Back to Basics

July 28, 2012 at 2:50 pm 3 comments

As I’ve started to progress down the road of learning chi running I have, in the spirit of trying to understand the big picture, skipped over some important details. Now that I’ve read through Chapter 3: the four Chi skills; Chapter 4: the basic components of the technique; and Chapter 5: how to learn chi running, I’m going to backtrack a bit and go through the exercises and lessons to ensure I have a solid foundation. Many of the technique components and the lessons I learned in the workshop or have already been practicing, but Danny Dreyer, the author, has a method of teaching and learning and I figure there’s no reason to bushwack my way through when a path is already before me.

The first part of my foundation that I need to work on is Body Sensing, which is the second key chi skill. The other chi skills–focusing, breathing and relaxing–I’ve been working on from the beginning but I have neglected the body sensing skill.

“The Chi Running technique is more than a running form. It is an activity that works to build a strong link between your mind and body.”

In order to do this Body Sensing is essential. The few times I’ve run I think I’m doing well but then I end up in pain afterward and I don’t know for sure why. Becoming adept at Body Sensing will help me understand my form and self correct my mistakes. It will also help my yoga practice as well.

There are several exercises to learn Body Sensing: the body scan and the mirror exercise. The body scan exercise teaches you to focus on each major area of your body and just check in with it. How are your shoulders doing? What about your elbows? How do your calves feel? I should be doing a body scan before I start any practice–yoga or running. The mirror exercise teaches you to make the connection between what you think your body is doing and what it is actually doing. Stand up with your eyes closed in what you think is your correct posture. Get grounded and feel what your body is doing. Then open your eyes and look in the mirror. I did this and found that my right foot was splayed outward a bit and my toes were not parallel. My stance was also a little wider than desired. So more homework! The body sensing is going to be key for me.

There are 3 steps to putting body sensing into practice as I move about in my runs and yoga. 1: Listening carefully to my body. 2. Assessing the info and if something feels good (or bad) try to remember what you did to get there. 3. Adjusting incrementally.

In general the four chi skills are going to the overarching themes of the chi running homework. Learning to use my y’chi (focusing), making body sensing second nature, truly relaxing and breathing effectively are going to take time but I think I am well on my way toward engraining these skills.

My next posts will document my in depth exploration into chapter 4: the six form focuses–posture, lean, lower body, pelvic rotation, upper body, gears. I’ve dabbled in a few aspects of all of these and learned the basics in the workshop but now I will go through the exercises and make sure I’ve covered all the bases. Stay tuned…


Entry filed under: Body Sensing, Chi Running, Posture, Practice, Relaxation. Tags: , , , , , , , .

Motivation on the Road One-Legged Running

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Day 13: 4 Miles « Ch'I Journey  |  October 13, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    […] I relaxed that area and just settled into the run. Relaxing is so key, tell you what. I think Body Sensing, relaxing and sticking to a few key form focuses is what allowed me to complete the 4 miles in 44 […]

  • 2. John  |  July 28, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    Looking forward to reading your posts. I’ve just started the book myself.

    • 3. Steph  |  August 1, 2012 at 6:00 pm

      What do you think about it so far John? Are you going to try any form adjustments as a result?


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