Restoring Your Youthful Walk Using The Alexander Technique

Restoring Your Youthful Walk using the Alexander Technique.

I have been thinking a great deal about walking because I live in the city and I walk a lot. And I watch other people walk. So I thought I would talk a little about walking.

I remember being struck by how Lady Galadrial (Cate Blanchett) walked down a flight of stone stairs in The Lord of the Rings. She glided so very lightly, quickly with exceptional smoothness and beauty. I thought, “I want to walk like that.”

Well, what do you know? Lady Galadrial moves with such grace because she studies the Alexander Technique.

Observe how young children walk, run, stand and sit. They move with such lightness and ease, with no tension whatsoever. You will notice they move very differently from most adults. They walk with no tightness in the their bodies, they lilt along, hip, knees and ankle joints almost like the joints of a marionette.

The next time you walk down a street filled with people take a moment to observe how people walk. You might say “Oh yeah, normal walking, but you might not notice how much is observable and you might be stunned.

Notice the following styles involved in modern walking:

  1. Walking hunched over with forward rounded shoulders and head jutted forward.
  2. Leaning the torso backward, while walking forward. (Almost universal.)
  3. Walking with the feet way in front of the torso so the feet are leading and the torso is following.
  4. Walking with the body lurching side to side at each step as if the hips and knees can barely bend.

These are common patterns or habits of “misuse” according to the principles of the Alexander Technique. These habits develop over time (unconsciously mostly) from different influences upon the mind of the walker. For example a boy admires and copies his father who walks with a decided “John Wayne” side-to-side swagger. Or a person sits crunched over at his desk for the greater part of his day. When he stands   his upper body is in the same collapsed forward C shape position standing as it was sitting. It has become an indelible habit and it feels normal.

So what can we do to help ourselves restore our youthful movement?

Here are a few tips for light easy walking.

1.Step lightly never pound the pavement. This will have a tremendously positive affect.

2.Look forward not downward. Many of us look downward chronically.

3.Don’t take huge strides, allow your steps to be a little shorter so the legs are not way in front of the torso.

  1. If you tend to walk with your head in front of your body ( head jutted forward) allow the head to balance lightly on top of the body.

Or for deepest long lasting results study the Alexander Technique. When you come for an Alexander Technique lesson the teacher observes the way you move in everyday activities from standing to sitting to walking. With the instruction from the teacher you begin to see what you can do LESS of in order to move freely and efficiently. Studying the Alexander Technique will bring a about a restoration of a very smooth, easy, elegant, balanced and sustainable walking style. Love, Deb




All stories by: Deborah