PDA

View Full Version : Posture's Vital Role


Please visit our sponsor:
 

AikiWeb Sponsored Links - Place your Aikido link here for only $10!


bkedelen
10-10-2004, 02:08 AM
As a person who has constantly struggled to improve my posture, and who has come to understand that posture is not only a critical element of martial arts, but also a direct manifestation of an individual's dignity, I am curious if other people on this forum have endeavored to alter their human form. I am curious about your level of success, whether or not you feel that people treat you differently when your posture is better, and if you feel that there is such a thing as perfect posture. I am also curious if, like myself, other people have come to see their struggle with gravity (and by extension the struggle to reshape their human form) as a parallel challenge, or even an allegory, for their struggle with life's slings and arrows. I have met people from my past who did not recognize me because of the changes I have effected upon my body, and I know that many other aspects of my life have been enhanced through my efforts.

p00kiethebear
10-10-2004, 02:51 AM
Shortly after i started Aikido, I realized that I had been walking like a gorrilla my whole life. I began exercising keeping centered and breathing with my abdomen. It took about 5 months for it to become unconsciously my natural thing. But hey, now i'm great. It's definitely been a change for the better.

bob_stra
10-10-2004, 10:39 AM
http://www.directionjournal.com/spirituality/garlick.htm


I actually can't seem to find the article I wanted (abt a transgendered person learning to alter their posture and how this affected his/her interaction with others) but the above are still pretty interesting.

I'll look for it because it directly speaks to your question.

SeiserL
10-10-2004, 11:14 AM
IMHO, posture not only effect the way others view us, it changes the way we feel about ourselves, and is an important part of making correct technical and conceptual application of technique. Posture and position.

Read on the Alexander technique.

Pauliina Lievonen
10-10-2004, 12:46 PM
I am curious about your level of success,

I'm happy, how's that for success? :)

whether or not you feel that people treat you differently when your posture is better,

Dunno. I do know that I treat both myself and other people better when I use myself better.

and if you feel that there is such a thing as perfect posture.

Nope, doesn't exist. That would suggest fixing into one particular posture, which would limit your freedom again. Good posture for me means more freedom.

I am also curious if, like myself, other people have come to see their struggle with gravity ...snip...

I'll take that out of context to say that from an Alexander technique teachers point of view, gravity is your friend. :) If you allow your postural reflexes to do their work without interference (easier said than done!), gravity provides them the stimulus they need to work...gravity is what keeps us upright. :)

kvaak
Pauliina

bkedelen
10-10-2004, 03:21 PM
While a person with fair posture may feel that gravity is a friend which helps shift everything into its proper place with gentle pressure, I can assure you that someone with very poor posture must often deal with gravity as a grim hand which is at all times crushing you into the earth. At the beginning, just to get to the point where standing up straight is even possible for more than a few minutes, a great deal of strength and flexibility exercise must be done. Furthermore, sometimes bones must even be reshaped, which takes a great deal of time and constant attention. In addition, one must often force oneself to sleep in different positions, which can cause insomnia and incredible soreness. Later, once the challenge has been met and serious perseverance has occurred, one can begin to see how the human form is brilliantly shaped not to compete against gravity, but to use gravity to hold the body together. At that time, small and gentle adjustments can be made to gradually improve the posture even further, and attention can be given to maintaining a constantly erect position. Like all other endeavors worth pursuing, I suspect that the process of reshaping oneself to one's own specification is probably more valuable than the end result itself, but it occurs to me that terrible posture is not seen as a serious problem by society, nor are youth encouraged to take steps to repair their bodies, and assume more dignified mannerisms.

jacob wood
10-10-2004, 11:25 PM
im curious, what would the correct way to sleep be?

PeterR
10-11-2004, 12:08 AM
im curious, what would the correct way to sleep be?
With a super model?

bkedelen
10-11-2004, 12:28 AM
I am sure that "normal" people do not need to sleep in a certain way to maintain good posture. I certainly do, however. From what I have read, changing your sleeping position depends on what you are trying to accomplish. For someone with a back injury or who is pregnant, I believe that you are often advised to sleep on your side, perhaps with a pillow between your legs. People with medical respiratory conditions must sometimes sleep in certain ways. People who snore sometimes try changing the position in which they sleep. Babies who sleep on their tummies have a reduced risk of SIDS that is statistically significant. For improving one's posture, I learned to sleep on my back, with a thin pillow, then no pillow at all (I am told that proper neck support during sleep is very important, but I was told this after two years of sleeping with no support at all). Then I learned not to cross my arms behind my head, instead keeping my shoulders down. I am back to using a pillow again, but still must be diligent to keep my arms down and stay on my back with my head square to my shoulders. Although I spent a couple years with sore back muscles, eventually everything settled, and now I feel wonderful. I had posture so poor that, from the side, my neck appeared to come out of my shoulders almost horizontally. If you look around you will see people who look like this, but who are either not motivated, or unaware that they can alter this aspect of themselves. In fact, this posture is actually considered good for some martial arts, such as Jeff Cooper's classic method of defensive pistol training, which advocates a "progressively aggressive" stance with the head in front of elbows in front of shoulders in front of hips. I personally find this stance to be very awkward now that I have a better concept of natural form.

Troy
10-11-2004, 12:49 PM
The first seminar I ever went to, the Sensei who was doing the seminar kept bugging me about my posture. After doing everything I could to try to correct myself, he told me that I was leaning back for EVERYTHING. And told me why this was bad. I am now trying to do everything leaning forward, like my Sensei does a bit. And I can now see that not leaning back makes thetechniquics work alot better. My problem with gravity is that sometimes it works to well :)

PeterR
10-11-2004, 07:52 PM
The first seminar I ever went to, the Sensei who was doing the seminar kept bugging me about my posture. After doing everything I could to try to correct myself, he told me that I was leaning back for EVERYTHING. And told me why this was bad. I am now trying to do everything leaning forward, like my Sensei does a bit. And I can now see that not leaning back makes thetechniquics work alot better. My problem with gravity is that sometimes it works to well :)
Just to throw a wrench in - I personally don't like people leaning forward. Hips under shoulders.

guest89893
10-11-2004, 09:18 PM
With a super model?

Just one?

PeterR
10-11-2004, 09:20 PM
Just one?
Everything in moderation.

Well maybe two.

:D

Rupert Atkinson
10-11-2004, 09:33 PM
I have been stuggling with posture for more than 20 years. Personally, I like to lean forward ever-so-slightly when executing throws but also like the more vertical version. I find that the forward version helps get my centre sorted out - more over the front foot. After this kind of training, I have found that the vertical more shizen hontai style to be more effective - I can feel my center when in shizen hontai judo style posture (it's easier to develop a feeling of 'centre' with the forward Yoshinkan style method - in my opinion, but the shizen hontai more vertical style is better in the long run). Nowadays, I mix the two and constantly experiment.

Also, I prefer to sleep on a harder surface ...

Bronson
10-11-2004, 10:23 PM
I prefer to sleep on a harder surface ...

A well-toned super model :D

Bronson

bkedelen
10-12-2004, 01:29 AM
Rupert:
Thank you for touching upon a very good point. During my four years as a university student, I was lucky enough to sleep on a sheet of plywood with a twin sized egg-crate foam pad covered and a fitted sheet. Atop that fine surface I went prone inside my trusty three season sleeping bag. In addition to providing a bed which took one full second to make, this surface was ideal for reshaping my body, and despite some grave initial discomfort, not only helped my posture, but also allowed me to gain a measure of control over my sleeping patterns, allowing me to sleep whenever I wanted, anytime, anywhere, for an exact length of time. This was very helpful for bus trips and short disciplined naps. It must be noted, however, that such sleeping arrangements were not acceptable for a visiting female, and when permanent arrangements were made with a female, I was only able to accommodate my need for a firm surface by spending a lot of money on a very good, very hard mattress. I assure the reader that the method of earning the extra money necessary to buy a firm mattress is preferable to trying to convince your mate to buy a queen sized piece of plywood and foam. I really miss my three season bag.

jk
10-12-2004, 04:54 AM
Once I get the two well-toned supermodels into bed with me, that wouldn't leave much room for the wife. Should I tell the missus to sleep on the floor since it'll improve her posture? :D

Anyway, here's what I think is an amusing little tidbit about sleeping positions:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/3112170.stm

stoker
10-12-2004, 03:58 PM
Babies who sleep on their tummies have a reduced risk of SIDS that is statistically significant..

Opps. Sleep on the BACK not front. Cuts in the rate from 2 per 100,000 lives births to 1 per 100,000. Having burried one baby who died of SIDS, I am probably acutely picky on thus

bkedelen
10-12-2004, 11:03 PM
Sincerest apology, David.
Here is a relevant article to further edify the reader:
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2002/10/10/earlyshow/contributors/emilysenay/main525140.shtml

Dazzler
10-13-2004, 07:13 AM
Just to throw a wrench in - I personally don't like people leaning forward. Hips under shoulders.

I agree ...with a vertical torso one maintains correct shisei. Lean forward when executing a throw and you expose yourself to a counterthrow.

Sink your weight and centre by bending the legs not the back.

Also....I prefer glamour model rather than super model...but I'd be grateful for randori with either. ;)

Regards

D

suren
10-15-2004, 12:28 PM
I found pretty interesting reading about this topic here http://www.bodymindandmodem.com/Basics/posture.html and the site itself has a lot of interesting information... at least for me.