Every Tai Chi style has its own unique way of Tai Chi walking. Here are some questions to consider when practicing Tai Chi walking.
- Do you step farther out then you are able to maintain your balance?
- Do you clunk down when you step?
- Where is your weight when stepping?
- How far apart are your feet?
- What are your hands doing when you are practicing Tai Chi walking?
- How do you hold your head?
- Is your whole body engaged?
- Is the Ming Men (kidney area, low back) area activated?
One of the reasons that Tai Chi is so complex is that we consider so many things for each movement. Tai Chi walking is a great exercise because you can practice it anywhere and at any time. I often find myself practicing in the kitchen while I’m waiting for the water to boil for my morning tea. Tai Chi walking is a way to improve your balance, learn to connect to the ground and have better proprioception. I cannot address all of these questions in this short post but a common problem that I often see is that people step farther out than is necessary. In Tai Chi walking there is a moment when you are balancing on one leg. When you step out be aware if you are throwing yourself off balance by stepping out too far. You should be able to maintain balance as your leg is at the full extension of your step. Then gently place the heel on the floor before the weight is shifted forward. In my style of Tai Chi we place our toes down before we shift our weight. Every style of Tai Chi has its own unique way of stepping. In Tai Chi every movement engages the entire body. When practicing remember all the elements of your basics. Tuck your chin, raise the top of the head, have energy in your hands, notice the alignment of your toes, knees, hips, shoulders and head. Happy Training!!!
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