Awareness of Walking

These two videos visually support learning points that I encourage my students to integrate through movement using guided micromovements in a particular way through exploration. I encourage you  to watch both of these videos to focus on the transitions of the body’s moving parts. In this barefoot walking video you will observe the rolling of the feet as each foot transitions individually to step forward. If you continue to observe  you will see how the right foot not only rolls forward the from heel to toe,  the big toe comes up from the ground first as the weight rolls outward to the baby toe side.

Why is this important?

Watch this video again, however this time, raise your gaze up towards the hip joints at the top outside of the legs. Notice the weight being dispersed equally side to side with no effort. The movement appears to be dance like in the flow of easy counterbalance motions. If you continue to observe the video again you may begin to view how lite the legs are with each step. With each separate step the legs response in a similar way as the feet. Using the ability to shift weight this way with through the bone the also shifts forward and back, and side to side. This is why bones have rounded ends into rounded joints. Remember that the individual leg bones shift weight differently, in any given moment, as a response to the pressure in the foot. For example, the standing leg that bears ones weight is locked at the ankle, knee and hip when the other leg bends at the ankle, knee and hip. Mentoring micromovement patterns in community learning groups I have observed that one of the biggest culprits to mobility is the loss of this natural counterbalance. In an earlier post I write about the hidden influences in our environment that are silent systems of learning interrupting these natural movements. I believe it started with sitting for long periods of time having a locked focus of attention in one area of function only. I have discovered the outcome to sitting for long periods creates a gap in one’s brain of the natural movement patterns through the bones of ones pelvis, hips, upper and lower legs, knees, angles and feet. You will see the differences in how these people walk in this second video. In this video they are mostly picking up their feet and not using the ground to push off like the person in the first video.
Begin watching this video with a focus on noticing how both people lift their feet up and hold them in a straight blank like way. This takes an extreme amount of muscle effort which becomes more difficult to continue as one ages.
On second viewing begin to notice their hips. Both people do not have any sway that demonstrates counterbalance through their legs, hips and pelvis. Both of them have one side where the hip seems to bounce hard in the socket of a locked pelvis.  Almost as though wearing an artificial leg. As a Feldenkrais® practitioner I observe a stumble like action. Watch one more time and lift your  gaze upward to observe turned heads. Each person is looking at the other in a state of intent focus on mental processing. There is no evident counter balance through the upper body. What I see is a locked torso that begins at the base of their neck. It is a much different pattern of walking than in the first video.
I would describe the first video as effortless and the second one as having tremendous effort.
If continued, the style of walking in the first video would promote aging well and the second one would promote a loss of mobility with joint and bone issues. In the first video the pattern of movement reflects what each toddler has learned in order to roll over, sit up, stand, walk and run. In the second video the pattern of movement reflects what happens through the silent learning patterns in institutional learning systems – sitting in a chair to focus on tasks and memorization. Both these learning systems reflect right and left brain activities. They are both relevant to a healthy and productive life, however there is no balance of both systems. The silent organic and inherent one each of us was born with was replaced by the non-organic one created by our ancestors.  In the past I have recommended the foot board in to some of my students who continue to sit for long periods of time.  Unfortunately when doing a home audit I observe that they are not actually using them as they have not developed a habitual pattern for doing so.  It takes focus and commitment to change one’s behaviour and shift focus.  A strong habitual focus has already developed for those sitting in chairs for long periods and it is difficult for transitioning without an accountability coach or strong personal will.
  • Foot support 
I have recommended a mobility board to some of my students to use when sitting.  These boards can pivot from side to side, and front to back.   Two important points I brought up in these two videos that are available using these boards are:    
  •  Awareness through shifts in movement with no effort
    • these boards model this type of movement
  • Rotation 
    • these boards cultivate awareness of the subtle shift in bone rotation that begins in the feet and travels upward
Models of learning are around us starting at birth and continuing into old age.  One never stops learning from the influences surrounding us.  These boards are an example of a learning model that imprints rotations patterns of  movement for those who are having chunky movements and balance issues.   Using these boards at set times throughout the day can enhance integration of the movement pattern, especially if one cultivates awareness of  different shifts in weight.  This pattern of micromoving can reduce inflammation and pain, and increase circulation. I encourage my students to now compare the walk in the first video with the pivot available through these footboards.  This comparison may deepen an inner sense of physical support through the skeleton.

The only way to change is action

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More on functional Awareness:

Feldenkrais integrates well and supports:
  • Awareness through Eating Programs
  • Awareness through Food Programs
  • Awareness through Goals
  • Awareness through Living  Programs
  • Awareness through Space Programs
  • Awareness through Spoken Word Programs

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by Renee Lindstrom

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  •  1st Phase of Integration – Getting Started (Introduction & Pattern)
  •  2nd Phase of Integration – Getting Intouch (Experiencing & Connection)
  •  3rd Phase of Integration – Integration (Embodiment)

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by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP @ Inside Awareness,  Living in Natures Love Blog
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