Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Acture, a friendly and useful concept

Beyond and smarter/ most useful than posture: “Acture,” a word that hasn’t caught on yet

Moshe Feldenkrais was a fun and feisty genius of a guy. He had a saying about posture, that “Posture is for posts.” Which is to say, only posts in front of a building, or at the corner of a fence are “supposed” to stand up perfectly straight and unchanging.

Life isn’t shapes and poses, it is motion. So here’s the word fun and feisty Feldenkrais came up with to talk about what our bodies needed: “acture.”

Acture is the optimal shaping of ourselves so we can move easily and freely, without preliminary shifting around, to another position. Six directions. We are ready to move easily in six directions when we have fun and feisty and fine acture: up, down, right, left, front, back. Obviously we could scoot off on the diagonal either in a forward diagonal of many possibility trajectories, or a backward one.

In sitting, if we were to sit so we could hop on our bottoms a couple of inches to the right, and a couple to the left and a couple forward and a couple back, this would begin to clue us in to our sitting “acture.”

The usual slumping to the back of the seat would definitely not do, and yet what most people usually call “sitting up straight” might have us too far back in this rigid idea of “vertical” to move easily in this bottom hopping way.

What works best in coming to standing from sitting?

Life is about being present, and one of the things we do a lot and don’t notice is transition from one set place or position to another. These transitions, lying to sitting, sitting to standing, the other way around, we usually take for granted until something goes wrong.

But they are amazing.

Spend the day noticing transitions and thinking and sensing what feels like it would be good “acture” for you.

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