Help the winter blues by getting out into the garden or down to the local park. This lifts the spirits, especially if we take our shoes off and walk on the grass barefoot
There is a reason for this!
All our blood vessels and nerve endings are interconnected in the foot, meaning that, in the case of the blood stream, one cycle ends in the foot and another starts. And toxins that are in the blood stream accumulate in the foot as the blood moves from one cycle to another. The toxins are then stored in the lymph glands that cover the whole sole of the foot.
So, it is important to facilitate the release of the toxins through the foot instead of encouraging them to flow on into the new cycle.
Walking qigong helps in this process, it helps to focus our attention onto our feet and how we are walking on the grass, it sensitizes the foot as we feel the blades of grass underneath, and of course facilitates the release of toxins trapped in the lymphatic glands out of the ball and the toes of our feet. The lymph only releases toxins through movement.
Walking qigong is easy to learn, it is all about walking with intent:
Feeling each step as it lands on the grass,
Feeling the foot land heel first then followed by the toes,
Feeling the weight of the body as we move forwards
Feeling the weight as it transfers from foot to foot,
Feeling the back foot as it leaves the ground to take another conscious step.
It is important to take our time. As we take each step try to keep the weight of the stepping foot as long as possible, this way we become more aware of the relationship between the foot and the ground that we are stepping on.
The last is our breathing. Try to breathe slowly in as we step forwards, then slowly breathe out as we place the weight on the front foot. The best tempo is around 4-5 seconds inhale and 4-6 seconds exhale.
Henri noel Venturini is the co-founder of Balanced Energy and teaches Qigong and Tai Chi at the Balanced Energy Studio in Whangaparaoa, Auckland, New Zealand. Contact Henri