Please to welcome MARCIA. After my experience with MOVING MEDITATION I grew curious about Chi Running. What is it? Would I like it? How would I ever know?
The answer is *always* found in our tribe….
I didn’t intentionally become a ChiRunner.
I just ran.
I heard things like “She runs on her toes” often enough to think something was ‘wrong’ with my stride.
So I tried to change to a more ‘normal’ gait where I touched down with my heels first, instead of with the balls of my feet. It wasn’t until I tried on a pair of minimalist running shoes at my local running store that I learned there was nothing ‘wrong’ with a mid-foot strike at all. In fact there was plenty ‘right’ with it.
What is ChiRunning?
Chi is life force. The energy created by movement. ChiRunning, therefore, is a natural form of running like we did as kids. Over time, physical and emotional stress, tension and slouching caused by hours behind a desk make the body tighten up and our running form changes for the worse, making injury more likely. While traditional or ‘power’ running relies on leg strength, ChiRunning teaches the optimal conditions to move chi through your body.
Good posture, relaxed limbs, engaged core muscles, mental focus and breathing techniques are emphasized. ChiRunning teaches you to turn your focus inward, listen to your body and adjust accordingly. Shoulders over hips over ankles. It’s all about balance: mental and physical.
Tips for getting started:
- Start slow. Make your sessions very short and progress from there. This can be as simple as running up and down your driveway.
- Because there are so many components to think about, ChiRunning can be overwhelming at first so focus on one element at a time: align posture, engage core, breathing, etc.
- Remember to relax and listen to your body
For more information, including step by instructions, or to find a ChiRunning workshop near you, check out Danny Dreyer’s book ChiRunning or visit the ChiRunning website.
Here’s a demo from a ChiRunning Master.
Marcia Kadens is a Chicago area mom x 2, marathoner x 7, newbie duathlete, freelance writer and founder of Marcia’s Healthy Slice.