Balance, Edging, Rotary and Pressure.
Terminology not used for walking, however these are the skills required for skiing. As a former downhill ski instructor, I taught these skills to beginner through expert skiers. As a student’s ability level increased, the magnitude and refinement of these skills increased too.
How does this relate to walking meditation?
As I began today’s meditation, walking around my backyard, I gave full attention to the sensations I felt in my feet. I immediately reflected back to the subtle yet exaggerated forces that occur while skiing. First and foremost, terrain dictates how your body responds when skiing and the majority of these messages come up from your feet to provide the feedback necessary to apply the skills.
Part of the joy of skiing for me is feeling the deep pressure change that occurs under my feet as the slope rises and falls.
I love hearing the crunch and scrape of snow under my skis during a tight turn as I control my speed, or perhaps the smooth silence as I effortlessly float through fresh powder. I experience tremendous satisfaction when I feel the edges of my skis grip into the snow as I drive a carved turn and feel the vitality in my body as I dynamically adjust my balance throughout every moment of every turn.
This body/mind connection is incredibly powerful.