You have more energy than you think.
Whether you are ready to get up and go or are finding it hard to move, you have energy hidden in your body, waiting to be unlocked. That energy is stuck in your stiff muscles, joints, and internal organs or is bottled up by structural imbalances in your body.
The Wooden Pillow
is one of the most effective tools for releasing the body’s dormant energy. This simple yet strong curved block of wood
can be applied to any part of your body
to press out muscle tension, relieve joint pressure, and correct bone misalignment.
It also helps you gather energy in your core, your lower abdomen. Your core serves as an energy storage box, while also burning that energy as a furnace uses coal or wood. The energy your core burns fuels the actions of your body and brain.
Change Your Energy had the amazing opportunity to interview one of the foremost experts in Wooden Pillow exercises in the United States to learn more about the energy boosting effects of this self-massage tool. Chungsuk is a trainer and healer at Body & Brain Yoga and Health Centers, and he loves using the Wooden Pillow
because it’s so versatile and effective. He also says it’s very comfortable to use, since you primarily use it while lying down. He says, “For me, it feels like a close friend or family member.”
Chunguk shared his favorite energy boosting exercises for the Wooden Pillow with Change Your Energy. The first three can be found in the new book by Body & Brain Yoga Education, Wooden Pillow Exercises for Stiff Neck, Shoulder Pain, Spinal Health, and Relaxation
, and the last one is Chungsuk’s special secret he’s now sharing with the world.
Energy-Boosting Wooden Pillow Exercises
Strengthen the Core (p. 83)
Align the Pelvis (p. 119)
- 1. While lying face down on the floor, gently place the Wooden Pillow under your abdomen, between the bottom of your rib cage and the top of your hip bones. If your wooden pillow does not fit comfortably, you may need to use a smaller pillow or a rolled-up towel instead.
2. Holding your arms in different positions will vary the pressure on your abdomen. You can put your arms by your sides or use them to support your head. You can also use a pillow or towel to support your head comfortably. If you bring your arms out to the side with your elbows bent, you will place more pressure on the upper abdomen. If you extend your arms straight above your head, you will put more pressure on your lower abdomen.
3. Relax into the pillow as you breathe out through your mouth to release tension. Feel the sensations in your abdomen, such as pressure, pain, or movement.
4. After a minute or so, begin to gently rock your hips side to side with small motions. Begin with rocking for only a few seconds and then work up to doing it for longer periods of time.
Massage the Calf Muscles (p.67)
- 1. Lie down on your back and place the Wooden Pillow directly under your sacrum. Again, you can place a rolled towel or soft pillow under the lower back if this is uncomfortable. Lie with your legs straight and your arms relaxed at your sides. You can instead keep your knees raised to ease the pressure on your sacrum if it’s too painful.
2. Relax into this posture for 30–60 seconds, breathing into the abdomen and relaxing the arms and shoulders into the floor.
3. When the body is fully relaxed, begin to rock your pelvis gently side to side. Focus on relaxing the muscles of the hips and pelvis completely. Begin with 1 minute or less of this posture and then work up to 3 minutes.
Core Strengthening Leg Drop (Special Exercise)
- 1. Position the Wooden Pillow directly under the center of one calf perpendicular to your leg as you lie on the floor.
2. Rock the leg back and forth, feeling the massage deeply in the muscle.
3. Continue for a count of 30–40, then do the same on the opposite leg.
4. If you like, reposition the pillow to target various areas on the calf.
- 1. Lie down on your back and place the Wooden Pillow under your ankles.
2. Put your feet together, raise them to between 45 degree to 90 degree and hold the posture for 1 to 3 seconds. Feel the strength that the posture creates in your lower abdomen.
3. Completely relax your legs and drop the feet on the wooden pillow. Stay there for 3-5 seconds and feel the sensations from your legs and feet.
4. You may feel a bit of pain, but it would be a refreshing, healing pain rather than a harmful pain. Breathe naturally while do this exercise.
5. Work up to repeating this sequence 20–50 times. Stop the exercise if you experience too much pain.
- This exercise will strengthen your lower energy centers in your abdomen—your core (first, second, and third chakras). By doing this, it boosts the energy of the entire body. It also raises your body temperature and helps the health of all major organs by stimulating the 6 meridians (spleen, liver, stomach, kidneys, bladder, gallbladder meridians) that run through your legs. This exercise is not recommended for people with back pain.
Doing these four exercises regularly will keep the areas related to your lower energy center—the abdomen, pelvis, and legs—clear so that energy can flow smoothly and abundantly and continuously fuel your life.
Learn more about wooden pillow exercises
for boosting energy and maintaining your health naturally in Wooden Pillow Exercises for Stiff Neck, Shoulder Pain, Spinal Health, and Relaxation
Chungsuk is currently a senior trainer with Brain & Body Yoga and Health and popular trainer in CYE's online course, Basic Meridian Healing. He has taught yoga and tai chi, and has been studying energy meridians under the tutelage of Ilchi Lee since 1988. He does research through experience and training, runs meridian and Position Therapy workshops, and offers private sessions.