WALKING & the Head/Neck/Torso Relationship
Walking is an integral part of life. Yet, if you are like most people, you probably don’t think about how you walk. When you are pain-free and happy with your postural balance, that’s great. If not free of tension or pain, then investigate further makes sense to discover and unlearn habits interfering with your best functioning and well-being.
WALKING & YOUR HEAD/NECK/TORSO RELATIONSHIP?
Before I disclose any information or suggest new ways to handle it, go for a walk in your apartment, around the block, or better yet, go on a regular walk if you can and observe yourself. Then ask yourself these questions:
Do you lean forward or backward when you walk? Do you gaze at the ground in front of you absentmindedly because you get caught up in your thinking? Or are you always fully present to your environment? Do you even feel your body when you walk? Maybe parts of it? Make a mental note of all this before getting to the next part of this section.
This is a beautiful picture
with a man walking on the beach at sundown.
It seems like he is either very focused on what is right in front of him on the ground or he is simply gazing at it while deep in his thoughts.
You can see that what he does with his eyes makes his neck crane forward and is interfering with the harmonious functioning of his head, neck, torso relationship.
Now you may not do this or do it to that extent. Yet, any amount of this pattern is still interference. It also reveals a pattern that is probably an integral part of other daily movements.
Another beautiful scenery with a woman
connecting with her environment while walking.
Can you see however that she is quite off-center?
For now, we will focus on the fact that she initiated her head motion in her neck muscles which resulted in her head not being poised at the top of her spine. It also led her neck to crane forward and sideways when she looked to the side. So, she is not using her body as the integrated whole it is meant to be. Mind and body habits are interfering with her best use.
WHAT DOES INTEGRATED WALKING LOOKS LIKE?
The man in the picture above is not thinking about how to position his body. His body expresses an individual in the habit of walking as an integrated whole.
HOW TO GET TO INTEGRATED WALKING?
What you do with your feet is quite crucial and this is covered in the part focusing especially on feet. For now, before you start walking and when you are walking, make a point to:
- Become aware of your body as a whole.
- Empty your lungs with a gentle long blowing air out through your mouth and then, keep your lips closed and let the air organically rush in through your nose to refill your lungs.
- Stay present to your breathing. It can be steady or it can change its rhythm from one minute to the next. No need to regiment it.
- When breathing in, release into your support and allow your whole body to expand into its space from head to toes, back, and front of your torso.
- When breathing out, keep your skeletal height as you choose not to push, hold, or tense anywhere in your body.
- Include your peripheral vision as often as possible for the best results. It keeps you connected to your body’s intelligence.
Also, remember that It is only when your head is poised at the top of your spine and supported by the ground through your skeleton instead of muscle efforts that both your head and neck can do their part effortlessly.
In the end, enjoy walking and, through peripheral vision, let your body remain the center of the universe you are walking through!