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Cool feet, cool pelvis, crazy knees - Three tips for fast and free legs

Greater legroom and acceleration in motion by letting go

The scale of subconscious tension, pressure and stiffness that we store in our legs everyday is immense. Most physical activities are more or less initiated and performed through urgent intentions and subconscious patterns of response. Even when sitting and working at the computer or during other tasks, we are often under stress and our legs have to keep us, our pelvis and our upper body upright and standing, for instance, by anchoring our weight downward. Leisure-time athletic activities continue these programmed movements, diminish the efficiency of movements and wear the joints. Stress and contractions, which are not necessary, increasingly keep us from allowing our legs, feet and pelvis to give in to gravity - whether we are in motion or in a resting position. In doing so, we unintentionally obstruct the dynamic effects of the earth's gravitational pull and don't allow our feet to "drop" as easily and directly as they could. As a result, our legs cannot be as easily extended in their length, and we tend to step downward with too much force, especially when we are in a hurry. There is often a lack of perception for our weight and mass.

If we let our mass and gravity do their work deliberately, they have an easing and helpful effect on our physiological posture and movement.

Both in motion and in resting positions, the unimpeded contact with the floor or ground is required for our feet to be capable of practicing its anchoring or rooting function. The amount of serenity and calm in our feet plays a considerable role in our stability. 

We can make decisions about our body with them and based on them. The Alexander technique provides us an outstanding lesson in how we can decide for ourselves to be embodied in such a way that is pleasing to us.

First tip: Cool feet

A foot that is left alone can directly and optimally adapt its contact area with the floor to all challenges posed by balance and the movement. The optimal size of the contact area with the ground results in the creation of the ideal load capacity that is necessary to support us in the relevant positions and enable the next step in perfect alignment with the overall coordination.

Why cool?

Letting ourselves rest or sit heightens our experience that we are being carried from below, which generates a great deal of trust and awareness for the self-organization of our physiological posture. This involves the practical, conscious decision to reduce the subconscious pressure that is present and to lessen how we compose ourselves in a certain area. The various structures and systems that are responsible for our balance and motion sequences and coordination can thereby adjust themselves to the relevant intention and situation. Our balance can then develop on its own as much as possible, and all of the added activities that are necessary on a muscle level can then take place in a practical, trustful and physiologically intelligent manner. A seated foot, like a cat's paw, can make contact at an optimal speed, absorb load and supporting force and vacate or let go of its position in a hurry when it's time for the next step. The end result is great lightness and freedom of movement, among other things.

Second tip: Cool pelvis

As the midpoint of the body, the pelvis has an important function. How we experience ourselves in our pelvis determines the extent to which we can use our core for our forward motion and how quickly and directly we proceed to allow the changes that are needed to shift our core and center from one leg to the other. The contact that we allow our pelvis to make with our legs determines how much momentum our legs can give us. This has a major influence on how quickly our legs are extended, how directly the feet touch ground and the supportive force is carried to the pelvis on its way from floor to the head. Letting our pelvis relax also strengthens the inner stability of our hip joints. This stability and assurance carried downward are mutually dependent and give us stability while standing and freedom of motion while moving. A seated or cool pelvis is an optimal home base for the entire height and width of the sacrum and thus allows an open and expanded lower back. Letting our pelvis stay "seated" while in motion sets our core free in the desired direction and thereby enables effortless acceleration.

Third tip: Bold knees

To the extent that we allow the legs to carry the pelvis, we also give our knees permission to drive our motion forward. We can literally allow the knees to let go and become more curious or bold. This allows our knees to have a greater influence on the style and direction of our steps. As a result, more energy is opened up or projected into the space ahead of us, and the movement has more direction from within. Unlike strenuous muscle activity and habit, this promotes a well-proportioned coordination of our steps in every movement. When the knee extensors alone determine the step size, the step is often too long and the heel strikes the ground with too much force. Open and bold knees, on the other hand, allow the lower leg to swing outward in awareness of its weight and to carry the foot along with it in the same awareness. Feet and lower legs are thus to some extent brought down through their own weight before the free leg is extended, and every step can be taken while fully connected with the back.

Cool feet, cool pelvis, bold knees is a simple key for releasing vitality, dynamism and alignment in every position, situation and movement.


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