How we move is what makes the difference between getting by inspite of discomfort and pain and thriving.
We connect our aches, pains, and physical “lacks” – coordination, grace, pleasure, ability – to general insufficiency.
Another application for not enough.
One prospective student said to me, “I have really bad posture.” She is indeed a young woman with a significant slump of shoulder. She took one class, left before it was over and told me later she just “didn’t get it”.
First of all, I’m not fond of the word posture. My ballet history returns in little twitches of my spine to harden and brace. And what about the expression, “stand up straight”? Yes, this is my stuff (hello, this is my blog ;>)
Ruthy Alon, who worked with Moshe Feldenkrais and went on the become a teacher of The Feldenkrais Method suggests in her book, Mindful Spontaneity, that very little of what we do during our day has anything to do with standing straight upright. So why all the demand and pressure to stand in such a way that is of no practical use to us functionally? Are we smarter when we stand up straight? Are we more productive? Are we kinder, more compassionate human beings due to our forced posture? Are we better looking?
Alon also refers to us as structurally dynamic beings. Our bodies grow, die, shed, inhale and exhale, bleed, heal and move; we live in bodies that are never exactly the same from one day to the next. On any given day we step, bend, reach, pull, push, jump, climb up, climb down, run, fold, unfold, cross, uncross, undulate, lean, fall, get up, creep, crawl, shimmy, shake, jangle, heave, contract, release, melt, scoop, skip, roll, sway, tap, rock, balance, and the list goes on. With all of these possibilities, why is it so important to stand up straight?
Stand up straight.
Get your head on straight.
Walk the straight and narrow.
Our bodies are capable of so much more than straight-ness.
Having my head on “straight” suggests that there is one right perspective and straying from that is not acceptable.
Walking, to get literal, a straight and narrow path prevents us from experiencing anything other than what is right in front.
What do we get from these tried and true statements, admonishments?(My question here, is who tried the concept and under what sort of circumstances was it found true?)