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On walking…

I was in a beginner African dance class, and I realized that when I lift my leg to walk, I flex my foot, I guess in anticipation for my foot to hit the ground. It was nearly impossible to relax my foot, I think it is a habit possibly from wearing shoes or possibly from being tense and used to walking in a rush. So I started recently to try and relax the front part of my ankle, and the muscle supporting the front part of the leg, the tibialis anterior. The awareness is relaxing that front compartment at the meeting point of the lower leg and foot – where there are a bunch of tendons. Funny that the latin meaning for tendon – tendere – is to stretch. We think of tendons as this non-elastic, rigid part.

When I started paying attention to this part and relaxing, I noticed three things: 1) I feel much more relaxed in getting from point A to point B, and therefore, more relaxed on arrival and even during my activities at Point B, 2) I have an easier time forgetting about Point A, and 3) the muscles in my abdomen and psoas (the muscle at the front of the hip) feel more relaxed! And well, back pain is less intense.

By relaxing the anterior compartment of the ankle while walking, you will naturally have to rely on the ground to support you. And this is, well, the first step to feeling rooted.

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