I’ve been trying to practice moving root walking through crowds in airports, buildings, etc, as well as toe in and out for directional changes. I notice when a lot of people think they’ll run into you and try to adjust they lose their balance and are uprooted. I also notice most people have terrible posture and a terrible gait. Every step is a momentary imbalance. Everyone also seems to have a unique gait. Many people look tired. Some people are exaggerating a little swagger or hip swaying, trying to communicate something intentionally or unintentionally. As an aside, I’ve been reading Robert Ludlum’s (TM) The Bourne Betrayal, which mentions that the Jason Bourne character can make his gait anonymous, blending into the crowd, carefully making sure his steps are neither too long nor too short so that his walk does not stand out, making him difficult to spot or tail.

The little game I’m playing to amuse myself and stay sort of mindful (traveling and walking around an office building can be rather boring) is to never lose my moving root and ability to change directions from an unexpected interruption in my path, being able to fit in more directional changes and beats than anyone else by taking smaller, more connected steps, and to a far lesser extent, not losing root and whole body connectedness if someone or something actually bumps into me. Periodically I try to perceive the correct timing for a sweep. If I stop on an escalator or at a counter or waiting elsewhere, I try to do zhan zhuang for a few minutes or at least momentarily. I am playing around with how hard I push down with each step, how far I step, where I perceive my weight shift on each foot and back and forth between my feet, how much of the sole actually touches down. At times I try to focus peripherally or centripetally. Periodically I check my alignment and sink my elbows down. At times I’ll try qigong’s microcosmic orbit while doing all of this. I am also observing how much of this seems to happen automatically.

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