The Walking meditation you will be starting with today trains us to focus on the simple and immediate. We are able to shed stress by directing our attention to slow rhythmic movement and deep breathing. Stress tends to cascade when we fixate on various issues that are not something we can immediately act on. Rarely do people develop the ability to reliably direct their train of thought and so we end up locked into unpleasant patterns and forced to rely on external influences to disrupt them. Distraction, or anti-anxiety medication can numb the symptom but the problem won’t fully go away until we retrain our minds.
The training is simple. When working your walking meditation, any time you find yourself thinking of something other than your breath and your movement, turn your focus back to your breath. Just as we go through the action of lifting to strengthen our bodies, we take the action of choosing our focus to strengthen our minds.
Add this walking meditation to your daily Tai Chi & Qigong practice today. Start with five minutes and and one each day for a week. Stay slow, smooth and even in movement. Breathe deeply. Try to feel each individual pound of weight that you shift between your feet.
Don’t be surprised if you feel some fatigue in your legs. This exercise looks simple but requires constant action from your stabilizers. It has the added benefit of improving your balance and fluidity of movement.
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-Becca, A happy new member of our Qigong and Tai Chi community