Some thoughts on the practice of Mindful Walking, from his own experience, by Sifu John Hartley.
Though rooted in Taijiquan and age-old Taoist body-work philosophy and principles, It can be easy perhaps, due to the simplistic nature of our practice to underestimate the direct effects and potential the daily act of Mindful walking has in regards to our spiritual, mental, emotional and physical stability and health.
Mindful walking is about being present, focused and aware. It is the quietening of oneself. It begins by ‘turning the ear inwards’ and listening to the internal changes occurring within the body when both idle, and in motion. It is the appreciation and the cultivation of the simple and the near in the here and now, it is, reacquainting oneself with an old friend long hidden amidst the hustle and bustle of “modernity”.
After having learned the physical parameters of Mindful walking and we begin to soften and relax into our practice, our posture, balance and blood-flow will improve. Ease of movement and joint-health will become noticeable, and our breath will become soft, deep and even and the mind will have a deepened sense of ease and calm.
I do not know this from a teacher or from a book, a video or chasing after an ideal. I know this viscerally, through my own daily practice.
Inner Health Taijiquan 2018.
Whenever and wherever you feel tension take the time to soften and release your way through it.
Looking forward to the upcoming Inner Health Taijiquan Jibengong Internal practices workshop series for 2017 commencing April 22-23. Further details will be posted soon on our Events page and Facebook soon.
As 2016 draws to a close I take the opportunity on behalf of Myself, Steve Duncombe of Inner Health Taijiquan Sydney and Darren Cox of Li Chi Hsiang Inner Health Tai Chi Chuan Tasmania to thank all our regular students and all the Taiji practitioners who attended our workshops during 2016. We trust you enjoy a happy holiday season and a healthy 2017.
IHT Adelaide SA
Some 16 years ago I had a workplace injury to my lower spine. The pain was often excruciating. Many times in the enduring of this injury I would often be bedridden for periods of 4-5 days at a time and I often could barely move. During this time, I refused to go under the scalpel but I did become reliant upon pain-killers – slow release morphine patches no less.
As a result of this deadly combination of events I became overweight. I could not exercise nor even walk around the block and I was often dependent upon a walking cane for mobility. Most movement and even standing for too long would cause pain and for my body to seize-up. Having previously practiced Taijiquan for some decades I could not even do preliminary exercises nor could I do the Taijiquan form itself.
Essentially, our practice is centered upon freeing the body-motion of all restraints, doing this, is essentially an internal process. We firstly find our center and then lengthen and clear the energy pathways of unnecessary tensions in order for the chi to flow naturally without obstruction from the tips of our toes, to the top of our head, and out into the fingertips. This is not wholly possible if, the method of practice is inconsistent and, the skeletal/physical alignments are not there to begin with. To be clear, if the physical body is misaligned so too is the internal chi. Ensuring the integrity of our skeletal alignments, physical structure and later our energetic connections, is not only important for the martial expression of Taijiquan but also for achieving radiant and robust health.
Inner Health Taijiquan 2016
John Hartley, Founder and Principal Instructor of Inner Health School of Taijiquan, Adelaide