When my Mother was in her mid fifties I noticed she was leaning forward as she walked. Years later, as I reached a similar age, I became aware I was doing the same thing. Like mother, like daughter!
I knew that if I perpetuated this misalignment I might be heading for a health problem.
Thinking about my posture, I realised my mind was wanting to get to my destination faster than I was walking. For a while I would make a conscious effort to correct my posture, then I would forget, and revert to leaning forward as I walked.
Later, I came to appreciate three simple keys to an effortless, perfect posture.
Three keys to walking with ease and grace
1. Wear flat, comfortable shoes
What your wear on your feet is the foundation for your posture. High heels throw your hips, spine, head and neck right out of alignment. Poorly fitting shoes cause discomfort to the foot, which is transmitted as tension to other parts of your body.
So the first step is to wear comfortable, dare I say ‘sensible’ shoes! Fortunately, these days there are plenty of fashionable styles which are also comfortable.
My Mother brought us up to care for our feet, so I was fortunate to have this foundation in place.
Which of your shoes are flat and comfortable?
2. Lead from your pelvis
Like so many keys to healthy living, this one is disarmingly simple!
As you walk, lead from your pelvis.
This comes from Eastern forms of movement, including Tai Chi and Chi Gong, where you take your attention to, and move from, your body’s centre of gravity, which is located in the pelvis.
You see it in exaggerated form on the catwalk, where models thrust their pelvises forward, and end up leaning back! That’s going overboard; the aim is for a vertical spine.
Try it for yourself: lead from your pelvis as you walk, slowly at first, and notice how the whole of your upper body rearranges itself. Your shoulders drop and your arms swing easily. It may feel strange for a while; soon you’ll find an ease in this way of walking that you want to keep.
For me, walking from my pelvis, immediately changed my posture to one of grace and ease. That is, as long as I remembered to do it, which is where the third key comes in…
3. Be present
For me, leading from my pelvis was fine, until my mind took over and I reverted to my old habit of thinking into the future about my destination, and started to learn forward again.
The third key, which finally resolved my poor walking posture, was to stay in the present, as we have been continually reminded by Oprah and Tolle in their course ‘A New Earth’.
The more I stay present with my walking, the longer I remember to walk from my pelvis with a perfect posture.
How to stay present? Be aware of your body and your breath, focus on leading from your sacrum, enjoy the sensations you encounter along your walk. Be ‘in the now’.
How is your posture when you walk? You might like to ask someone to watch, and give you some feedback.
If you feel you could improve your walking posture, which of the three keys will help you?
What will you do to improve your walking posture today?
The Delicious Nugget: Flat comfortable shoes, walking from the sacrum, and being present with your walking are the keys to walking with a perfect posture. Adopt these habits and you’ll feel great as you walk!