Maybe you’ve heard me mention that I love shoes.  There’s just something about having fashion forward art attached to a yogini’s feet that just makes her feel fabulous.  And yes, I understand I’m destroying the wonderful stereotype of the barefooted yogi, but some of us love shoes as much as the next metropolitan lady!

Perhaps you read my post Ode To My Yogi Toes: A Thank You but if you missed it basically I put my feet through hell.  But hot damn do I wear some sweet ass shoes.

Now, one might wonder how one stays up right in a pair of 4-inch-high platform wedges (especially while traversing tough terrain like brick or cracked sidewalks).  The short answer: sometimes one doesn’t.

And the longer answer:

Much like yoga, walking in heels is an art form.  It takes years of time and patience to perfect.  It takes strength, poise and flexibility.  Also like yoga, walking in heels can be very dangerous when you’re drunk.

1) Always keep your wits about you. Even if you’ve had one too many organic vodka sodas you need to think when you walk.  Walking barefoot comes very naturally, one foot in the front of the other, yes?  Walking in heels is different.  You must be mentally focused if you want to successfully strut your stuff.  If you find you’re too drunk to walk tastefully then you can really class it down and remove your shoes altogether thus sparing yourself the pain of falling on your ass… or worse, scuffing your shoes.

2) Engage your core. Just like in handstand, walking in heels comes from the core.  You must pull the belly button back and bring the lower ribs back and down to keep yourself walking tall.  As soon as you untuck that tailbone and let your gut go, not only do you look foolish (like a really tall duck), but you also run the risk of – say it with me – falling on your ass!

3) Bring the weight into the balls of your toes. Just like in a forward bend you need to bring about 70% of your body’s weight into the balls of your feet.  A classic mistake people make in heels is walking like they don’t have them on.  What a rookie mistake.  As soon as you put too much weight into the heels you run the risk of either sinking into some soft soil (if you happen to be on a lawn for some reason…) or putting too much faith in that tiny stiletto tip and keeling over.  Think about it from a physics stand point (or whatever branch of science this is), distributing the most weight across the most area gives you a better chance of remaining erect while you walk.

4) Don’t forget your drishti. Where you look helps you in Tree Pose and it can also help you in heels.  Make sure that you’re not taking your gaze down towards your feet. First of all people will think you had a social disorder (and who wants that?) and second of all looking up will keep you balanced and remind you to draw your shoulders back.  Bringing me to my next point.

5) Draw your shoulders back and keep your chest broad.  Not only will this give you an instant boob lift (holler), but it will also remind you of that tall lean posture.  Keeping with all the basics of your Mountain Pose (that’s Tadasna for you Sanskrit Snobs) is a must-do if you want to successfully walk in heels.

6) Keep your steps small.  Not like a penguin – but come on – we’ve all seen that chick out who basically looks like she’s trying to do lunging squats across the bar.  That weird bent knee/giant step rookie walk that just screams – I feel like my shoes are falling off! Don’t be that girl.  Walking in heels is a time to show off your glutes, not work them out.  (But…)

7) Keep you butt tight… because who wants to be walking around with a floppy saggy grandma butt ever?

And there you have it – how I try and stand tall when I’m walking in heels (no seriously, I’m like 6’0″ in heels).

And for those of you who need a contingency plan (because we all trip at some point), here are the do’s and don’t’s of falling in heels.

Do scream madly and flail as you’re going down (this is inevitable).
Do not grab at your buddy or boyfriend for support (in my experience they don’t like that).
Do laugh at yourself. What else are you supposed to do?
Do not get up too quickly, you’re likely to fall again.
Do check for injuries before letting the concerned onlookers help you up.
Do not forget to make sure you didn’t damage your shoes.
Do find a cobbler if you did.
Do not cry.

And that’s what I’ve got for you on this fine Tuesday afternoon! Now go strut your stuff!

Heather C