen to the face, because it is working against gravity. When yogis invert, however, gravity naturally brings blood to our face - dilating every cell with oxygen and nourishment and removing cellular waste, toxins, etc. When we hold inversions, the effects are even greater. For example, imagine going into a headstand and holding it for five minutes. Imagine all of the veins, cells and vital organs like the eyes dilating with oxygen and nutrient rich blood. When we come out of the headstand, imagine all the impurities then removed by the same blood, by way of gravity and our circulatory system. To me, every inversion in yoga is “spiritual botox” for the face. Most actively practicing yogis look 5-10 years younger than their peers.

What is Qi?

Qi is another way to explain prana. Whereas prana is subtle energy - energy that is present without solid, tangible form - Qi can be felt. For example, kindly hold both arms up to the sky, then open and close your hands 30-40 times. Afterward, immediately hold your hands 3 inches away from each other, palms facing in. You WILL feel Qi, radiating like an energy ball between your hands. Modern medicine has limited understanding of this phenomenon and calls it bio-energetics. The Eastern world has always known this as Qi, life force energy that humans can command and wield. This is why most ancient healers healed through the hands.

What are the 5 poses that bring Qi to the face and keeps you looking young

The Five Poses that bring Qi and pranic energy to the face are inversion asanas, because the heart is above the face. The face dilates with blood, keeping yogis young. Inversions are the physical equivalent of vampire facials without the scariness or the price tag.

Try each pose. Maintain each asana with calm and full breath cycles for as long as is comfortably possible.

Exhale: push out the old age and wrinkles.

Inhale: renew and recharge.





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