Conscious Movement Coaching for Functional Fitness and Well-Being

Minimalist Footware
"Tis the gift to be simple, tis the gift to be free...", so begins one of my current favourite hymns, a Shaker dance song by Elder Joseph Brackett; circa 1848...  I enjoy using it to close out my barefoot yoga classes of late.

I'm pleased to notice lately I'm feeling this way as I spend more time living with less, some by choice, some through circumstances of late.  I've been happily shifting to putting more of an effort walking, biking and trekking about my town.  I've been choosing less shoe time when conditions warrant it for the last several years, at least during the unwinter months. 

My gait pattern has shifted gradually to accommodate a softer mid sole landing and at times a 'soft' heel to toe pattern versus a more pronounced heel to toe foot 'strike' pattern I've been accustomed to.  I'm liking the shorter stride length and more alert/instinctual walking pattern; it's allowed me to successfully resume running again, as in some jogging.  Prefer more sprinting though as I'm more for ancestral type of workouts of late, works better and time wise much more efficient.

My daughter Surya gifted me a pair of minimus New Balance shoes this summer, which I'm really cool is that?  One difference I noticed is that my feet seem to have changed shape some, requiring upsizing to accomodate a larger width across the metatarsal area; my feet have 'unsprung'.    

Barefoot versus being shod in my view and experience as a trainer and yoga teacher-at least some of the time-can help to generate a more tactile cognitive sensation when standing, practicing postures or mobility movements that in my view enhance balance, upright posture, helps create better stability and core engagement. Dr. William A Rossi, a former podiatrist and advocate of natural footware seems to agree: 

     "In  shoe wearing societies a visibly faulty gait can often be corrected and made normal, but it can never be made natural as long as conventional shoes are worn. It is biomechanically impossible because of the forced alterations from the natural in foot stance, postural alignment, body balance, equilibrium, body mechanics and weight distribution caused by shoes."

The good news is, at any age we know from research the human body in it's wise with effort can refresh and renew healthier patterns and habits.  The barefoot discussion is on, sooo... here's some of the science, the why behind barefoot movement, originally I saw this link on Paul Kedrosky's web site.

In closing, I recollect enjoying the simplicity and freedom of walking barefoot to the beach from our family's cottage at West Hawk Lake  back in flatland  as a lad; I noticed that my feet would toughen up during the summer months.  Always liked the feeling of walking on moss at the edge of the trail and then walking on the exposed tree roots along the pathway to the beach and finally the warm sand and cool waters edge.  

Full circle memories.  

Towards being happy, healthy and wholesome,


11/24/2011 23:00

First blog! Wooot, let the blogging journey begin :)

On the note of walking in minimalist footwear, I am noticing that I pay more attention to how i am walking when im wearing minimalist footwear. This causes me to walk with my inner thighs and core engaged..which makes me have not only a more defined tummy and legs, but it also helps my knees and back.

Thanks for the blog, it was fun to read!

Another quote on simplicity that i think is relevant to our world today, "live simply so others may simply live"

Much love!

11/25/2011 12:27

Hi Surya--

Thanks for your enthusiasm and 'simple' insight ; )

I find to that the barefoot/minimalist shoe experience has been a real game changer/evolutionary shift as a movement guy, fortunately one that lends itself to being more playful and inclined.


Surya Carmichael
12/17/2011 13:47

Walking, walking walking is Goood! This short animated clip talks about the importance of doing exercise everyday and how this improves your overall health, significantly. the exercise they recommend is walking, Gooo Yoga Treks!!
Thanks for the walk about this Morning!! It was lovely to walk about in the snow and see the ducks. :)
Looking forward to class on Tuesday.

06/05/2012 22:12

I am very much pleased with the contents mentioned.I wanted to thank for this great article. I enjoyed every little bit part of it and I will be waiting for the new updates.

09/25/2012 01:04

Wow! I am really impressed by the way you detailed out everything. It is really going to help me a lot. Thanks for sharing your thoughts so clearly.


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    Greetings, my name is Don Carmichael, the conscious core strength guy.  I'm grateful and happy to offer up my work as a holistic Kinesiologist.  My wish is that this type of work through gentle collaboration will encourage, inspire and support awakening your sense of embodied well being: stronger, leaner, healthier and happier at home and at work.


    December 2011
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