We Just Can’t Walk Straight

Via Alden Wicker
on Jan 9, 2011
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Why is it that – without visual cues – humans walk in circles?

This interesting fact is just ripe for plumbing with a literary metaphor.

In this typically adorable NPR video, Robert Krulwich explains that without visual cues, humans are unable to walk straight. In a blizzard, a fog, or with a blindfold on, we end up walking in ever tightening curly cues across the landscape. This holds true if we take a car across a vast, deserted Texan field void of trees or buildings at night, or jump blindfolded into a lake and attempt to swim to the other side.

Much of yoga and the study of our chakras deals with our tendencies to go off kilter and lose balance. What does the fact that we are unable to find a balanced, straight path in such an elemental way mean?

Perhaps it is the universe telling us that without guidance and cues – from friends, culture, history, and dreams – we can never find our way through life and to our destination, whatever that is. We just end up walking in circles, and always finding ourselves right back where we started.


About Alden Wicker

Alden Wicker is a freelance journalist and founder of EcoCult.com, a blog about all things sustainable in New York City and beyond. She also writes about electronic music, personal finance, and yoga for publications such as Well + Good, Refinery29, LearnVest, Huffington Post and Narratively.


3 Responses to “We Just Can’t Walk Straight”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Waylon Lewis, Red Fox. Red Fox said: We Just Can’t Walk Straight http://bit.ly/g0jLNT […]

  2. yogiclarebear says:

    Very cool video! And your observations are even cooler Alden. I feel like this has something to do with how Yoga helps us to be the masters of our minds and egos instead of trying to do away with our minds and egos. We need them to interact in the world, we just need to use them, not be used. Like you said, guidance and cues are how we find our way…and when we are keen to how we interact with our guidance and cues, our way will be straighter…

    Yikes! Deep thoughts for a Sunday evening. Thanks Alden, great post.

  3. Surprisingly delightful video.