Walking the Circle Series: Lesson 3
In the last two articles, I’ve written about releasing the nerves, creating a sung body and deepening the internals of your circle walk. Now it’s time to walk in a circle to supercharge your qi energy.
The Enemy of the Internal Arts
Circle Walking, whether heel-toe or mud walking, will give you a method for exercising continuously without interruption. This reduces inertia—the enemy of the internal arts if ever there was one.
Inertia breaks your flow and diminishes your qi energy. Circle Walking is a method for countering the stop-start-stop-start qualities that many of us experience when we start internal energy arts practice. The smoother and more continuous your walk the more qi energy you will build and subsequently bank at the end of your practice.
Create Your Circle
Start by mapping out a space for your circle. I travel a lot to teach and the first thing I see in any new place is my circle, and the furniture moving begins! Place an object in the middle of your circle so you can identify the centre and plot its circumference.
Start with your left leg on the inside of your circle and without any internals just walk around the perimeter a few times to get your bearings. When you want to turn around, simply turn your outside leg in so your toes point roughly to the centre of the circle. Make sure your knees are comfortable and don’t feel strained in any way.
Next, as you shift your weight onto the turned leg, make sure your knee is centered over the arch of your foot. The weight is in the back of the knee in the same manner as when you walk straight.
Then turn the body to face in the opposite direction while keeping the weighted knee still in space and aligned—directly over the arch of the foot. Allow the un-weighted leg to turn with the body to prevent strain. Pick up the other leg, step forward and away you go.
Practice Turning while Walking
Practice this turning to change direction a lot to become familiar with these steps. Be sure that you’re operating within your comfortable zone, two-thirds of your capacity or less. When you’re ready progressively add the internals from the last two articles.
In the next article, I show you how to speed walk while remaining totally internal. However, I highly recommend stabilising these components before you amp up the internal pressures and potential knee, back and other injuries.