Qigong and Tai Chi – Walking Meditation

by DrJahnke on January 28, 2014

Tai Chi Taiji Walking is probably the most profound and easy meditation there is – even for those who have some trouble walking. If you want, or perhaps need, a bridge to meditation, it is very possible that Tai Chi Walking could be that bridge.


Tai Chi Walking in Park in China

FIRST — Very, very few people can attain a state of meditation just siting still. Sitting quiescently can be cultivated, however. Tai Chi Walking and other forms of Walking Qigong, are a powerful bridge for most of us to experience the benefits of meditation much, much more quickly.

SECOND – It is really easy.

THIRD – Even if you do it wrong, it is completely safe and effective as long as you simply pay attention and remain in your personal zone of comfort.

FORTH – this is actually the most exciting — meditation is a major tool for balancing the nervous system which is often functionally predisposed to the hyper-sympathetic state, which decreases immune function, triggers inflammatory syndromes and much more.

FIFTH – OK, this is the most important one — combining meditation with physical activity, is better than purely physical “Exercise is Medicine”, it is the emerging foundation of integrative medicine, mind body medicine, holistic health care, medical fitness, wellness, brain plasticity enhancement and disease prevention.

This little article is probably not going teach you Tai Chi (Taiji) Walking Meditation, though you may find it will do that too. It is intended to help the public — everyone everywhere in the world — to further understand the power of self-determination and self-reliance in sustaining wellbeing. Tai Chi Walking Meditation, because it is easy and  it is pretty much impossible to do it harmfully (even if its not perfect), is a supreme and accessible Mind-Body Practice for soothing stress and maximizing function. There are two videos below from a gentleman at greenmountaintaichi.com, they are examples of the many versions and variations of Tai Chi Walking.

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The IIQTC Library – videos, keynotes, audio, sample chapters from Dr Jahnke’s books: http://IIQTC.org/member


When the Institute of Integral Qigong and Tai Chi (IIQTC) published a review of the Qigong and Tai Chi literature in the American Journal of Health Promotion (AJHP), the finding was that Qigong and Tai Chi are safe and effective for numerous diagnostic categories. In part this is because of the physical activity. In part it is the coordination of posture, breath and mind. And in part it is because, in addition to all other mechanisms that are triggered in Qigong and Tai Chi, the relaxation response is a key one of them. If you haven’t got a copy of the article please email info@IIQTC.org – title: A Comprehensive Review of the the Health Benefits of Qigong and Tai Chi. See also http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20594090

This article which is referenced widely as “the evidence base” for Qigong and Tai Chi with implications for all meditative movement (MM) practices, demonstrates that Qigong and Tai Chi are effective in many disorders, including heart disease and neuro-psychological disorders — two of our society’s worst health challenges. Now, to actually do Tai Chi Walking, is very accessible and it is stylized and simple. To make it as powerful as it seems like it could be, let go of getting it right. Just fool around with it. The idea is to take a deep breath occasionally and to use the practice to relax — deeply.

You mare walking. but not really going anywhere. Being critical of your self or even trying to get it right are less useful than giving it a go – just do whatever comes. Better to relax and find a flow.

Many people do not easily track much written information about body movements. SO, YOU COULD JUST GO ON TO THE VIDEO CLIPS BELOW.

Give this a go though – read for fun — its good for brain plasticity. Do this practice with a slight bend in the knees — sink your body and relax your shoulders.

Tai Chi Walking - Many Versions

Tai Chi Walking – Many Versions

THERE ARE MANY VERSIONS. THE ILLUSTRATIONS HERE ARE NOT TO INTENDED TO GIVE EXACT INSTRUCTIONS. Instead the variety is here to point out that it doesn’t really matter how you do it.

WHAT MATTERS IS THE MOOD – Relax, Sink, Breath, Lengthen Your Spine – Flow.

Start with either foot forward and allow your body weight to shift onto that foot – it will proceed from carrying no weight (0%) to carrying 90% of the body weight. Then shift your weight back on to the back foot again — to 70% of weight (front 30%), lift the toes of the front foot and turn the body — torso, shoulders, leg and foot outward slightly (5-10%). Now shift weight forward again. Lower toes, shift the weight to the front leg, 100% weight, and then lift the back foot and step through. Repeat on the other side.

The illustration shows the left foot front, the repeat would have the right foot forward.

See another diagram of another version below the videos.

The intent is to repeat this for a while in a deep state of relaxation where you drift into a total focus on the present moment. It is a mindfulness practice. Mindfulness in motion. Meditation in motion. Moving Meditation.

Tai Chi Walking Meditation is the a key component of Tai Chi Easy – http://TaiChiEasy.org


ONE MORE EXAMPLE – VARIATION. OK, give it a go now. The examples, the illustrations, the video are only here to give insight. The practice is to relax, do not try, breath deeply now and then — flow. Go ahead and get up right now and try it. No space is too small. If you do so, relaxed, you will be making medicine within your own body & mind for no cost. What do you think! Tell us!

Many who have learned more regimented forms of Tai Chi Walking, find this very easy and a huge relief from trying to get it right. If you’ve never done this and want the greatest benefit, you will take on a deep state of acceptance in kind of Eastern Philosophical sort of way. The point isn’t to do something in a particular way. Instead i should be comfortable, fun and very relaxing.

Just fool around! Soon you will be producing the elixir within!

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Tai Chi Waking - Many Versions

Tai Chi Walking – Many Versions


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