Take a Walk, Tai Chi Style

Just like the name implies, ChiWalking® blends the ancient martial arts form of Tai Chi with walking. The technique was created by fitness authors Danny and Katherine Dreyer, and is different than regular walking in that during the process your body better allows energy (chi) to flow through it, thus incorporating mindfulness and healthy living into the practice while also reducing the risk of injury. Read below on how you can get started using this fun form:

Alignment: Place one hand below your collarbone and another on your lower stomach. Lift your spine while lengthening the back of your neck. Keep your shoulders in a neutral position as you feel the upward stretch of your spine.

Engagement: Stand with your feet a fist’s distance apart and use your lower abdominal muscles to keep your pelvis horizontal to the ground. Keep your abs contacted and your pelvis in place as you sway your weight back and forth between your legs.

Balance: Move forward from your hips and let gravity guide you as you walk. Your upper body should move just enough to keep your shoulders over your hips.

Steady: Make sure your body and arms move only in the direction you are headed. Bend your arms to a 90 degree angle and gently swing them along your sides.

Move: Focus more on extending your back leg rather than your front leg. Plant each foot firmly on the ground with each step, instead of taking heel-to-toe steps. Your body should be leaning slightly forward as you walk.

Breathe: As you exhale, flatten your stomach and on the inhale, relax your abdominals. Repeat a mantra to connect with your breathing as you walk, such as “I feel energized” or “right here, right now.”

If you’re interested in learning more about the ChiWalking® practice or its counterpart, ChiRunning®, click here.