Looking for a perfect path to wellness? Walking of any kind will do just fine, but try Jang Saeng Walking to “rev” up your summertime routine.
Walking provides full body involvement without placing undue stress on joints and muscles. A special way of walking known as Jang Saeng Walking expands on simple walking by adding conscious attention to the energy used in walking movements, and by consciously adding an extra emphasis on this energy to each step as you go.
“Jangsaeng” is a Korean word that means “youthful longevity.” By stepping in a specific way to stimulate the “Yong-chun,” meridian point located on the bottom of the foot as you walk, the body is revitalized and the mind becomes clearer.
This joyful spring in your step redirects energy, drawing “Fire” energy downward to the soles of the feet and cools the head. This desirable state, known in traditional Asian medicine as “Water Up, Fire Down” refers to the proper balance of energy within the body. Jang Saeng Walking will help to get you there!
Jang Saeng Walking is easy and fun. The beginning posture and how to do the walk are described below. As you walk, be sure to imagine and experience fresh, youthful energy circulating within each step you take.
1. Begin by standing tall with relaxed shoulders and with arms in a natural position at your side. With your chin held in a neutral position, neither too high nor too low, place your tongue on the palate of your mouth.
2. Tilt your lower pelvis inward or slightly forward and focus on breathing into your lower abdomen. Don’t push your chest out, but allow it to be comfortably open.
3. Take a step forward, keeping your leg straight and allowing your heel to lightly touch the ground.
4. With awareness for the Yong-chun point in the ball of your foot, transfer your weight with the step onto the ball and toes of your foot. Continue with your next step in this same manner, shifting your weight smoothly during the step.
5. While walking, keep your knees close together and your feet parallel by stepping squarely on either side of an imaginary line as you go.
6. Angle your upper body slightly forward and swing your arms freely. Don’t worry, the posture will begin to feel more natural as you practice, beginning with just a few minutes at first.
7. And most importantly, engage your whole body and enjoy the joyful energy rising up as you walk!