Walking. I could write a whole book on this subject. It is that important. It is how we transport ourselves throughout life. We are seen by others when we walk, judged by them. We judge them in the same way. No one wants to be ignored. We go from one place to another to see others and to be seen. Women contend that it is one of their most favorite things to do.

I shop of course, maybe more directly to purchase something, but sometimes for the same reason females shop. Both sexes like it when glances are exchanged. At the check out stand, pleasant words are exchanged, moods uplifted. How is it that I now am better at this exchange of glances, words, and feelings than I was when I roamed this land during my teens, and young adult years? It is because of the way I carry myself. It is because of my improved, confident, steady walking style. Let’s go through the steps that brought me to this excellent “plateau.”

Confidence. Gaining confidence is what it takes to talk well with others. Confidence is what we all need to make the overall change for the better. But it is tricky. First we have to master the will to change, but how can we change when in the past, we have not been good at changing for the better? The quickest way to get the will, and to acquire the best method, to change for the better is to not do anything. You heard right. It is the best way to begin improving our posture when standing, our walk, and the way we talk. Do not do a thing except stand there, but stand there well. As Clint Eastwood said about his understated style of acting; “Don’t just do something, stand there.”

As you change for the better, not doing anything will prevent your old misguided ways of doing things to creep in, which caused you to behave incorrectly in the past. Still, doing nothing correctly is difficult. Standing in one place and accepting compliments or exchanging pleasantries is not comfortable if you never have stood in place and enjoyed having nice posture and poise, and the good that it brings you. There is an art to doing nothing while standing, walking, even sitting, and doing it well. You may have to experience doing nothing, quietly, subtlety, for a time, say a week or two, to train yourself.

You may think this is silly, learning how to do nothing well. But one must train oneself if you have learned to do things incorrectly in the past, so that you can live well without feeling they have to jump at doing something every minute. I had to learn to do nothing so I could breathe easily. Yes, I was that tense. You also must learn how do nothing, or very little, while appearing that you are engaged with your work or participating at social events. Learn to more quietly socialize with others at the office or school. Walk with less a long stride that pulls you along, but with a walk that is gentle and balanced, with a shorter stride, one with your legs and feet more directly beneath you as you visit the mall, or go about your daily travels. Gently, with an understated purpose is typically how those with class make their way in this world.

You can actually manage doing nothing for an extended time. Others will not notice when you are changing your style when you do it well. However, if you are noticed because of your changing, you will have to decide if changing is more important than staying the way you are. If you desire change then take the plunge and go for it. You may lose that close connection you had with your present friends but, to gain something good often means you must lose something you thought was important in the past.

There is an art to stopping bad habits, inhibiting the way you “used” yourself in the past. If you look around, it may shock you that many people around you, even well paid people, do nothing or very little every day. They just have that certain “something” that tells others; “I am so “together,” thinking of beneficial things, that I could not possibly be considered idle.” You may say that I am not giving good advice, telling you to do nothing. I say, what have you got to lose? You’ve done everything, multi-tasking, being pro-active, to make yourself happy in previous years, and you’ve not been as successful as you thought you’d be. To gain an inner confidence and happiness you can risk something new. If you feel the need then take a break from what you’ve done in the past.

So what does standing quietly before others and accepting compliments, or what ever comes your way, while maintaining self confidence have to do with standing or walking well? The answer is, we are learning how to gain confidence trusting ourselves. We must find within us a way to find personal comfort at the most basic level. This so we can stand, balanced, with a quiet confidence, and then walk well.

Continue reading if you dare. I’m being overly dramatic, but changing for the better is a bit of a risk, a dare, and not for the weak of heart. You’ll have to be strong, emotionally, mentally, and physically. But I believe you are absolutely up for it. Please continue reading and I will offer reassurance that soon enough, after doing nothing well, you will find ways to again become more active and engaged with others, on your terms.

Lengthening the spine, freeing the neck, aligning the neck with the spine, and balancing the head on top of the neck is the best way to look good and learn to become comfortable while you stand in a social setting. This is a subtle repositioning, and please note that you are “doing nothing” but looking nice and appropriate. Do as little talking as possible. Talking with others, kindly and enjoyably is an art that takes confidence. Initially, as you change for the better by doing nothing, it is best that you let others talk. Have a subtle smile when you “smile and nod.” What does this have to do with walking you say? Walking and standing is a form of communication and speak volumns about us, so much so that we won’t have to say anything, but we’ll discuss this further, later.

As you stand before others and let them do the talking, subtlety loosen your lower jaw. Again, this is a subtle move but extremely important as it helps you to relax and breathe. It helps to align your neck with your lengthened back, and allows your neck muscles to lift your clavicles, shoulders, and upper ribs. Subtlety is the key here. As previously mentioned, lengthening the spine, aligning the neck with the spine, balancing the head a top the neck and above the squared shoulders is a subtle move. Not bringing attention to those awkward things you did previous as you change for the better is of the utmost importance. At this time of transition we are vulnerable. It is best that you move into this upper class of society very slowly. It takes time changing for the better. “The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong,… but time and chance happen to them all.” This chance, or good fortune, is your finding this document. You have found an article about using the Alexander Technique. It is your best chance at finding a way to change for the better. Once you begin changing for the better you can enter the “race” with others when you feel ready. OK, let’s talk about walking.

Standing erect so that the joints are at their apex permits you to move with fluidity. You have seen the opposite sex walk. What is the attraction when they walk well? It is the body movement showcasing that each bone is lightly positioned above the bone beneath. It is the expansion and decompression of the ligaments and muscles that help position the bones and joints. Moving with grace and poise is enviable. It is a joy to watch others as they move about freely, unencumbered. This is what walking is all about when we walk to our favorite shopping center, our church, the local dance hall, our favorite restaurant, the movies. You’ll soon find, when you are looking good when you walk, anywhere is a great place to go. People are pleasant, even happy to see you and talk with you. You photograph well. You’ll make the right selection of clothes that fit better. You look better as you make your way across the parking lot, along the mall walkways. Your face muscles improve as they position your mouth to smile, or at least make your face neutral, without a frown. Your cheeks become fuller giving you an appearance of having high cheekbones. Your lips become more full and there is a nice color to your face. Breathing through your nose is refreshing and your eyes seem to sparkle. Walking well, upright, freely, without strain, causes you to come alive. You are not only experiencing this for yourself but others see this in you and often they want to be a part of your world. Try not to be too surprised when this happens, because it will and it is a most enjoyable sensation.

When we are changing for the better, consider how you walk. Are you a lumbering person or one with a classy, upright style? There is no doubt that you want the latter. It takes less energy to walk upright and it shows that you are open to much more of what the good life has to offer. Besides, it is a joy to watch a classy walk and to have a classy walk. The upturned chin, the high cheek bones, the soft, warm smile, are all part of the classy way a person walks. The clear voice, the well kept hair, the nice fitting clothes. These are features of a person with a nice walk.

The legs are of course important when walking and it’s best they they make the most motion when walking. The legs are not to include the behind (or pelvis) too much. With our sedentary lives we often walk inappropriately when we include the legs with the behind as we walk. The pelvis actually is more a part of the core of the body, or the torso. The stomach and the pelvic region are to be considered more of a single unit. The pelvis or shall we say the buttocks being joined with the legs is too much body mass to be considered our “legs.” When walking correctly, the pelvis does move efficiently and just enough as we walk, in spite of it being more a part of the upper region of the body. The behind or pelvis region, is viewed by others, to judge the rest of you, so it is important that you keep it in its proper place. The pelvic bones, in particular the hip bones or the iliums, move with just enough fluidity to to keep your legs and upper body engaged with a smooth motion.

The crests of the iliums can be visible, provided you are at optimum weight and wearing clothes that show this area of your body. With each step you take, with the iliums’ crests visible further show the ease and fluid motion you’ve acquired through stretching. Another bone of importance is the sacrum, the triangular bone where the spine and the pelvis join. This location is actually the place where your upper body and your legs meet, by way of connection to your iliums of course. The sacrum, or sacred bone, was named as such by the ancients because it was and is regarded as our most important bone, besides perhaps the cranium. Also I believe the sacrum is a “sacred” bone because of its location near our sex organs. The properly positioned sacrum, surrounded with the well joined iliums, and coccyx bones, features a balanced and proportional lower back and bottom. This entices others to become our sex partner. The sacrum affects our sex drive and sex maintains the position our sacrum.

When walking correctly, the small, 3 inch square area at the sacrum, just below the small of your back, jostles like a shock absorber while holding together the upper body and legs, again by way of the iliums. However, because of poor posture and an unbalanced “way” of sitting and moving about, the sacrum can actually slip from its sturdy keystone position of joining the iliums. Through time, after you have restored your sacrum to its proper position by stretching and acquiring a balanced way, the sacrum can function as it should. A properly positioned sacrum supports your upper body to help you move about with a wonderful grace, even to help you to breathe. When there is only a little curve to the small of your back after lengthening the spine, the sacrum can become the foundation for your upper body so you can walk upright, easily, and balanced. This, so much so, that your breathing, arm motion, head position, your voice, your face, and anything else you do with your upper body, is unencumbered and even enhanced as you walk. The area of the sacrum, when you are walking appropriately, shows others that you are at your best.

The psoas muscles are a pair of 20 inch long, thick rope like muscles that attache themselves at the top of the femur, through openings of the pelvis, to the small of the back. Because of our inactive lifestyles or when we misuse ourselves by becoming unbalanced through the years, our psoas muscles can become shortened. The process of lengthening our spine includes that we allow our legs to relax, to extend away from the pelvis region. Over time our psoas muscles lengthen and can adjust so that we obtain a balanced and relaxed walk. Such a walk demonstrates that we are free and unencumbered from tension and tightness in the area of the pelvis. As we walk with this sense of freedom, our movement reveals that we are not allowing this world to cause us to feel “tight or uptight.” We are showcasing that we are in control. Stretching, I contend, is simple to do but extremely important. Stretching in any way, allows us to walk with ease. I further contend that excessive sports, even excessive running is not preferable to stretching.

Stretching the psoas muscles is difficult but in time they will release so that they can maintain a desired length. The twisted pelvis can then adjust. The forward tilting pelvis, where the crests of the ilium bones (pelvic bones) are too far forward, can reposition itself. Then the pelvis can not only function as a bowl for the internal organs, the muscles and fat that surrounds it can become more streamlined. When the psoas muscles are lengthened appropriately, the torso, the pelvis, and the legs move somewhat independently, yet beautifully in unison. Difficult to describe but you know it when you’ve got it, as they say. These body parts, when aligned and relaxed, reveal an excellent feature of our bodies. This feature, the pelvic region, is both a beauty feature and a feature of strength and vitality.

Viewing another person walking is one of the best ways of judging that person. Let’s face it, we all judge one another so you may as well focus upon it quickly and efficiently. When you are feeling at your best, standing, sitting, or walking well, your mind is uncluttered and can pick up another’s “vibe” more easily.

Walking well is a revelation to ourselves, and to others, that we are symmetrical, balanced in both thought and in body. Walking with grace and poise tells others that we are not a receptor of inappropriate baggage that could be heaped upon us. We do not mentally engage with the sort of people or things that would make us feel anything less than in control. Walking well, with ease and quiet confidence, tells others of similar confidence that we would engage them with the same ease. Our shoulders are lifted so that our chest can bring in ample air. Our shoulders have a slight rocking motion with each step we take. We are the picture of health. Walking is both a pleasure to observe and a pleasure to experience.

Acquiring a pleasant walking style is the culmination of lengthening the spine, freeing the neck, aligning the neck with the spine, balancing the head a top the neck, raising and leveling the shoulders, raising the chest and breathing easily. This describes the similar graceful appearance and motion of a sailing ship, does it not?. Walking well is the culmination of learning the Alexander Technique. Walking well is based upon our standing well, laconically, with an assured grace and style, then moving our bodies efficiently, walking while maintaining our upright, wonderful form as we take ourselves from one place to another.

Our balance is also showcased because we walk well, sit and stand well. Then we can efficiently use ourselves, our arms to reach for objects, write on paper or on a blackboard, use a computer, dance, sing, talk. Our poise and balance is shown by how well we stand and turn. Do we swing around carelessly as we make this turn or do we rotate our heads first, to see what is nearby and could possibly be obstructing our movements? The latter is a learned art. Perhaps we thought that the world was to look out for us. This is incorrect as it is we who must look out for the world. It is we who are in control. How we present ourselves, how we walk, how we move tells others that we can take care of ourselves. We are not the ones who need assistance. We must learn how to help others by first helping ourselves. We will show others how to move about with assurance by standing and walking well as we enjoy this wonderful world.

By learning to walk well, with grace and poise, we are learning to help ourselves. We are not subjecting ourselves to accidents, clumsy movements, awkward appearances. We are more “quiet” and graceful. We are “smooth,” strong, and kind. We are becoming like those whose style and appearance we wanted to emulate. It is all showcased in how one walks.

In terms of our appearance and form, is the curve at the small of our back more straightened? Are our legs moving more directly under us as we move about, not pulling us along showing an awkward anxiousness? Are our arms more straight as they hang properly from our sides or are they bent at the elbows perhaps showing a conditioning to unnecessarily ward off any nonexistant harm that supposedly may come our way? Are our thoughts more benign? Are they happy thoughts? How we think of course shows up as how we act and how we carry ourselves.

Whether we are already a tall girl or boy, woman or man, short or medium build, stocky or thin, a lengthened spine, aligned neck, head balanced a top the squared shoulders tells others that we think of ourselves as supreme. We have to become our own best friend in order to acquire such supremacy but when you have a quiet confidence, you are regarded as royalty by others. Do not you afford others of such posture, grace and poise this prestige? Of course you do. Do yourself this same favor. Be kind to yourself and “have” yourself in this same, regal, wonderful way.

All of the changes for the better are too innumerable when taken one step at a time, except when we initially begin by doing absolutely nothing. Then, steps to change of the better can be accomplished. So much is corrected when we stop using our old habits to move about. Just by relaxing, standing balanced on both feet, by not using our muscles incorrectly to stand, we will initiate the process of properly standing, walking and then talking with others. Subtlety lengthening our bodies so the bones and muscles lay more properly, more gracefully atop those underneath, is as much a mental change as physical. These are the basic thought processes that are the daily thoughts for those who already have grace and poise as they move about. They are are simply using themselves better every moment of the day, better than those of us with poor posture.

Walking well is the icing on the cake. You may view our body structure as the cake mix beneath. Yes, I bake. The icing is how we present ourselves as we walk. Walking well is just as important as how we talk with others. It is a form of communication. The term “body language” describes this correctly. It is a language interpreted by others who understand what you are saying. So, with your walk, say exactly what you want to say to others. Say what you want to say to those who you wish to engage with. Forget about relating with anyone who will take you away from where you want to go. Engage with only those who you really want to share your life with, or some time with. One more thing. Usually your walk will tell detractors that you are not receptors to their limited lifestyle (anymore). This newly learned unspoken language is remarkable, and brings to you a security that you’ve likely never experienced before. You are just going to have to accept that your world is changing for the better. Yes, it is unfortunate that you were not brought up to innately have this persona. Still, it is better to acquire this sense of prestige, and to enjoy it for the rest of your life, than to fall back and be just who you are now.

I finish by asking you to learn to walk well, walk with a quiet confidence. How you walk is who you are.