Following this theme that we have been exploring, for some time now, mindfulness, we shift our focus towards posture; posture and mindfulness
We have talked and explored posture in many different ways however this time, our focus is not on the shape(s) that the body creates that we can characterize as efficient posture.
Our focus is more on becoming aware of our spine, our breath, our back and front body and the space there is between them.
Our goal would be to achieve the desired alignment without though creating unnecessary tension, by pulling on the muscle to achieve a specific position.
So how do we do it?
As you will see in the video above we are starting with breathing. Muscles of the back are also called breathing muscles and not by chance. You can do a simple test yourselves; inhale and exhale and notice how your body moves.
By deepening our inhales and exhales, we make all those movements associated with the breath and posture bigger. And so this way we come into a posture without inhibiting our breath and without using more muscle than what is necessary for us to get there.
One thing that I would like to take the opportunity to stress out here, is allowing yourselves to start where YOU are. This is a very important part of the process. We spend so much time trying to look like someone else, that we forget to acknowledge our starting point. However, that is something that will have a major impact on how we get to our goal and how long it will take.
So physically we are all of the same make but we are also different, maybe you have a more extended or arched back, maybe your breathing pattern is shallower, maybe you are stressed… a thousand maybes! So take some time to notice where you are without any judgement, just being a witness to your own experience and allow yourselves to start from there.
Being respectful and loving to your body will not only have physiological benefits but it will also be the first step towards mindfulness.
The benefits of a mindful posture
Talking about benefits, lets see a couple of more…
So continuing the conversation, acknowledgment without judgement doesn’t mean acceptance, but more realizing, identifying where you are and how that feels. So you go through a body scan, noticing where things are and how things are feeling. The labels of good and bad should be dropped for this one, as there is no good and bad, it just is what it is.
Once you have informed your knowing, then you can start the exploration of your other options of alignment
Other options will then offer a series of benefits, such as:
- efficiency of movement, so you are not using more energy than what you need
- following the above, you have better use of muscle
- better balance of forces within the joints so there are no shear forces going through your joints, pulling them off center
- following the above you can avoid overuse of ligaments and muscle impingement
- you will have a comfortable breath while standing and moving
- your diaphragms can work properly, at the appropriate pace with the necessary movement pattern
- and generally your organs will be aligned and able to maintain their tone and relationships to one another
- going to the Tango side of things, you can have more freedom in movement as you won’t need to hold as much
- movements will feel more connected in your bodies
- you will be able to dance for longer as you won’t be wasting energy and
- last but not least we will be able to enjoy our dances more
We had to close this list at some point but in reality once you start with such explorations the benefits are more and more and some more..! (haha)
What if I don’t know where to start, with posture and mindfulness
I think our video above can be an excellent start and also our video from last week. They make a good match and can help slowly deepen your understanding of how the different parts of our upper body interact.
Now if you need more guidance we have our regular classes and workshops starting next week and we will be spending some time on such themes. It would be a great pleasure to have you in one of our groups. Help you and me learn and grow together
Hope to see you there and then
P.S: If you want to get started with some body scanning here you go!