There comes a point in time when we get so engrossed in martial arts that all we think about are martial arts.. I must admit, I’m not to that point but I do think about martial arts quite often. Because of this, I can often be seen in weird postures throughout the day. Sure, sometimes I look like a spaz, but my coworkers know I’m a bit whacky, so it’s all good.
What are some of the things we can do to bring practice into our daily routine? For me, I often like to look at the alignment between my knees and toes, that is, my knees face the same direction as my toes. When I step into my car, how is my alignment of the rooted foot? When I step out, do I align the knees and the toes before transferring weight onto the foot? When I walk up and down the stairs, am I maintaining correct alignment?
Another thing I try to practice is the idea of “move as if head suspended from above” or “qi rise to top of the head”. When I type, am I slouching over? Is my head point down or stretched up? This idea also involved the back too. Am I sitting up straight? Am I slouched? Am I wearing a wallet in my back pocket? Am I carrying a bag on 1 shoulder instead of distributing the weight evenly across both shoulders?
One of the hardest thing is to try and “be relaxed” in daily actions. When I type, are my shoulders tense? When I write, are my shoulders tense. The writing was a very hard one for me as I formed the habit of leaning over and writing with quite tense shoulders in grade school. When I push open doors, where is the power coming from?
Now.. for the hardest thing, IMO. How do we train “intention” in everyday life? To me, this idea is similar mindfulness or “everyday zen”. Are we mindful of what we do. Am I thinking about things I should buy when I’m trying to compose a project request? To take this one step further, and is very very difficult, when I lift my cup of water, is this action intention driven? Does the intention originate from the center? We’ve read about Qi Supported Structure, but what about qi supported action?
If you’re looking for some other suggestions, check out the video below. Personally, I prefer a lighter routine of zhanzhuang and qigong, but to each their own 🙂