In 2005 I decided that I would teach people to walk. This decision didn’t grow out of a boredom with teaching yoga, but more from a desire to expand what I could offer with movement. I knew very little about walking but decided that this is what I would learn and teach. As fate would have it at the same time it was recommended that I go to the upper west side of New York City to have a session with a women named Sandra Jamrog, one of the first practitioners of Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen’s Body Mind Centering and an expert in child development and movement.
I’m smart but I am stupid as well if that makes any sense. I learn slowly and intuitively and have figured out over the years to trust where process will take me. Sandy was very patient and over the course of ten sessions or so my life changed as I came to a very different understanding of what movement is and can be. From rolling me around on the floor, to riding a hobby horse and a fair amount of play with dolls, books and miniature skeletons my understanding of the body transformed and what I had learned in yoga training’s took on new meaning. Body Mind Centering is some very deep and exceptional juju and I feel honored to have been able to tap into some very special and powerful women who practice the magic. I have to include a shout out to Genny Kapular, who trained with Bonnie and Sandy at the same time but also brings the Alexander Technique and her Iyengar Yoga certification to the table. I am blessed to have met these people.
At the time I was reading Ida Rolf and Lulu Sweigard (are you catching on to the amazing women theme?) and found Rolf’s ten session protocol combined well with Sweigard’s ideas about neuromuscular re-patterning and my Core Walking Program was born. Neuromuscular re-patterning through repetition is fairly basic and actually easy to do but I found that making the program last for at least two months helped to facilitate the changes that are possible with our movement patterns and our posture.
This all coincided with my interest in the psoas major muscle. Why I was interested in the psoas muscle I can’t tell you but there are many things in my life that I can’t explain. I tend to go with it. While my psoas is relatively happy I quickly found out how many unhappy psoas there are out there. The psoas is intimately connected with trauma, posture and walking. It stands to reason that if you improve someone’s walking pattern it will affect pain and trauma as well. While all this seems obvious to me now—it has been a very sweet six years feeling it unfold into understanding—I am amazed about how few people, layman and professional, pay attention to the way people walk when it comes to pain and injury.
Changing the way you walk can have far reaching consequences. I am blown away every day by how effective the program can be when it comes to body pain of all sorts. Walking is fundamental to every day of our lives and making the most of the time you spend on your feet will pay off for years to come.