This week’s topic is walking up stairs. As always in this “The Art of Doing Everything – Undoing to Do” series, I’ll give you my interpretation of what is contributing to my use of my body in each photo rather than say that a particular way is right or wrong, but I hope that this will inspire you to observe how you climb stairs and to wonder about how it could be easier for you and easier on your body!

Option 1: Here I’m focusing pretty intently on where I’m going, leading with my chin and pushing my chest forward. That causes me to compress my cervical vertebrae, making movement all that much harder. I’m also thinking about the effort required to go up the stairs. As a result, I’m exerting a lot of energy to push down in order to go up. Double work for me!

Option 2: Here I’m remembering to “go up to go up” instead of “pushing down to go up.” I’m thinking of allowing my head to lead upward and my body to follow so that I create less effort for myself. My knees release forward instead of pushing down. I’m enjoying the view and I’m enjoying my verticality.

Whatever kind of walking you are doing – with a backpack or purse, walking briskly because you’re running late or ambling along, with a walker or cane, or pushing a shopping cart or lawn mower – your back will thank you if you let your head lead upward and not forward and down. If you are “aiming” toward the ground, you’re likely to expend more energy and put more wear and tear on joints and muscles. Better yet, if you’re enjoying the view as you walk, you probably won’t get so focused on where you’re going that your vision narrows and your body tenses.

Wishing you ease and joy,
DiscoverEase in Movement