The gait of the Master

The gait of the Master

Memories of Elena Andreeva

Often our attention was attracted to the gait of the Master. I enjoyed looking at the way he gently steps. His gait was expressing freedom. The body was completely upright – the head, the spine – forming one line, but not stiff. His gait was fast, purposeful and one could not determine when the weight transferred from one leg to the other. There was no swinging towards any side. The body was moving straight ahead. When changing the legs, it moved a little forward and upward. There was no swinging around, no motion towards left or right. His body was moving upright and straight forward. His steps were neither little, nor too big, but in a harmonic proportion with the upright body. Maybe that is why it was such a joy to observe Him, when he moved around. There was freedom in his movements, no stiffness that leads to disharmony, not in the hands, not in the legs, not in the head, not in the whole body. All of that together, forged a pleasant impression. He was agile and not sluggish at all. He stepped very gently, as if there was no weight. Steadily, he moved forward. When he stepped, on each step his hands moved a little forward and backward, but no swinging of the hands. The head was upright and when moving fast, his hair, which was long and below the ears, swung a little, jumped backwards and gave the illusion of little wings.

While he was walking, he didn’t move his head around looking left or right. It always made an impression on me, the fast and straight forward movement he possessed.  His movements were free, light, no stiffness could be seen. They were natural, plastic, beautiful.

For longer journeys, either for tourism or in town, he always took his cane, but seldom used it. When he was climbing the steep slopes of Vitosha and Rila, only then he used it for support. He held his cane in his left hand and he held it close to its upper part, while the other side was pointing forward.

When we were climbing the mountains together, the Master was walking fast. When we all felt tired, he stopped and said “Let us rest for thirty seconds.” Then he stopped for several minutes and later continued in the same agile manner. I have seen him walking in slow pace, when he was with somebody, discussing something on the meadow. When he was climbing the mountains he always walked fast, while we, the young ones, often felt tired. When climbing the steep areas so fast, he was sweating a lot. Then he stopped and changed his shirt with a dry one. He was advising us to do the same. Usually when we were on Vitosha, near “Bivaka” at the first fountain, he changed his shirt and then one more time when we arrive. It made an impression on me, that the shirt which he was changing was really wet. That was one of the methods for keeping the body clean, for releasing toxins and cleansing the organism from harmful particles.