This ebook, An Alexander Technique Approach to Walking Effortlessly, is published on this website in a PDF format. It is very detailed and practical, and it will give you the physical tools you need to take the limits off of your ability to create the walking technique you want without sacrificing your body.
This ebook is also for sale on all AMAZON websites in a KINDLE format.
Located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, U.S.A. (MOVEMENT THERAPY)
Let’s look at going from standing to walking without walking. Send your right knee forwards on the ball of your foot in anticipation of walking. (The knee always bends before the foot swings through in walking.) What happened in your body? I’m guessing you sank into your left hip joint, tensing it and the whole leg to keep from falling over. You probably pulled your head down by shortening your neck. You probably tensed and raised your shoulders. You may have leaned forwards in space in anticipation of walking, since this habit is probably second nature.
You may have curved your torso over and pushed your head forwards, because so many walkers take their bodies off balance with their heads pushed forwards horizontally to lead the body. In taking the head forwards you essentially started falling down and had to lock up in your whole body to keep from falling to the ground. Everything you probably did made you shorter – head closer to your feet.
I’m guessing now if you were to do the same thing again after reading the above paragraph, you’d make sure you stayed upright when you bend your knee. There are two ways to be upright when you bend your knee. The one most people use is to use more muscle and make sure you hold yourself vertical as you bend your knee. The second way is what we teach in the Alexander Technique. That is to use less muscle and muscles differently, as you order your head to lead you upwards.
When you hold yourself up, you are muscling your body to not fall down. When you use an Alexander Technique order to remain fully upright as you bend your knee in preparation for walking, you use an order of allowance. A good example is: “My neck is free and my head is leading my spine upwards, as I send my knee forwards and slightly up.”
What does this mean? First it means that you are preparing to walk by going up rather than falling down into walking. In the Alexander Technique we do NOT see walking as a controlled falling down. We see walking as experiencing your head leading you upwards as your legs carry you forwards. So, walking is a vertical glide through space, not an interrupted fall down.
Here is what happens in detail when you send your knee forwards to walk using the above order of allowance. As your neck releases you turn up the volume in the spine by asking it to lengthen upwards in anticipation of sending your knee forwards and ultimately walking. When you send the knee forwards and slightly upwards (raise the leg) with the head leading the spine upwards you don’t collapse into your left hip.
This means you don’t drop the right side of your pelvis, as you bend your right knee and feel the support of the right foot. The pelvis remains level and moving up and off of the left femur head as you bend your knee and slightly raise your leg in walking. Of course muscles are involved in the pelvis remaining level as you raise a leg, but instead of tensing these muscles, you ask your pelvis to be level and let the proper muscles do their job with support and not tension.