Thursday, December 28, 2006

Posture and Acture

Up to the tree
Northern California sort of has seasons.

Posture and what? Well, good old Moshe Feldenkrais didn’t think posture was all that it was cracked up to be. He thought that what mattered was function, and the best state to be in was one in which you could easily act in all six directions: right, left, back, forward, up and down. That would be good acture, being in that state.

Stand at a military salute kind of posture leaves you severely limited for anything but falling backwards.

So, how would you stand to move easily and quickly in all directions?

Well, it wouldn’t be the slumpy over stuff that caused all our mothers to nag us to “stand up straight.” So the moms were kind of right. Stand up straighter anyway, but not stiff, not tight, not tense.


That’s what Moshe used to say. Or, if you want to be a movie star and stand in front of a crowd looking regal, have a regal posture. Posture is for posts and for impressing people.

And acture is a word that never really took off, but still: let’s keep the idea. Sitting now, how can we be in a position to move in all directions easily? If we were to stand and just think about moving six directions, what would that do to our organization?

Almost any Feldenkrais lesson, either of the group Awareness Through Movement type, or the one to one Functional Integration type, is great for “posture,” in that you stand taller and lighter after the lesson, and the lessons can be about just about anything, and are almost never about “standing up tall.” Most are in the lying or sitting position and still, after they are over we stand taller.

Why is that?

Because we are wired up in our brain with more of us connected to more of us, and when we use our legs and our pelvis and our feet and our spine and our ribs and our eyes we are going to, without “trying,” end up coming to a useful and more graceful standing pose than we usually do. Awareness is the key, and not awareness of “how to stand,” but this sweet awareness of how amazing it is to be in a human body and how great it feels to be pushing down into the ground and feeling that force transmitted through our skeleton, holding us up, almost as if weightless.

We can feel like that?


Come get a lesson, or put on one you’ve got at home on a CD, or purchase some lessons, or just spend some time getting the various parts of you happier and more connected with the other parts, preferably in an on the ground, variation and experimentation and discovery way.

No comments: