Walking the Circle Series: Lesson 4
Most internal energy arts practices are non-aerobic exercise. They can make you healthy, but you won’t get the aerobic workout you would from many Western exercise programmes. Walking fast—using the techniques I’ve been describing for the last three months—combines internal qi energy generation with aerobic exercise to upgrade your body’s systems and make you super fit!
So I’ve got some a three-stage exercise for you to help you develop your ability to Walk the Circle at high speeds for health and fitness.
Fast Circle Walking: Preparation Is Key
One of the challenges with walking fast is that it brings up a lot of energy and blood into the head. Any stress or tension then gets amplified. Another challenge is keeping those ever-important alignments. So we have some work to do yet before we go zipping round and round.
Reducing stress and tension in the body before increasing your speed is absolutely essential. It creates a baseline that you want to maintain as you progressively walk faster. So spend at least 5-10 minutes each practice session working on the material from the previous three articles and don’t forget to maintain your good posture while walking in a circle at slow speeds.
Once you have created whatever level of sung you can achieve, you’re ready to advance.
Setting the Gears: Releasing the Eyes before You Walk
Start by focusing on your eyes. The eyes are the doorway to the nervous system, so relax the eyes to release your nerves (four exercises that can help). Let your eyes become really soft as you walk and release your nerves to the best of your ability.
Circle Walking Stage 1
Keeping your attention on the eyes, increase your walking speed by up to 30%.
What happens? Do your eyes go hard or bug out? If so, relax your eyes and nerves until you regain sung at this new, faster speed.
Circle Walking Stage 2
Again, increase your speed by another 30%, but this time keep the eyes soft and the nerves relaxed. The idea is to only increase your speed to as fast as you can whilst remaining sung. If any tension or hardness comes into the eyes or body, take time to relax it at the faster speed.
Keep going until you are walking fast and you can’t possibly relax.
Now you know what is too fast for the time being. Reduce your speed just enough to regain sung. This is your maximum cruising speed while remaining in control of your nerves.
Walking Stage 3
Finally, slow right down, change direction and repeat the process on the other side. Do your best to stay relaxed, calm and soft as you gradually increase your pace. Whatever you do, don’t change direction at a fast pace. Always slow down, change direction and then smoothly increase your speed whilst keeping your body sung.
An Anytime-Anywhere Walking Practice
You can practise the sequence above incorporating the internals from the last four months anytime anywhere.