A Question of Posture

What does this word “Posture” mean to you? What messages have you received about “good” or “correct” posture?

Posture affects the way that bones and joints of the skeleton work with the muscles. The word tends to conjure up some fixed image, but usually we adopt different postures according to our environment, our physical well-being, our emotional state.

There is no ideal posture, however we do want to avoid getting into fixed patterns which lead to aches, pains and injuries.

Many of us spend long periods of time on chairs and sitting creates pressure on the spines of the discs . Further discomfort arises from designs unsuited for our particular physical needs.There are benefits from finding a quality, an ease in posture where there is balance to allow the skeleton to support us and where muscles tension is minimalised.

How do we do this?

In many ways you could say it is by going back to how we learnt as children: we play! We let go of the ‘shoulds’, the expectations, the judgements, the need to compete and succeed and we learn by being alive to how we are moving, by being curious and simply exploring the possibilities.

Feldenkrais Classes provide guided lessons of step by step movements working on a particular theme to re-discover how the whole of us communicates and functions.We generally work with small, slow movements to start with, in an atmosphere of mindfulness.This is not a “workout”: pushing and pulling, feeling pain is positively discouraged. Our system wants to learn ease, not strain.

The movements show up the relationships between various parts of the skeleton and how postural balance can be achieved or disturbed. We identify those postures which lead to un-necessary tensions and fatigue. It is not out muscles we are looking to train to be more or less tense. Instead we want to raise our sensitivity to the messages between our mind and our body. Years of habits lead to a kind of forgetting and as we get older, maybe an acceptance of “feeling older” in our physical being.

But it doesn’t have to be that way! Raise your awareness, tune in and be amazed at what happens.At the end of the lesson, individuals report the changes they perceive and notice the sense of freedom.