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Taking the first step – simple weight shifting

December 17, 2008

OK,  I get it.

Today I am fine, I am not worried about tomorrow.  In fact, I am so not worried about tomorrow, I don’t even think about it.  If I think about it, then I may start worrying  about it.  If I worry about it, I may have to think about doing something.  I don’t want to do anything,  that takes work.  I don’t want to work at anything.  That is too much like work.  WHEW!

I run across this type of attitude so much.  It is easier to sit on a couch, or chair and not be concerned that you cannot reach your feet to take off your shoes without pain in your low back, or a burn in your calf or thigh.  You may have just moved to a one story house so you don’t have to climb stairs anymore.  (Whoohoo,  glad that hard work is over!)

So you cannot get on the floor to play with the grand kids, or play chase with the dog (they’ll all  be too old to want to play soon anyway).

Any don’t they make grocery carts that tall to lean on in the sore on purpose?  After all,  all the walking up and down aisle after aisle gets so tiring.

Sound familiar, any of it?

Why not take the first step of making a better life? A more fit life, a life of independence? It all starts with a simple side to side weight shift.  So easy to do, almost like doing nothing.  And isn’t that what you wanted anyway?

How can I do almost nothing and work on building balance and increasing leg strength?

You can do this, easy,…………………….. really you can.

  • Stand with your back straight, or as tall and straight as you can.
  • Have you legs just shoulder width apart, with your knees slightly bent.
  • Point your toes forward
  • Very slowly, shift your weight to your right leg,  approximately 90% of your weight on your right leg.  Really feel yourself supporting yourself with that leg.
  • While supporting yourself with your right leg, raise your left heel and hold for count of 5 to 10.  Then slowly lower your heel.
  • Very slowly, shift back to center, feeling your weight even on both legs.
  • Repeat to your left left leg, same as the right, really feel  the support and weight on that leg.
  • Shift back to center, evenly weighted.
  • Repeat this movement, side to side, and pay attention to the way you feel as you shift weight back and forth.
  • You can do this ANYWHERE.  Standing in line in the grocery store. Waiting to pay for tickets at the movies,  washing dishes, brushing your teeth, or just standing and talking to friends.
  • The more you get used to the shifting, the further side to side you can shift, building strength and balance.

This technique can be very beneficial when used with breathing techniques as a standing meditation practice.  More on this another time  in another post  🙂

  1. Snow shoveling season is here, maybe lots in the coming week. Any chi based tips on saving ones back?


  2. Small bites, not heavy shovel-fulls, moving with a forward gliding motion and a toss aside. I recommend not to turn sideways with a full shovel.

    Also, incorporate a short leg squat and use your legs to lift, not just from your back.


  3. So you think shoveling forward and then throwing/dumping forward is better than picking up and tossing to the side?


  4. I think shoveling forward, then a small shovel-full tossed aside. I do not recommned a full waist turn to the side to dump, with the weight of the snow and shovel stressing the muscles.


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