By Omid Bahramzadegan
This session we worked on walking. The practice of walking is quite different from walking normally. Leland broke down the process and guided me through each step. I put one foot forward, shifted my weight, and then swung the other leg. It was like learning to dance. Leland told me to think about the standing leg. I felt more stable and balanced standing on one leg, and enjoyed the other foot landing softly. This helps a lot with bad knees like mine. If shifting weight and the landing of the foot happen simultaneously, the knee receives a lot of stress. They say an average person takes about 5000 steps a day. Imagine what happens to our knees if we don’t practice walking properly.
In the beginning, I was trying to learn some tricks and techniques as fast as possible and improve my posture and body language. But Leland once told me that the Alexander Technique is about discovering who you are. I’m an energetic guy who talks and walks fast. So it would be only natural to imagine me rushing somewhere. This can be the main source for stiffening my neck and leading to distortion of my posture. Just like a speeding jet plane, which closes the flaps for a higher speed, I would pull myself down to walk faster.
Leland told me to be happier with where I am with each step and I would still get to my destination. He kept repeating “stay back” when I was walking around theroom. As usual, I didn’t notice any significant changes during the session, but about half an hour later when I was walking to a coffee shop, I found myself walking gracefully, with a lot of poise and confidence. I noticed that my glutes and hamstrings were doing most of the work, my standing leg would stay on the ground for a little longer, my steps where lighter than before, and my knees didn’t hurt. I could comfortably look around and enjoy things around me. It felt like taking a walk in the park, but with a destination in mind. I enjoyed it so much that I’ve decided to walk to work tomorrow.