Tai Chi walking is a gentle exercise that improves posture and gait while focusing on the act. It can be practiced alone or combined with other aspects of Tai Chi practice. It requires no additional equipment and is suitable for people of all ages and levels of physical ability. The gait is slow, flowing and very rhythmic, with the aim of creating a smooth, even gait that appears almost to flow or roll. By being aware of the body as it moves, individuals can tune into things happening both inside and outside of themselves.
Tai Chi walking is a form of movement that integrates the principles of an ancient discipline practiced for centuries in China. Tai Chi is both a physical and spiritual practice, focused on improving the mind and body along with a large assortment of exercises and meditations. This form of exercise can be practiced alone or combined with other aspects of Tai Chi practice, depending on your personal inclination.
The goal of walking Tai Chi is to gently exercise the body by improving posture and gait while focusing on the act. Some practitioners also like to meditate while walking, grounding and centering their bodies as they travel. People may choose to use it as a method of exercise or as a means of transportation, moving consciousness from point A to point B.
There are a number of benefits to this form of walking as an exercise. To begin with, no additional equipment is needed, because the walker has all the tools it needs on foot, so to speak. In addition, it is very gentle, making it suitable for people of all ages and levels of physical ability. It can also be a very friendly form of exercise, as people can walk alone or in groups, depending on preference.
In Tai Chi walking, the weight of the body is deliberately transferred from one foot to the other, with the aim of creating a smooth, even gait that appears almost to flow or roll, rather than stomp. The gentle shifting of weight encourages people to use all the leg muscles as they walk and is said to stimulate the flow of chi, or life force, around the body and through the legs.
As a general rule, the gait is slow, flowing and very rhythmic. Walkers are encouraged to think of their bodies as very light, placing each foot deliberately and firmly, but lightly on the ground as they walk. Some people say they feel like boats floating down a stream while practicing walking Tai Chi.
By being aware of the body as it moves, individuals can tune into things happening both inside and outside of themselves. They might start to notice sore spots that require light stretching or other work, for example, and they might also start to notice the texture of the ground and the natural world around them. Many people practice walking barefoot or in light shoes to get a better sense of the world around them.