Mar 21, 2011
Walking Qigong - March 20, 2011
Walking Qigong is a very powerful method of practicing energy movement and healing. Practicing Walking Qigong is very enjoyable thing to learn to practice outdoors in the upcoming spring and summer times. It helps you to lose weight, tone your body, and become more fit and happy; with continued practice you become more relaxed and happy. Not only are the physical, emotional, and spiritual centers opened but coordination and balance are strengthened as well. Immediate movement of Qi is felt through the hands and then rest of the body.
"As the world’s fastest racewalking gerontologist, I have discovered that blending Qigong movement and exercise has helped me stay healthy and maintain my world class ranking in my age group." - Jack Bray
Medical science has for some time known that the action of walking aids in the return circulation through the venous system. No one had suspected that under the arch of the foot covered by the plantar fascia was a bio-mechanical pump activating an entire system of deep veins responsible for the re-circulation of venous blood to the heart. Walking, not running in a manner that allows the heel to touch down first with the weight of the body rolling over the arch of the foot onto the toes will compress the Plantar heart pump on the feet in the most efficient manner.
The movements protect against osteoporosis, arthritis, weakness, heart disease, and fatigue, bringing you more vitality, rejuvenation, and flexibility. Grounding, proper alignment, posture, weight shifting, breath work, energy movements, self healing, and more are all coordinated together while walking in a special pattern from side to side. Practicing qigong also has positive results on regulating the respiration and oxygen of the body. Medical research has shown that an insufficient supply of oxygen can increase the growth of cancer. When the body is rich in oxygen, the cancer cells die. Walking Qigong allows for greater oxygen content in the body.
Another important factor is the stability of one's emotions. Walking Qigong, while a healing form, is a walking meditation. By obtaining a state of meditation, one is not distracted by depressing thoughts or worries. The feeling of helplessness is lifted and a positive attitude emerges. Through relaxation, the body returns to a more normal state. A feeling of happiness and confidence helps to maintain a strong and vital spirit. This feeling of confidence is also achieved through group practice. One becomes more committed and willpower is strengthened. When the group has good results, all are encouraged and keep a positive outlook, which aids in the healing process.
In the beginning, Walking Qigong involves stepping and landing gently with the heel first, rocking forward and pushing off from the toes—heel, toe, rolling, when the leg goes forward, bend the knee. This works better than stepping forward with a flat foot or overstriding. There is also a method where you walk with a series of steps in snake-like moves to the left and then to the right like weaving in and out, as if your path would resemble the winding progress of a snake. There are many different walking patterns with many different arm postures. Most people are conditioned to focus on walking in a straight line forward; this pattern gives the brain a chance to work on left/right integration as you move forward. The movements first to the left and then the right will harmonize the two sides of the brain as well as help the mind and body become one. With each step, you breathe deeply in a natural way, while the arms can be down at your side or up in various Qi gathering and moving postures.
“Be aware of the contact between your feet and the Earth. Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet. Each step we take will create a cool breeze, refreshing our body and mind. Every step makes a flower bloom under our feet. We can do it only if we do not think of the future or the past, if we know that life can only be found in the present moment.” —Peace is Every Step: the Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life by Thich Nhat Hanh