Let’s be Limber
By Marian Connor
I was thinking about posture, our alignment and movement. In the last few weeks we have been to several workshops each with a different theme but all referring to postural awareness and correct alignment which obviously affects how we look but also how we feel and how others feel about us.
The basis of our structure and alignment is the ingenious framework that is our skeleton made up of bones, connected by ligaments overlaid with muscles, tendons, fascia, fat and skin, embedded with networks to deliver nourishment, clear waste and facilitate nerve impulses. These miraculously come together to create the myriad varieties of the human form.
No standard model here we are a smorgasbord of humanity, our stance in life is affected by our cultural heritage, physical and emotional wellbeing.
The wonder that is our skeleton is created from bones that come in a gallimaufry of shapes, sizes and density. They are articulated by many joints, facilitating a vast range of movement which is created by a dazzling array of musculature – do you get the feeling bodies impress me?
We often take our bodies and our movement for granted, sometimes we need a little reminder of the beautiful way they can move, we need to give them more respect and attention.
We cannot all match the achievements of athletes and ballet dancers but we can all improve our posture and the quality of our movement. A dance interlude for your pleasure.
We should allow our bodies to move freely without the constraints of bad habits and bad mood. We want to be upright but not uptight. With some effort to strengthen and stretch muscles and a little attention we can all be stronger and limber.
Just a thought worth consideration…
Does your work involve carrying and lifting? What do you do to ensure good alignment and sufficient muscular strength to safe guard your joints?
Do you sit at a desk or drive for long periods of time? How often do you take breaks to move and stretch?
Do you spend a lot of time on public transport or flying? What do you do to increase circulation and stay hydrated?
Your body speaks
There are a whole lot of good books out there on the subject of body language and non verbal communication which can really enlighten the way we use our bodies but I just wanted to mention the impact of posture on the way we are perceived.
Our bodies are constantly giving off thousands of signals, exhibiting outward displays of inner states, sometimes consciously but often times not.
People hear what they see so it would be beneficial if we could be aware of this and more in control of our non verbal behaviour. When we speak words that are contradicted by our bodies, the body’s voice is often more convincing, for instance.
Hunched posture, shortened neck, crossed limbs, tension, all exhibit the fact we want to shield the vulnerable front of our body. This blocking posture is closed and defensive to keep people out. Whatever open inclusive message you may try to convey in this position, it will always be seen as defensive and lacking confidence.
On the other hand when we display a posture at ease, chest open and expansive, we are upright and loose, showing control and confidence. With this posture any verbal stumbles and mumbles will appear to be charming idiosyncrasies even if they are actually nerves or a lack of preparation.
This is because one way to give ourselves more confidence is to stand as if we already feel empowered.
High status individuals open up their bodies and use their arms to claim territory. Extending our arms or placing our hands on hips, elbows out could make you feel superheroesque and by indicating power to others it also sends a message to our own psyche. In this instance the idea of ‘Fake it til you make it’ really can work.
Spend a little time and effort to be informed and treat your body well. I guarantee it will love you right back.
Image Tile/Header – The Art of Correct Posture, 1936
Image – Skeleton from 4 sides via Molly’s Art Blog
YouTube – Ballet Dancer Sergei Polunin Dances to Hozier’s ‘Take me to Church.’ Duration 00:04:00
YouTube – Tchaikovsky – Misty Copeland – Duration 00:00:58
YouTube – Checking your Posture – Duration 00:00:48
YouTube – Find your primal posture and sit without back pain: Esther Gokhale at TEDxStanford – Duration 00:06:15
YouTube- A few tips on the posture of your body – Duration 00:02:15
Image – Wonder Woman – Lynda Carter in a street pose from the TV show
YouTube- Amy Cuddy: 30 seconds of Power Poses
If we have whet your appetite for further discovery, keep in mind that we create interactive experiential workshops and events embracing 8 elements, exploring a myriad of ways to enhance your health and happiness.
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