To Operate in Reverse Direction

Yutang Lin

Following only old habits to go down a one-way street,
Accumulated over long periods could not help but sink deep.
Operating in reverse direction to achieve balance,
Left and right, forwards and backwards, all evenly develop.


When used to using mostly one hand, the other hand becomes awkward. In that case it would be better to balance the development of one body and mind by paying attention to using both hands evenly. Similarly, usually one walks only forwards, but seldom backwards. If one practices walking backwards while taking a walk in leisure, and simultaneously turns one head alternatively clockwise and counterclockwise backwards to look for the road, then one could make some use of faculties that are rarely employed. My home is on a hillside; therefore, when I practice walking backwards I also walk uphill and downhill. While walking backwards I also rotate a pair of health balls in each hand. (Please read my article on "Playing with Health Balls" for details.) The direction of rotation of health balls in my hands are also clockwise and counterclockwise alternatively at random. I have been practicing health balls for more than a decade now. At the beginning I could feel only the movement of my palm and fingers. Gradually I could sense that the lower arms and then the upper arms are also participating in this exercise. Eventually even the muscles on the back are moving concurrently. When during a long ride or sensing uncomfortable inner air accumulation, one can try exercising the fingers and toes. From my own experiences this is a speedy and effective way to help the inner air and circulation of blood to go smoothly. Furthermore, as to the cultivation of one propensities, one could follow the reasoning above to help achieve balance of character.

Written in Chinese: December 14, 1998
Translated: September 3, 1999
El Cerrito, California

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