The ancient technique of y'chi can be used to improve running and reduce the risk of injury. This Chinese technique develops the ability to direct all your energies and movements by focusing the eyes on a particular object as you move towards it. It is not difficult to learn and you can begin practicing it today!
Y'chi is natural for animals and you have witnessed it if you have watched a cat as it moves towards its prey. Its body is relaxed and it moves softly, quietly and gracefully with an intensely focused gaze on its target. It never loses its focus. The cat is using y'chi and its eyes are pulling it towards its prey.
Animals do this instinctively and we can learn from them. Animals don't worry or think about their prey. They don't worry if they are going to be successful, how they are going to look or what other animals may think about them. Nor do they judge or criticize other animals. They let their instincts guide their actions and they are fully aware of every movement. And I have never heard of an animal having a stress fracture, torn ligament or an injury due to running or overuse!
Y'chi (pronounced ee-chee) involves a total mind and body focus. It is a technique very similar to meditating. It has all the benefits of meditating, but it also helps improve how we feel while running and greatly reduces the risk of injuries.
Next time you are running, pick an object in the distance that you are running towards. Set your intention to deliberately move towards that object. Then fully focus your eyes on the object as you move towards it. Keep your eyes aligned with your destination and do not break your gaze. Allow a full mind and body focus. Even though your eyes are focused on an object in the distance, you are fully aware of all your movements and where your feet are landing.
There are no thoughts involved when using this technique. As you maintain an intense focus, you will feel yourself being pulled forward by your eyes. Your eyes are directing the movement. Your mind and body become one as you are pulled forward by y'chi.
When you are learning this technique, choose an area that is even underfoot, away from traffic and with few distractions. As your ability and your awareness develops, you will feel safe and fully present in all environments.
"Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek,
but a means by which we arrive at that goal."
-- Martin Luther King, Jr.
When you practice y'chi, everything is in sync: your mind, body, vision, movements, breath, and heart beat. Because you are totally focused on your target, there is little room for your mind to think about anything else. A mind that is relaxed, creates a body that is relaxed. When our mind is busy with a continuous stream of thoughts and worries, it prevents us from feeling peace, joy and contentment. It also uses a lot of energy and creates stress and havoc in our bodies.
A developed mind that is able to maintain focus exists peacefully in each moment, and a healthy mind creates a healthy, injury free body.
This ancient technique can also be practiced while walking.
As you practice and develop the ancient technique of y'chi, you will think more clearly and be able to focus better in all areas of your life. Because you are not using energy to process thousands of thoughts each minute, your body will feel more energized and relaxed.
Your body will be free to move more easily and effortlessly reducing the risk of injury. Running will feel easier and more enjoyable with improved efficiency.
Y'chi is one of the techniques that Danny Dryer teaches in his book, Chi Running. This book includes many other innovative training techniques that can teach us how to heal and prevent injuries; as well as, how to run faster, further and with less effort.
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