With just a few days to go before my big trip (hopefully) to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro, I have been told about a revolutionary new way of walking.
What I find interesting about this idea, is how even the most basic of human activities can be re-invented and turned into a commercial product or service.
As one of the videos explains, when we are children we run by leaning forward, but by the time we are adults we have unlearned the natural way to move.
I am aware than many runners do get injuries from their activities, especially road running, but my scepticism is still high on whether this whole thing is some kind of Snake oil charm. Try watching this video of Master Stephen Hwa’s Tai Chi Walk Lesson, and see what you think.
However, I am prepared to try pretty much anything reasonable that might aid my path to top of the highest mountain in Africa, so will try it for a while.
Although my climb was not planned to raise money for charity (more to prove I’m not quite over the hill yet), quite a few people have asked if they can sponsor me. So I have created a JustGiving page with a choice of charities to donate to if you would like to contribute.
Master George Xu, our T’ai Chi teacher, asks us to focus on our dantien, our center and to allow all movement to come from that place. The energy moves from the center into the body and into the limbs to create movement. Why? Because Chi is stronger than muscles, and movement that comes from Chi is more deeply powerful.
More powerful than muscles? In the West, muscles are almost akin to a god the way we worship them and what they represent. Covers of magazines and TV commercials extol rock hard abs and buns of steel. What is stronger than rock and steel?
In T’ai Chi we quickly learn that muscles are no match for the power of Chi. Like the flow of water that created the Grand Canyon the power of Chi takes you much further and faster than vulnerable muscles whose duration is very short lived.
Your dantien is the best home for your Chi and the best place for you to focus your energy so that you can come from a balanced, whole place in yourself. Your dantien is just below your navel and a few inches in toward your spine. In Chi Running, Chi Walking and Chi Living we encourage all movement, all action, all choices to come from this center, that deep place in yourself that is home to your greatest potential and power.