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Old 01-12-2011, 09:16 AM   #26
graham christian
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Re: Ki Exercise Exchange

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
I don't eat sugar so a New Year cookie exchange doesn't work for me…how about a favorite Ki exercise exchange?

Here is a one I have been doing every morning. Stand in natural stance, hands at your side. Swing both hands up in front of your chest, gathering energy. Then settle that energy into your body while hands slide into the prayer position in front of your chest. Feel the energy sifting down through your body.
As your hands go into the prayer position… slowly lift one foot… bringing your mind back to your center if you begin to lose balance. Feel how easy it is to keep your balance. Stand that way for some seconds. Put that foot down and lift the other foot as you again sweep your hands gathering energy… your hands again end in the prayer position. Feel the ease of standing on one foot. Stay that way for a few seconds…settled in on one foot. Now slowly come back to both feet, dropping your heavy arms to each side, feeling your body shift at your hips. Do you feel heavy and rooted? Can you feel the movement of your energy? Can you feel the slight shifts your body intuitively makes?

Do you have a favorite Ki exercise to share?
Mary
Hi Mary. I tried the exercise and this is what I found: I found the body relaxed, energy travelled down like a shift of energy leaving the shoulder area and settling at the hips, I felt more centered and my attention went out to the walls and ceiling.

It did, to me anyway, give the same feeling as when standing in kamae ready to receive an attack so I would say it is related from that perspective to Aikido as taught by Ki society etc.

This exercise reminds me of one of the misogi breathing exercises practiced by O'Sensei where he practiced breathing along with shaking his hands and holding them by hara. Anyway I'm sure someone can add more detail than that.

A personal favorite I don't have as I find them all useful. Like others who posted here I use visualization to help someone who gets stuck on any particular exercise like unbendable arm for example. Personally I get each student to always test as instructed and then to tense or resist the test like the hulk or arnie or whatever just so they can see there is a difference.

Regards. G.
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Old 01-12-2011, 09:31 AM   #27
Upyu
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Re: Ki Exercise Exchange

Quote:
Janet Rosen wrote: View Post

Different people really do learn body stuff differently. Some people learn best when told to engage their lats and extensors, while others lack the body awareness to understand what that means (my husband and my sister are utterly confounded by the concept that for any given action there are actually multiple muscle combinations to enact it) - but that person may be able to follow through on a suggestion to let their arms float up as if holding a huge inflating beachball - while a third person might connect with the more Pilates-style directive to "move down in order to move up."

I have a pretty good awareness of my internal landscape, if you will, but frankly I have no idea which muscles are behind the changes I feel when I feel myself connecting with the earth through my feet and dropping my center as I walk onto the mat, or what muscles are working or not working in order for me to have intent as I approach my partner or zanshin after throwing somebody. But I know that the changes I make in breathing, posture, and muscle use based on shorthand reminders to myself like "weight underside" or "extend ki" improve my ability to connect with a partner and to throw him by the many small changes I make in my mind/body. As I said, YMMV, but shorthand metaphors do work for me.

Where I train, the "ki exercises" are essentially body movements that are the building blocks of the movements done in taking a partner's balance and throwing, so if done w/ attention to detail, they do build muscle memory of proper movement and body use w/o the pressure of another person
Hey I have no quibble with the use of visualizations etc. My only problem is that I think its use as a learning tool is largely crippled in a written medium. Coupled with hands on show n' tell, sure, it can work.

The reason I thought it'd be better to open a dialogue on the how and why is because there's distinctly different ways of doing the exercise she described. You could do it "locally" with arms only, or do it with the control coming from the tanden, you could do it more "linearly" or involve more "torquing/winding/reeling/spiraling." But depending on how you do it, they turn out to be completely different animals. (Both in terms of what you're conditioning and the mechanics being worked on).

So if you're genuinely interested in "sharing" exercises, I think it would benefit everyone to hash out the details.

Oh, and it doesn't help your case when you have people like Graham contributing to your thread

Last edited by Upyu : 01-12-2011 at 09:34 AM.
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Old 01-12-2011, 09:56 AM   #28
Janet Rosen
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Re: Ki Exercise Exchange

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Robert John wrote: View Post
The reason I thought it'd be better to open a dialogue on the how and why is because there's distinctly different ways of doing the exercise she described. You could do it "locally" with arms only, or do it with the control coming from the tanden, you could do it more "linearly" or involve more "torquing/winding/reeling/spiraling." But depending on how you do it, they turn out to be completely different animals. (Both in terms of what you're conditioning and the mechanics being worked on).
Your point is well taken - I fully agree!

Personally, I don't do any exercises with movement originating from the arms (unless I get distracted and have a brain fart....) - all originate in the center/hara/tanden. I find I tend to have smaller arm movements than some folks because while I'd like there to be extension I'm not really into - say on an irimi-tenkan exercise - making big leaps and waving my arms about as much as I'm trying to stay focused on principles.

The degree of linearity vs. spiraling/reeling etc is something I tend to play with just as I might play w/ weighting or other aspects. Feel like I'm just starting to explore the depths....

Janet Rosen
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Old 01-12-2011, 11:19 AM   #29
Ketsan
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Re: Ki Exercise Exchange

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Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
Hi Carsten:
I train at a small dojo in Berkshire County, Mass USA. My husband Ron Ragusa started this style after studing with Shuji Maruyama (Kokikai Aikido) for 25 years.
Maruyama was a student of Ueshiba and Tohei.
So we are an offshoot of Ki Society and Kokikai.
We trained under the 4 principles of Kokikai:
1. Keep one point.
2. Progressive relaxation.
3. Good posture
4. Positive mind.

We learned a series of Ki exercises to practice every day to make us healthier and to develop strong centers. We were taught if you had one of the 4 principles you had them all.
Two examples of Ki exercises are: rowing motion and ikkyo exercise. There is at least one video of Tohei doing ki exercises on Youtube.
Ki exercises help a student to develop correct feeling which is then incorporated into technique.
I believe this provides a complete training system for compassionate practice and effective self defense.
Mary
Aren't one and three the same? And two and four for that matter.
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Old 01-12-2011, 04:28 PM   #30
David Orange
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Re: Ki Exercise Exchange

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Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
Hi David:
Did you try it?
Mary
Yes. It's fine.

My only comment was about the idea of gathering energy with the hands.

What I've recently recognized is that instead of doing ki exercises, what I want is to exercise my actual ki--work with it directly instead of working with a form in hope of bringing ki in or somehow generating it.

On the other hand, as long as you're exercising your actual ki, the movements you make hardly matter, as long as they conform to the nature of the ki and make it happy.

I am also stopping all talk of ki as an abstract, unliving "power" or "energy". It is life and it has feelings: and they're not always the same as what we "feel" intellectually, i.e., thinking "I won that argument. I feel good." while the ki actually feels somewhat sick.

Now I just want to adhere to what the ki likes because I know that will be good for both my body and my mind.

The other day, I was in the grocery store, stocking up on things before a huge ice storm hit. I saw some pastrami and I thought, "Oh, yeah! Pastrami sandwich!" and I started to reach for it, but I distinctly heard my ki say "YUCK!" And then I thought again, and I had to agree. I did not need to eat any pastrami. So I didn't, and my ki was happy that I had heard its opinion. And "I" felt much better about myself and my ki and I both felt much better because I didn't eat the pastrami.

So if you want to share ki exercises, mine involve paying attention to the life that moves around in me with a certain amount of intelligence and a tremendous amount of feeling. I like to put it through the paces of what it likes to do, observe how it does it and consider how I can synergize on that to produce the effect I intend in the world.

So again, about the exercise you describe, I suggest that rather than (or in addition to) using the image of gathering energy with your hands, you might look for the actual feeling of the weight of the blood in your fingers.

Since I had the insights I describe in the Ki Eureka thread, just a few days ago, I've been doing everything with a new feeling. I followed a movement of ki and it led to a xing yi punch which must have been the hardest xing yi punch I ever did: it felt like the blood inside my hand tried to pop through the skin of my hand from the force when I stopped my fist, as if the blood in my hand were being thrown through the windshield. But you don't have to move fast to pay attention to the weight of the blood in your hands...

Best to you. Didn't know you and Ron were married.

Gassho

David

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"

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Old 01-12-2011, 04:34 PM   #31
David Orange
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Re: Ki Exercise Exchange

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Larry Cuvin wrote: View Post
I normally do ki breathing, formal or informal just to remind me to relax, at home, at work, while driving and especially when I feel I'm becoming tense.

In Ki Society, we are taught Ki Sho Tenketsu: Ki goes, mind follows; where mind goes body naturaly follows.
Really? They teach "Ki leads mind and mind leads body"?

Best to you.

David

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"

www.davidorangejr.com
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Old 01-12-2011, 05:06 PM   #32
Janet Rosen
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Re: Ki Exercise Exchange

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David Orange wrote: View Post
Really? They teach "Ki leads mind and mind leads body"?

Best to you.

David
Can't speak to the poster, but my teacher's original lineage was Tohei Sensei and I' d heard her say that.

Janet Rosen
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Old 01-12-2011, 05:51 PM   #33
phitruong
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Re: Ki Exercise Exchange

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Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
Can't speak to the poster, but my teacher's original lineage was Tohei Sensei and I' d heard her say that.
really? strange. the chinese martial lore goes with: heart (desire) leads mind. mind leads chi. chi leads li (physical movement, methink. not a chinese person).
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Old 01-12-2011, 06:16 PM   #34
phitruong
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Re: Ki Exercise Exchange

i don't have a ki exercise. i tend to stay away from ki/chi reference. i have an exercise i learned from a chen taiji teacher recently.

stand in "hug the tree pose" (do google on it). feet shoulder width. knees bend, not too deep. keep your crotch area to be round, sort of a U shape instead of a V shape. the crease areas between your legs and your lower stomach should be soft and relax. weight distributed evenly across the touching surface of your feet. keep your lower back slight bow out back and relax. shoulders relax and round. chest slightly hollow. you might have to rock slightly back and forth to find a position where all your weight seemed to fall down to your ankles. your quads should burn in about 5 minutes, if not, then you are not in the right place. after 20 minutes, if you can still walk, then you are much better than i.

then have someone push slightly on your right shoulder in the direction of your left foot. don't move a millimeter. let your mind open a path from your right shoulder to your left feet. try to stay loose. your body will microscopically readjust its internal structure so that you should only feel slight pressure at the contact points: right shoulder and bottom of left foot. then have that someone switching to the left shoulder and you form a path to your right foot. then switch to pushing the chest toward tail bone, open a path to both feet or either or switch back and forth between the feet. push from the back (the neck and shoulder meet). the lift both the elbows slight light, be heavy. push down on both shoulders, expand up. as these forces applied, you should not physically move, but use your mind to create the path ways. if your body relax enough, your body will do it microscopically forming the paths of your will.

once you have that feeling from the various pushes, you can do standing without the push but imagine that you are and form the path at will. do it with one direction first, for example, left. then add a second direction, say pushes from left and right, i.e. creates path way to both left and right shoulders at the same time. then do it 3, then 4, then 5, then 6. in the end you can set your body to deal with forces in 6 directions: left, right, front, back, up and down.

every now and then, have someone actually apply forces so that you don't start imagining things.

that is the basic. should take a year or two to master if practice diligently. i believed this practice call zhan zhuang.

another type of exercise that is also very good to learn: silk reeling
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Old 01-12-2011, 08:05 PM   #35
Alfonso
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Re: Ki Exercise Exchange

that is a very good tip from Phi.

the conditioning you can gain from this exercise can inform your technique a lot.

Alfonso Adriasola
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Old 01-12-2011, 08:45 PM   #36
Janet Rosen
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Re: Ki Exercise Exchange

Thank you, Phi

Janet Rosen
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Old 01-12-2011, 09:41 PM   #37
Upyu
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Re: Ki Exercise Exchange

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Phi Truong wrote: View Post

stand in "hug the tree pose" (do google on it).
Try and inverting the hands so that the thumbs point down, the palms outward. You'll strengthen the "ki" in a different way

Seriously though, does anyone think that a move in this direction is so bad?
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Old 01-12-2011, 10:30 PM   #38
Upyu
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Re: Ki Exercise Exchange

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Alex Lawrence wrote: View Post
Aren't one and three the same? And two and four for that matter.
I'm surprised no one brought this up, and while I don't necessarily do AIkido, the basic foundation should be the same.

While keeping one point/pressure/ energy in the hara can reinforce good posture/structure, the reverse isn't necessarily true, ie, being structurally sound doesn't mean you have "one-point."

If anyone thinks I'm totally off base here, feel free to say so
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Old 01-13-2011, 12:46 AM   #39
dps
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Re: Ki Exercise Exchange

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Phi Truong wrote: View Post
stand in "hug the tree pose"
Zhan zhuang,

Post standing,

Tree standing.

Pole standing.

David
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Old 01-13-2011, 08:35 AM   #40
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Re: Ki Exercise Exchange

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Robert John wrote: View Post

Seriously though, does anyone think that a move in this direction is so bad?
?
Not sure what you mean.
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Old 01-13-2011, 08:58 AM   #41
phitruong
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Re: Ki Exercise Exchange

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Robert John wrote: View Post
Try and inverting the hands so that the thumbs point down, the palms outward. You'll strengthen the "ki" in a different way
good point. be careful though that you don't ended up shrugging your shoulders and tight up your upper body.

and rob, stop talking about ki stuffs or i have to go over there and fajin you to the moon. well, actually, you have to pay for my plane ticket so i can come over to fajin you. no point make it easy for you.
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Old 01-13-2011, 09:03 AM   #42
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: Ki Exercise Exchange

"I'm surprised no one brought this up, and while I don't necessarily do AIkido, the basic foundation should be the same.

While keeping one point/pressure/ energy in the hara can reinforce good posture/structure, the reverse isn't necessarily true, ie, being structurally sound doesn't mean you have "one-point.
If anyone thinks I'm totally off base here, feel free to say so"

I was repeating Kokikai's 4 principles at the time I was training with him..I can't speak for him... I understood it to be for teaching principles and breaking down the process...it worked for me.
Before I could understand keep one point...I could focus on good posture...and many people that seem to understand internal strength seem to struggle with positive mind...which doesn't mean to be happy all the time but to accept what is and move on...FWIW
Mary

Last edited by Mary Eastland : 01-13-2011 at 09:04 AM. Reason: spelling of course
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Old 01-13-2011, 10:08 AM   #43
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Re: Ki Exercise Exchange

Quote:
Phi Truong wrote: View Post
the chinese martial lore goes with: heart (desire) leads mind. mind leads chi. chi leads li (physical movement, methink. not a chinese person).
I psychology we are now accepting that mind creates emotions and emotions drive behavior.

In Aikido I was taught that where ever the head goes the body follows.

Aim and intent matter.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 01-13-2011, 10:27 AM   #44
Upyu
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Re: Ki Exercise Exchange

Quote:
Phi Truong wrote: View Post
good point. be careful though that you don't ended up shrugging your shoulders and tight up your upper body.

and rob, stop talking about ki stuffs or i have to go over there and fajin you to the moon. well, actually, you have to pay for my plane ticket so i can come over to fajin you. no point make it easy for you.
Heh, that goes without saying, I'm sure you know.

And if you develop enough power to send me to the moon I'll market you as the new alternative energy source.
Get werkin on that backbow of yours
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Old 01-13-2011, 10:29 AM   #45
Upyu
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Re: Ki Exercise Exchange

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Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
[i]
I was repeating Kokikai's 4 principles at the time I was training with him..I can't speak for him... I understood it to be for teaching principles and breaking down the process...it worked for me.
Before I could understand keep one point...I could focus on good posture...and many people that seem to understand internal strength seem to struggle with positive mind...which doesn't mean to be happy all the time but to accept what is and move on...FWIW
Mary
Ok, just so I don't jump the gun, could you lay out what you feel constitutes "good posture"?
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Old 01-13-2011, 10:33 AM   #46
phitruong
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Re: Ki Exercise Exchange

Quote:
Lynn Seiser wrote: View Post
I psychology we are now accepting that mind creates emotions and emotions drive behavior..
mind creates emotions? you got anything on that for light reading? very interesting in those sort of things. not in psychology fields, but just interest in it.
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Old 01-13-2011, 10:35 AM   #47
Upyu
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Re: Ki Exercise Exchange

Quote:
Lynn Seiser wrote: View Post
I psychology we are now accepting that mind creates emotions and emotions drive behavior.

In Aikido I was taught that where ever the head goes the body follows.

Aim and intent matter.
Lynn,
The difference is that Phi's description (while cribbed from however many different generic IS poems, songs, whatever you want to call them) is about a concrete physical process. The entire act of leading "Chi"/"Ki" isn't something that someone can say "well I think it works this way" (something Phi probably already knows). When someone quotes something that runs contrary to what physically happens, well lets just say it doesn't put a positive spin on said person's understanding.

While it may come off as sounding like the "IS" nazis being afoot again...I can't help but call it as I see it.
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Old 01-13-2011, 10:56 AM   #48
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Re: Ki Exercise Exchange

Quote:
Lynn Seiser wrote: View Post
I psychology we are now accepting that mind creates emotions and emotions drive behavior.

In Aikido I was taught that where ever the head goes the body follows.

Aim and intent matter.
Quote:
The difference is that Phi's description...is about a concrete physical process...When someone quotes something that runs contrary to what physically happens, well lets just say it doesn't put a positive spin on said person's understanding.
I'm pretty sure Lynn's comments, being based on a scientific approach, can be described as a "concrete physical process" too. Doesn't that suggest the difference must be described somewhat differently, then?

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 01-13-2011, 11:01 AM   #49
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Re: Ki Exercise Exchange

No Robert. I won't...we both know what good posture is. I won't have you tell me again that I just don't get it and you do. I understand just fine. I am not trying to compete with you...I started a thead for sharing not tearing apart.
My process may be different from yours. It doesn't make your process better...just different.
Mary
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Old 01-13-2011, 11:03 AM   #50
Keith Larman
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Re: Ki Exercise Exchange

Quote:
Robert John wrote: View Post
The entire act of leading "Chi"/"Ki"
I think for many the feeling is that adopting a mindset of "intent" to do something tends to cause them to subtly change their physicality. One fella once told me to put my arm up and put out my index finger. Then he said to point at something my finger was already pointing at but don't change your outside appearance. So the feeling like you're actually "extending" without any sort of external evidence rather than just holding your arm and finger up. You feel a difference inside your body, you feel a change in how you're aligned, connected, etc. (assuming you're doing it correctly).

Of course the problem here is that this is just a use of a metaphor (extending/leading) to get someone to change a fundamental aspect of how they present/hold their body. And many confuse the metaphor with the goal of using the metaphor. And it assumes there is sufficient development/sensitivity to understand it when it happens.

Not sure I'm making myself clear, but there you go...

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