Sunday, March 14, 2010

Exploring Qigong V: Walking Qigong

Walking Qigong is a very potent form for healing, and is one of the first Qigong methods I learned. Walking Qigong is fairly easy to do. It is good physical exercise, good moving meditation, and good inner alchemy induction. Like most things Qigong, there is no one way to do it. There are endless variations and approaches. But the reason this is a common situation in Qigong is that the combination of movement and mindful intention is the biggest part of the process. Granted there are specific forms and routines that excite and stimulate different meridians, and that address different physiological functions. But, in general, we are working with a peaceful present mind, a moving body, and a healing intention. So the best way to approach Walking Qigong is to do it. Of course one needs to attend to the Three Intentful Corrections, and practice slow and intentionally. But there is no need for arguing over minute details or the number of angels on the head of a pin.

The most famous method of Walking Qigong is Guo Lin Qigong, which was developed in the 1970's for healing cancer. This is a specific form and instruction is recommended for doing this form as intended. However, general Walking Qigong focuses on slow intentful walking. One should practice breathing in time with one's steps, so that one inhales on a right step (for example), and exhales on a left. At the same time the practitioner can move the arms in a rhythmic manner, keeping time with the steps and breathing. For example one can raise the left arm as the right foot steps, and make a big vertical circle as the step is completed. Then as the left foot begins to move forward, the right hand should be in motion to do the same thing on that side in time with the stepping and breathing. A possible variation would be to move both hands gently to the side on which the foot is stepping forward, as in the video above.

Walking Qigong, while a healing form, is a walking meditation. The practitioner should focus on the breath, relax, and perhaps incorporate a mantra or an affirmation. The result for the practitioner is a sense of peaceful wholeness. If one does the research, countless examples of healing and cancer recovery are linked to Qigong. It is possible that this one simple exercise contains the secret to health and longevity. I know I am a believer. It is and has been a part of my routine, and will continue to be.

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