Tag Archives: Awareness in Walking

Awareness of walking

These two videos visually support learning points that I support my students to integrate through movement using guided micromovements in a particular way of exploration. I encourage my students now to watch both of these videos to imprint the visual stimulus for growing envisioning techniques with a focus on transitions of the body’s moving parts.

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.

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.

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.