In our "For Women Only" Qigong practice groups one of the movements we do is the Crane walk. In this movement we lift our arms imitating the movement of the wings of those magnificent Cranes. This gentle movement helps us to breathe more slowly and fully, keeps our shoulders loose and gives a gentle workout to our arm muscles.
After doing just the arm movements a few times we begin raising our leg and pointing our toes down. This leg movement improves our balance, keeps the hip joint moving, increases energy-oxygen and blood flow to our feet, and gently strengthens the thigh muscles.
Next we add stepping forward to this movement. We lift our leg, toes point down, and we slowly step forward. We consciously place our foot on the floor - heel touching first then allowing the bottom of our foot to slowly come into full contact with the floor.
After gracefully walking forward - raising our arms and legs for a number of steps - we lower our arms and walk backwards. Our toes touch the floor first and our heels make a gentle thump as we place our foot on the floor.
When I first tell the group that we will be walking backwards there are reactions of disbelief, concern, and curiosity. As we begin walking backwards those "I don't know if I can do this" thoughts and concerns about safety fall aside and there is laughter.
We've all heard that old adage "laughter is the best medicine" so the laughter is good but there are other benefits to walking backwards as well.
Below is a list of the mental and physical benefits of walking backwards from the website Healthline.com
enhanced sense of body awareness
increased body coordination and movement in space
helps avoid workout boredom
improves overall mood
helps with sleep cycles
motivates you to step outside your comfort zone
keeps your mind guessing
sharpens your thinking skills and enhances cognitive control
puts senses into overdrive, improving vision
increases strength in lesser-used leg muscles
helps rehabilitate knee injuries
improves walking technique and form
helps with balance
helps you maintain a healthy weight
strengthens bones and muscles
boosts energy levels
elevates body’s metabolism
Ladies, please join me for one of the "For Women Only" Qigong practices I facilitate. They are every Tuesday at 1:30 in Mauston, WI and the fourth Sunday (there's one this Sunday - March 26th) at 2:00 in Oxford, WI. Click here for more information.
I am also available to do a one hour "For Women Only" Qigong presentation for your women's organization.
The most powerful tool for healing - lies within you