People tend to think of walking simply as a way to get from one place to another, and sometimes as a pleasant form of aerobic exercise; but I discovered a method of walking that not only provides a good workout, but also promotes the kind of energy circulation that makes you feel happier and younger. Here’s a practical tip to help you stay grounded when you’re in the midst of change. Let me tell you how you can walk to facilitate the most ideal energy flow in your body.
Stand comfortably and place your awareness on your yongchun points in the soles of your feet. You have one yongchun acupressure point in each foot, at the center just under the ball of the foot. “Yongchun” means “source of courage,” and stimulating these points can help relieve fatigue and leave you feeling rejuvenated.
If you squeeze your toes slightly as you stand, your body naturally leans forward, almost imperceptibly. Maintain awareness of your yongchun points as you stand and imagine that you’re grasping the ground with your toes. Your weight will be distributed throughout your soles as strength climbs to your knees, hip joints, and dahnjon (your physical energy center located in your lower belly) and your body becomes centered.
Then, connect the flow of energy through your chest, neck, and baekhwe—the energy point at the top of your head—to energize your brain. Feel all the parts of your body connecting into one whole, a unified line extending from your yongchun points to your baekhwe, and walk as though you are pressing your yongchun points into the ground.
If you have stress that’s causing energy to become congested in your chest and head, this way of walking, called “Jangsaeng Walking,” will help congested energy flow down naturally to the bottom of your feet. As the soles of your feet become warm and sweet saliva pools in your mouth, your head may feel clearer and you’ll feel more grounded.
“Jangsaeng” is the Korean term for “longevity,” but it’s about more than just staying alive for a long time. It also includes a connotation of youthful vitality and good health. By practicing Jangsaeng Walking, you can experience the secret to a long and healthy life with your own body—namely, that your head becomes cool while your feet stay warm. This describes your condition when the energy in your body is balanced and circulating properly.
You may even repeat in your mind as you walk, “I’m pressing my yongchun for Jangsaeng Walking, pressing my yongchun for Jangsaeng Walking.” The rhythm of the words may help clear your mind. Be present in your body as you walk, throw your shoulders back to open your chest, and walk with confidence. You will find health, happiness, and hope within this way of walking.