When I think of posture an image of balance comes to mind. What is this balance that we “see”? Are not the rocks in the above (Bill Dan -rock artist) picture “in balance”? This is how my balance is at times and many people also. Is there a problem? Yes and No. Isn’t it amazing the adaptations that we get into in order to say and be in balance. Certainly since we are organized to move this type of static exaggerated skillful balancing act is not effective except to look great in a picture.
Yoga of Posture
Head, Neck and Trunk straight like a tree. This reference of posture as one of the preparations for meditation is an old perennial teaching. I’ve read it in the Upanishadic literature and the Bhagavad Gita (6.13), as well as the oral teachings of the Himalayan Tradition.
Interestingly enough is the verse number 12 of Chapter 6 in the Bhagavad Gita. This preceding verse speaks to focusing the mind into a single point. Well that is a pretty tall order. We can at least start with paying attention.
Isn’t interesting that yoga starts posture from the mind first. Most postural guidelines start with organizing the body into whatever is the model of choice. It certainly is sensible to start a bit more subtle. Nothing fancy, just get that ole mind’s attention first. Then work with the familiar body. The way in which we may advise working might be unfamiliar.
First feel where is your weight on your feet. You can do all the sensing of moving to create more sensation to first sensitize front-back and sides of feet (just by swaying the bodies attitude).
Outline of Posture
- Center your weight on your feet (see above exploration first)
- Front of chest in line with front of pelvis (explore trunk flexing and extending first)
- Breathing How? Belly or Diaphragmatic (3-D) or Upper Chest
- Centralize your breathing with centralizing your spine and trunk
- Lower neck and head in balance over upper chest (explore with 4 direction turtle)
- Hip Girdle activated
- Shoulder Girdle activated
- Keep rechecking your weight on your feet
- Then translate loosely through spine and feel how you return to center in posture and breath
- Do the above in normal stance and then do same in a slight split leg stance
On another post, we can do the same with where and how the mind is sitting. You know the mind has it’s own posture as well. This is attitude. We’ve got lots of attitude somedays.
There are many details to fill in for understanding posture both from a body system and mind system view point.
At least we can keep watching and paying attention. Try experimenting with movement in order to expand what we feel and notice. Develop your own balance and methods. Share it with us all.