When working with individuals who want to develop their gravitas and confidence, I have noticed the significance of how they connect with and position their legs. Even high achieving individuals can appear to move gingerly as if skating along the ground with their feet close together tapered inwards from their hips. The impression this gives is one of uncertainty. Their knees are often locked and as they pay attention to what is happening to their bodies they may notice they are holding their breath.
Here are three steps I teach. In a standing position…
Feel your feet and legs. Start by noticing your feet and the quality of the pressure between the soles of your feet and the ground. Can you feel the upward pressure of the ground? Do you have a sense of gravity? Once you’ve become aware of your feet and the floor, scan upwards and really connect with your legs from your ankles through to your thighs. Sense the muscles, the bones and the skin all the way up to your hips. Remember to breathe and if you can breathe as if into your legs.
Widen your stance. Once you have the sensation of your legs, notice how your feet are placed beneath your hips. A more balanced stance is one where your feet fall either directly below your hips or wider than your hips. Try this and see if you can notice how changing the width between your feet can change how balanced and strong you feel. Notice whether your knees are locked and loosen and soften them slightly. This gives you flexibility.
Sink into the ground as you walk. Really sense the ground supporting you. Pay attention to the sensation of having legs that move you along. Have some fun and pretend to walk like a cowboy or a child. You will naturally sink into the ground and widen your stance. It may and should feel strange. Try exaggerating the width and the sinking. Practise like this in your home or garden.
How can you be a confident leader and lead a balanced life if you don’t feel physically in balance and supported by the ground? Just see what happens when you pay a little attention to your legs that work so hard for you.
People I am grateful to as I deepen these insights and practices include Ross Sargent my Wing Chun teacher, Richard Strozzi my Somatic Coaching teacher and the individuals who grant me the permission to work with them in this way.