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A slow walk

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
I've been encouraged to use a slow, meditative walk as a training mechanism for both mental and physical insights. Using deep breathing and counting my steps, it is an ongoing learning experience for me. Especially since I type fast, talk fast, walk fast, and ski fast. Slowing down is hard.

I walk at a pace that allows me to feel the movements of my feet and legs. I feel the balance compensation in my foot as my swing leg releases from the earth and moves forward. I pay attention to what's happening in my body as it gently falls forward and my feet as my swing leg catches me and becomes my new stance leg. It is very telling, and is showing me balance refinements, sensations, and movement cues that I haven't felt on dry-land before.

My coach at this suggests a pace of about 2000 steps per half hour. I stick pretty close to that pace. I'm sure the neighbors think I'm recovering from surgery...

Have you ever tried this? Are you willing to do? If you do, be sure to give it at least 15 minutes. What do you think? Did you learn anything? What?
post #2 of 24
Yes! When I was recovering from surgery. Learned a lot about movement. I still do it every day at lunch, although at a faster pace.

Try this: drive forward with the hip and knee. It's a very interesting sensation. Think "waisteering".
post #3 of 24
I've never tried the "slow walk" that you describe, but I did start taking yoga classes recently. The two activities strike me as being somewhat similair -- very slow deliberate isolated movements, deep breathing, relaxing, paying close attention to how your muscles feel. My heart rate drops to something uncannily low while I'm doing yoga exercises.

Like you, I'm used to driving, talking, eating, biking, skiing, and walking at a rather quick pace. I was amazed at how much I felt and how much I had been missing. I actually look forward to my yoga class -- and me saying that is truly something.

I am soooo looking forward to hitting the slopes this year and seeing what new stuff I start feeling.
post #4 of 24
2000 steps per half hour is a little over one step per second if my math is correct (30 minutes x 60 seconds = 1800). That's about my speed hiking uphill in deep snow. On flat ground that speed turns me into a raving lunatic (I've done it recovering from injuries) unless I'm on roller blades. I have done exercises to focus on breathing and movements, but I prefer to burn more calories while I'm doing it.
post #5 of 24
I've taken Qigong classes and have been practicing for a number of years. The Chinese like to do certain forms very slowly. And it's like the experience you've describe. It really opens up all the meridians in the body. It's always more difficult to move slowly. The muscles work harder to balance the slow weight shift and the breathing works harder to feed the muscles doing the work. And there's plenty of time for insight.

There's a Qigong form called "walking Qigong" where in the walking part of the form the arms move together in a swinging motion in an exaggerated side to side. Two inhales in at the start of the first step and one exhale out on the next step, and so on, and so on. the swinging arms help pump the lungs and heart. The theory behind all this is that diseased cells can't live where there is too much oxygen.

Walking Qigong was developed for people who have cancer, which I don't have, thank god. But, it's always good to practice to be ahead of the game and do what you talked about. Walking Qigong doesn't count steps but a person with an illness like cancer can practice it in the morning for a half hour and build up to a couple of hours with rest stops in between.

And how does Qigong help me ski? Less falling more oxygen. Ski longer and faster.

SKi and be Mary
post #6 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by therusty View Post
That's about my speed hiking uphill in deep snow. On flat ground that speed turns me into a raving lunatic (I've done it recovering from injuries)
Totally get it. It's good for my discipline. It's completely contrary to anything I've ever done. ...I can tell it's good for me.

Tai Chi next.
post #7 of 24
Yep... try walking with a rotated right hemi-pelvis and you discover SLOW... because you cannot use any force.... old ladies kept overtaking me....
post #8 of 24
Steve, at RicB's suggestion, I started tai chi last year and continue to take classes. It's very different from my usual workout choices, it's as much mental as physical, at least for me. It has a calming yet invigorating effect, and very easy to practice when I'm traveling. I think it has helped my balance but I'm still very new to the practice and have so much to learn. Hope you enjoy it!
post #9 of 24
Now we just have to get Steve tai chi walking.

Sugar, what style did you end up learning? Some are more dynamic and longer than others. Add in some tai chi chaun specific qigong, which is really just a more dynamic style and you got something really great to work with. If I miss a day for whatever reason, I really notice it. Forms like snake creeps down and fair lady works the shutle, can be done really dynamicaly for great results. What really surprised me was the difference in my ability to take in oxygen from my breathing practice. I had a full physical a couple of years ago and during the testing the cardiologist comented on how the only abnormal category was with my oxygen level. It was considerably higher than normal. On my treadmill test they thought I was a hard core runner, but I haven't ran in years and really do the minimum areobic exercise. I attribute it to my tai chi practice and the qigong. Ten years previous, my levels were all normal, except my cholesterol and blood pressure, which were high.

Practiced regularly and seriously a person can reap the rewards. As you get more used to your form you can then change the pace, faster and slower, play your form really big or really small. In otherwords mix it up. I do some silk reeling exercises with a small 3 lb ball that really open up the hips, spine, and shoulders, all the while challenging balance big, all with your feet rooted firmly on the ground. Had any opportunity for push hands Sugar? Later, RicB.
post #10 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh View Post
Totally get it. It's good for my discipline. It's completely contrary to anything I've ever done. ...I can tell it's good for me.

Tai Chi next.
Steve,

Me too. But I have golf for that.
post #11 of 24
Ric, yes, we have done push hands several times. It's more challenging than it first appears, if done correctly! Our instructor doesn't specialize in any one style that I know of...he often combines moves from different styles and explains what we're doing and what style it's from. He once demonstrated using a sword in the form--it was spectacular! We practice breathing (chi kung?) and standing positions which are oddly relaxing. I believe we're focusing more on the Wu (Wu chien?) style now which I quite like. I need to practice more than I do so thanks for the testimony as well as the general recommendation to try it. Even if it doesn't help my skiing profoundly, it's been a joy to learn and practice!
post #12 of 24
I've done kata (forms) at all speeds from dead-slow to as fast as possible. 1 step per second is not slow.
post #13 of 24
Find a labyrinth and do it there, then noone will look at you funny.

http://www.lessons4living.com/labyrinth.htm
post #14 of 24
I had a sensei who said that to build speed, one should train slow,

and I know a ski race coach whose motto is 'train fast, race easy'.


Hem
post #15 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hemingway View Post
I had a sensei who said that to build speed, one should train slow,

and I know a ski race coach whose motto is 'train fast, race easy'.
Why do those seem contradictory?
post #16 of 24
Yes chi kung is right. Standing meditation basicly. A really good book to explore and understand chi kung is "The way of Energy" by Master Lam Kam Chuen. Check out this web site Sugar.

http://www.gilmanstudio.com/
post #17 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh View Post
Why do those seem contradictory?
Neuralogical training for the slow form work. It also trains cooperation and integration of all the muscles and the CNS as you have no momentum to leverage but are forced to totaly control every facit of the movement, along with eliminating everything that is nonesential.

If I were to venture a guess about the fast race training it would be so that a person could then slow down below their max to find a more comfortable, relaxed, and focused zone in the race. Later, RicB.
post #18 of 24
By walking slow, or moving slow for that matter, you remove momentum from arm swing and as a result must increase the load on the muscles in the lower leg and trunk to stabilize the lower and upper body respectively. Get a pair of MBT shoes and you'll enhance the effects of "slow walking". Its all about keeping the eyes level.
post #19 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by NYCSKIPED View Post
By walking slow, or moving slow for that matter, you remove momentum from arm swing and as a result must increase the load on the muscles in the lower leg and trunk to stabilize the lower and upper body respectively. Get a pair of MBT shoes and you'll enhance the effects of "slow walking". Its all about keeping the eyes level.
The removal of inertia from resistance training increases the effectivity toward hypertrophy.


Hem
post #20 of 24
I have a severe and probably permanent problem with my achilles, and the outside bits of my feet. So often, I have to think and dread each step. But mostly, I'm wishing I could go as fast as I used to, and wish there was some way I could. right now, when the sports doctor says "major operation", I think maybe this time I'll say OK.

Oddly, in ski boots, I'm OK, after about 2 months of skiing. I can even wear high heels again. But after a few months out of the US winter, and those high heels are impossible. A long hallway is a challenge. Getting going in the morning out of bed is a slow limp.
post #21 of 24
Sugar Cube, are you studying with Gary? If so, make sure you go to see his show at Lake Dillon.

SSH: A chapter on the slow walk should definitely be included in your book proposal!
post #22 of 24
Thread Starter 
The slow walk is teaching me some stuff (and my kids think it's really funny to watch me! ). I just started a new thread about the core versus the extremities, and how the slow walk allowed me to really consider what I was moving, how I was moving it, and what my intent really is. The parallels to skiing seem obvious.

What have you discovered doing this (if you have)? Care to give me some guidance as I discover?
post #23 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh View Post
Why do those seem contradictory?
For precisely the same dialectic reason that the proverb:

"The best defense is offense/The best offense is defense"

does.

Hem
post #24 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by hemingway View Post
The removal of inertia from resistance training increases the effectivity toward hypertrophy.


Hem
Hem,

You're not a champion of "superslow" weightlifting are you?
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