I bought a pair of those crazy walking shoes. You know, the rip-offs of MBLs, that have big rounded soles and look like nurses shoes? I got the Naturalizer version because they were on sale and I didn’t know if I’d like them enough to shell out major bucks. The shoes make you walk heel to toe rather than clump along flat footed. And with that extra propulsion of the rounded soles the supporting muscles in your core and legs have to work extra hard to support you from falling over.
The first time out in them I felt a little off-balance and it was hard to place my heel softly. But over time I’ve gotten more comfortable and have started to really like them. I walk fast with a long stride and found that with a good tune on my ipod I get into a good pace, literally rocking and rolling down the sidewalk on my nurses shoes.
I also discovered that my butt can seriously hurt the next day. I took a route that involved a lot of hills one day and with the extra work my glutes were doing anyways thanks to the shoes, i felt like I’d done the route twice. So when i got to the yoga mat the next day i was looking for hip stretches and discovered a couple new ones.
Lunge in three parts – I started with a High Lunge, with right foot forward and held it for a couple of breaths with my arms up. For the second part, i twisted to the right, placing left hand on my knee and right hand on my hip. I focused the stretched through my spine, keeping my neck relaxed. For part three, i reached my right hand to my back thigh and stretched my left hand up to the ceiling, my gaze on my left hand. Wow, what a funky twisty stretch. Once I did the three-part lunge on both sides I relaxed in Pigeon for what felt like a half hour. Yum.
Supine Hip Stretch – Lying on my back I started by pulling my right knee in toward the center of my chest, relaxing the leg as much as I could and holding for two or three breaths. Then I dropped my right knee across my body to the left and held the calf of my bent leg with my left hand. I focused on using my left hand to tuck my knee toward my chest and toward the floor to find a deep stretch in my hip. Once I’d stayed for a few breaths, i then let go of the leg and just enjoyed a Supine Twist for a few breaths before going to the other side.