Blog posts about: POSTURE
Diminished spatial perception creates compression in the body. That diminution of interior body space is a major cause of poor postural organization and limited range of motion. Changing how you stand or move is not the answer. Changing how you perceive and interact with the world is.
Avoid imagining a baby’s face, a lovely sunset, or a pleasant event. Instead, let your eyes gaze at a doorknob or a light switch—ordinary things. The purpose is not to induce a mental or emotional state, but simply to notice the physical sensations in your body that accompany smiling with your eyes.
Within your oral cavity, you now have both descent (your mandible resting down) and ascent the subtle lift of your tongue. Notice what that does for the sensations at the juncture of your head and neck.
I have never been very robust in my fitness program. Having a flexible body, I’ve always been drawn to movement disciplines where that is at the forefront: yoga, improvisational dancing, Tai Chi. Strength training and competitive sports were not my thing.
This exploration is one I share with nearly every one of my private clients. Awareness of the space around our bodies is uplifting. It emancipates joints, making movement freer, as I hope you’ll be able to feel for yourself..
Dr. Rolf treated everyone (including me with my too flat lumbar spine) as if they were hyper-lordotic. What that did for me was gap the lumbar facets (so they were in constant slight flexion) and make my lumbosacral area unstable. I had low back pain for years after first being Rolfed. IMO Rolf got most things right, but not this.
Tensegral body attitude, by expanding the space within the torso, grants more living room to your organs, beneficially affecting all visceral functions, including circulation, respiration, and digestion. And, because expansive visceral space contributes to high vagal tone, it can positively affect both health and social connectedness.
The contemporary workplace, where our eyes are trained on screens for many hours, skews the natural balance between peripheral and foveal vision (sharp, central focus responsible for details). This has a profound impact on our bodies.
When I'm relaxed, I can cherish the lushness within my pelvis. But numbed by the sensory contradictions of contemporary life, I must make an effort to seek that deep energetic center.
It is my great good fortune for this to be my second interview with Mary Bond (the first can be found here) Mary has an MA in Dance from UCLA, and studied with, and was certified by, Dr. Ida Rolf, the originator of Rolfing Structural Integration. Mary is currently Chair of the Movement Faculty of The Rolf Institute® of Structural Integration in Boulder, CO. She also teaches workshops online and in person tailored to the movement needs and interests of various groups such as runners, dancers, Pilates and yoga instructors, and massage therapists. Mary is also a prolific writer whose articles have appeared in numerous magazines and she has written several books. You may know her best for her book The New Rules of Posture, and in today’s conversation we’re talking about her forthcoming book: Your Body Mandala: Posture, Perception, and Presence. And her mission, which, much to my delight, is to contribute to humanity’s deeper embodiment. —Brooke Thomas, Liberated Body
When you sit with your thighs slanting downhill, your pelvis automatically finds an orientation that supports a neutral lumbar spine. When a chair is too low, your pelvis rolls posterior so your weight rests too far back—on your tailbone—and your spine above becomes compressed.
I love the feeling that each of my toes is independently awake. The shoes make my toe pads want to investigate the ground.
After explaining these phenomena to my client, I suggested she notice any sense of diminished movement on the affected side. To become more aware of the space around her body she could imagine a sphere—something like a snow globe—and standing within it, notice differences her sense of the qualities of the space on each side.
Trash day offers me 61 opportunities to lengthen my anococcygeal ligament, one for every step.
I also know that moving stiffly--ambulating with the bare minimum of joints engaged--becomes a habit that can’t entirely be blamed on my bodily tissues. Habits take place in the brain. The more often I move stiffly, the more familiar and less optional that way of moving becomes. I can choose how I move.
Not merely aware of the space around them, our ancestors were integrated into their surroundings. We can imagine that they viewed themselves—if they viewed themselves at all--as aspects of the tensional integrity of all life.
We can imagine this biblical hero raising his left leg first when he puts on his boots. The entire right side of his body is compressed, and this compression would have been reflected in his gait.
Toes love having something to do--they love feeling and pushing off from the ground. Happy, useful toes impart lift to your body as they impel your heart forward into the world.
Contemporary living undervalues body awareness and overrides it most of the time. But could it be that listening to our interior body signals has an evolutionary advantage? If so, we undervalue this capacity to our detriment. We need to practice activating it.
Looking at computer screens creates a habit of narrowed vision. This use of the eyes draws the neck forward, stiffening it, and interfering with overall body balance. Mary Bond, author of “The New Rules of Posture,” suggests this exploration to heighten body awareness and improve alignment. Cultivate Two Way Vision: Stand comfortably. Now focus your eyes tightly on an object in front you…
あなたの姿勢を癒すために、私はいつも姿勢よりも知覚を練習するよう求めています。私はあなたの肩の姿勢や、首の位置についてアドバイスをしません。むしろ、あなたに内側のバランスの感覚や大文字の P と共にいる感覚（過去や将来の不安なしに今ここにいる状態）を発見するよう手伝おうとします。
To “heal your posture” I always invite you to practice perceptions rather than positions. I don’t advise you about the set of your shoulders or the placement of your head, but rather try to help you discover an internal sense of balance, and presence with a capital P…
(Posture Tips for 2013) Magazine writers often ask me about quick fixes for poor posture. While this isn’t my real mission (see mission statement at the bottom of this page), I try to translate my teaching into tips. I like how a recent interview turned out, so I’m sharing the whole thing below. Looking forward with eyes and heart: 1. Can you offer a few tips for improving your walking stance and posture? When walking, look forward to your destination with both your eyes and your heart. It’s fine to glance down to be sure of your footing, but avoid fixing your gaze on the ground…
Here are two great suggestions for your holiday shopping: first, The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. This clear and interesting read applies the insights of neuroscience to the mundane matter of changing our habits. Our brains are plastic—bodies too!—so why not use that plasticity to our advantage? Duhigg says a habit is composed of a cue, a routine, and a reward. It only takes a little self-examination and some perseverance to unpack these parts and make a change. The other suggestion, of course, is my DVD, Heal Your Posture, and my New Rules book, which tell and show you how to change your brain’s postural mapping of your body…
What are you doing with your body when you find yourself at an edge? Are there places in your life where your body defaults to a curl or twist? Concealed at those same edges may be opportunities for changing habits, postural or otherwise….
I like this illustration for The New Rules of Posture so much that I’ve begun using it as a logo for my work in general. It depicts one of the characters in my book as she cleans a chandelier. Here’s the story with its “posture moral” at the end.
What I’ve called “posture zones” are muscular and connective tissue structures that lie roughly perpendicular to the body’s vertical mid-line. When we’re under stress—even a pleasant stress like Alison’s excitement at discovering an Art Deco treasure in her new apartment—one or more of the posture zones tightens in order to keep the body stable. The posture zones are like valves whose closing deforms the body’s mid-line and in so doing distorts posture…
Rolf Movement Instructor Mary Bond has a gift for relating ideas on functional ease in movement to daily life, offering ways to practice whether at dinner, while brushing your teeth, changing a light bulb, or standing in line. She did this in her book The New Rules of Posture: How to Sit, Stand, and Move in the Modern World (Healing Arts Press, 2006; now also available as an ebook), and she offers more in her recently released DVD Heal Your Posture: A 7-Week Workshop with Mary Bond, which I consider an invaluable resource for both Rolfers and our clients…
When do you become most aware of your posture? When you’re checking out the fit of some new jeans? When walking into a new situation, uncertain as to how you might be received? You can be dressed to the nines, but if your posture projects shyness or uncertainty it sabotages the impression you want to convey. But by then, it’s too late to develop good posture…