I hiked up to Goldbug Hot Springs last weekend for a glorious soak in natural hot spring water on the side of a mountain. That felt great! On the hike I enjoyed observing people (there were plenty) to see how they go about locomoting themselves. It’s interesting and also helps me to remember things that make moving easier for myself. I thought I’d share a few of them with you.
Allow your body to uncurl
A lot of times after we exert ourselves, there is a tendency to pull down in the torso and then push up with arms in order to recover. It’s tempting to scrunch down when we’re tired and when we’re unsure of footing, but it doesn’t help the air to flow. Letting your body open up (think of a young leaf opening up as it grows!) allows the air to flow in and out better, and that helps you to recover and to feel more energized.
Let your arms swing
It can be tempting to fix arms in a certain position to hold something, put hands in pockets or out of a misdirected attempt for balance. Arm movement is tied with the movement of our legs and torso in walking, and if we hold arms still, that tension gets held in the back and rib area. Your back will thank you and you’ll move more fluidly (and swiftly) if you allow your arms to move opposite of your legs.
Let your eyes be free
It can also be tempting to fix our eyes on the ground in front of us, especially on uneven ground. Freeing up eyes to see the view not only gives us a nicer whole experience, it helps our body to move more freely.
Let your feet take you up
On uneven ground, ankles get to experience different angles, and that keeps them healthy. Practice being aware of the contact of your feet with the ground will give you more resources to adapt to uneven ground. To help avoid rolling your ankle, think up from the supportive contact under your feet, like the ball of your big toe and the inside of your heel where your foot bones are strong and load-bearing.
If you’d like help freeing up your body or if you’d like to keep up a regular practice, schedule a private Alexander Technique session, join a group class or contact me to find out how Alexander Technique and mindful movement can help.