The Gyroscopic Walk is a form of “super-walking” — a high-efficiency walking pattern that gives you more walking speed at less effort and that integrates your whole-body movements so you feel more free in movement, better balanced and better put together.
The Gyroscopic Walk is very good to do after any other somatic exercise or after a clinical somatic education session, to rapidly integrate (absorb and reinforce) the improvements in physical comfort and movement.
The four people who attended my training day, “Trauma Lesson Calibration and Pandiculation Extravaganza”, saw me demonstrate and then learned and practiced a walking pattern I call, The Gyroscopic Walk (which I first called, “The Magnetic Walk”). This walk integrates beautifully with Thomas Hanna’s walking lesson in his “Myth of Aging” program (lesson 8, in his book, Somatics) and with my program, Superwalking.
The Gyroscopic Walk efficiently conserves and recycles the kinetic (movement) energy of walking in a way that increases walking speed with the same amount of walking effort — or — that reduces the effort of walking at any speed.
They learned the basic pattern of that walk in a four-step process:
- Prepare yourself.
The basic pattern of The Gyroscopic Walk involves arm movements (while walking ) of a stylized kind. You keep the palms of your hands facing your hip joints while your arms swing forward and backward. The motion involves a swiveling motion of your forearms. Try it; you’ll understand.
The movement of your arms swinging with your palms continuously facing your hip joints produces a sensation in the hands and arms of containing and moving a mass around a central point — which is, of course, is what sets up a gyroscopic force. With a bicycle, the gyroscopic force of the wheels keeps us up; in walking, it keeps us balanced as we pivot around our “spinal axis”. In both cases, gyroscopic force conserves and recycles kinetic energy (movement).
Now, there are three developments of the Gyroscopic Walk, maybe more, that come after this one.
NOTE: Click here for an audio overview of, and instruction in, these and more developments.
Here’s the first:
bouncing that ‘ball of mass’ contained in the palms of the hands forward and backward with each step
As your arms swing, you keep your palms facing your hip joints; your forearms turn forward and backward with each step.
You contain or restrain your forward-backward arm movement (reduce the amount of swing), while maintaining your walking speed, enough that you can feel the force transmitted to your legs. That’s the experience of recycling kinetic energy.
Your walk will spontaneously accelerate with the same amount of effort as before and you’ll feel your feet anchor to the ground, better.
exploring the Gyroscopic Walk at different speeds
There’s something to be discovered, there. I need not say more.
and a Third is
adjusting the location of twist you feel in your trunk up or down.
You do this action by feel, once you have understood and can do the basic Gyrosopic Walk.
a Fourth is
alternating Gyroscopic and ordinary walking
Do the Gyroscopic Walk only until you can feel the force transmitted to your legs, then revert to ordinary walking. We’re talking a few seconds, here. You repeat the action many times.
You’ll feel things connect and relax in a new way, leading to smoother, more powerful walking.
And there are more — but I think that’s quite enough to chew on, for now.
PS: Oh, here’s an afterthought ….. just a little happenstance one.
Listen: We can use the Gyroscopic Walk, when alternated with the
Scottish Geezer’s walk, to re-set our idling speed and to tune up our
walking movements, whole-bodily.
Just in case you don’t know what I mean by, ‘idling speed’: the higher the idling speed, the higher the tension level overall in that individual — also known as “stress level”, “being somewhat wound up” — and the ever recommended and approved of, “toned” (partially tense and ready to go).
The two walking patterns are, in a sense, opposite and complementary, so they provide contracting sensations that heighten perception. We can use the Gyroscopic Walk, when combined with the Scottish Geezer’s walk, to re-set our idling speed so that we can explore and find the “idling speed” and/or “tone” we like best.
The “tuning up your walking, whole-bodily” part is something for which you need satisfactory experience with the Gyroscopic Walk to understand this discussion.
PPS: I wrote this message for Hanna somatic educator colleagues and clients with experience.
If you are not a Hanna somatic educator, these words may be “helpful”: To do the Gyroscopic walk, you must already be free and well-coordinated enough to get into a movement rhythm; stiff places and pains interfere, so get some somatic education to free yourself.