Walking the Circle Series: Lesson 2
In the previous lesson, I wrote about walking with a sung body. If you’ve been practising, you’ve probably realised the important role of your postural alignments at this stage of the game. Good posture is important regardless of the activity, but they’re especially noticeable when you try something new.
So in this lesson, I’ll offer you some training tips for improving your posture and upgrade the results you can achieve from Walking the Circle.
The Tailbone Drives the Nerve Release
Your postural alignments must be good, so with your weight on one leg, let the pressure go through the back of your knee into the arch of your foot as you start to walk.
Once you put the foot forward and down on the ground, the centre of your front knee should be in direct alignment with the centre of the arch of your foot as your leg takes the weight of your body. Any misalignment of the knee to foot will eventually cause problems, so take the time to find the balance point.
As the back heel peels off the ground, drop the back knee to gravity. This helps to keep the tailbone down, which in turn directs the weight of the body through the back of the knee and into the foot. As a bonus it also keeps the downward flow of qi energy continuous, helping to release your nerves.
The Tricky Part of the Walk
As you pick up the leg and bring it forward, you want to create a gentle stretch throughout the whole leg as the foot draws out from the knee and the knee draws out from the hip. If you do this well there will be a small opening in the ankle, knee and hip joints, and a stretch to the internal organs and spine without any tension in the body.
It’s important that you don’t overstretch or strain yourself at any part of the process. Otherwise, you can cause harm to your body, especially knee injuries. So build up your fine-motor control and effectiveness of this stretching action slowly and overtime. There is no need to push for results in a day, week or month. Let the body become used to the movement and refine it with ongoing training.
With this stretch in place (however slight), put your foot down and shift your weight onto the front leg. As you do, there will be a therapeutic pressure wave that climbs up the body, delivering a gentle massage to your internal organs. This stretch also slightly opens the joints and allows the synovial fluid to take the body’s weight as you shift into that leg.
With your alignments in place and the stretch/pressure wave active this walking can boost a load of health benefits, including:
- Managing weight
- Decreasing risk of heart attack
- Increasing so-called good cholesterol
- Mitigating symptoms of Type 2 diabetes
- Protecting against hip fracture
Practise slowly and methodically in the beginning and until your body feels comfortable with internal walking techniques. You can increase your speed to your normal pace, but no faster. You can apply these principles anytime you walk—the internal experience is completely changed, but the external movement looks completely normal!