The psoas muscle is really important in helping up with lifting out legs. When we are bent at the waist our psoas muscle is not engaged and it becomes difficult to lift our legs. As we have learned earlier the ankle lift is important to the technique of ChiWalking and ChiRunning.
What is also important is the engagement of your core or lower abdominal muscles. ChiWalking unlike regular walking requires that you engage your core to lift. Sometimes when you begin learning to ChiWalk it may seen natural to lift from the front of your thighs, as if you are marching. However, this is not ChiWalking because when you march there is greater impact of your body to the ground. Marching also requires less engagement of your core muscles.
Ankle lifting, means you engage your core as you lift from the ankles. This is a much lighter step. You will also notice that your feet are much more relaxed, almost dangling in slow motion as you lift up from your ankles and place your foot to the ground. It is as though you move peeling your foot up as you step, lifting from the ankles. Lift and peel.
Practice the ankle lift and you will notice how much lighter your foot steps are and remember to lift from your ankles and enjoy your practice!
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