Have you ever felt off balance? A weak chi may be to blame for your brain fog or irritability.
According to traditional Chinese medicine, chi is an energy that passes through the inside and outside of the body; the life force and ultimate measure of one’s vitality. When your chi is strong, it courses through you and fills you with life and health. When your chi is weak, it remains still and stagnant within your body.
Luckily, there are ways of getting a little more centred. With practise, we can cultivate our chi energy and help it to flow more steadily by regularly doing exercises that stimulate the mind and body. Tai Chi, qigong, yoga, meditation, reiki, acupuncture as well as breathing techniques are amongst the best options to avoid chi blockages.
However, here at CrunchyTales, we’ve recently found a new way to re-balance our midlife energy and we are all excited about it.
What is ChiRunning?
It’s called ChiRunning, a new approach to effortless, injury-free running that can eliminate injuries caused by overuse and impact. Founded by the renowned ultra-marathoner Danny Dreyer, it is based on the movement principles of Tai Chi (often described as “meditation in motion”), which allows the energy that unites body, mind and spirit to move from your core into the limbs to create movement.
The technique of ChiRunning, in particular, teaches the runner to use the core muscles, upper body and gravity to do the hard work, rather than placing all the strain on the leg muscles, promoting the use of a midfoot landing rather than the heel first (heelstrike).
Midlife women wishing to try chi running for themselves, though, should initially understand that changes in running style can take a long time to master.
Learning ChiRunning is like learning to ride a bike–once you get it, your muscles remember the movement, and it becomes intuitive – explains the running coach Danny Dreyer-. You’ll feel a difference in your body once you get it. Many women have told me they suffer less hip, back and knee pain once they switch to this technique, in addition to increasing their endurance and speed. Hopefully, you’ll be able to run for years to come.
The Basics of ChiRunning
ChiRunning focuses on posture, leg swing, the position of the pelvis and a forward lean. It’s not a fluffy, hippie theory-it’s based on the physics of body mechanics. Here are the basics: run tall (by maintaining good posture, you lessen the amount of work your legs have to do and move more efficiently), lean forward, land on the mid-foot, engage your core muscles while you run, relax (you don’t need to tighten up your shoulders when exercising).