In this season of shorts and bikinis it is easy for us to pick ourselves apart. Wanting to take care of our bodies is a natural, healthy impulse, but when it gets focused on body image it can become an unhealthy obsession. You can help transform negative thoughts about the shape of your body, or the wrinkles on your face, into positive ones by focusing on posture.
Young children have great posture, great strength and flexibility, and an intact sense of self.
Posture helps us work on our bodies in a healthy way that gives immediate rewards for little effort and no expense. Short of pricey interventions, those wrinkles won't disappear. Exercise can help us lose weight and become stronger, but it won't happen overnight. With posture, however, you can improve your physical appearance and feel healthier in a matter of seconds. You'll increase circulation, improve your breathing, begin to build muscle in the core and buttocks, and find an outlet for the mental energy that would usually fixate on the shape of your thighs or the bulge around your middle.
The Greeks placed a great emphasis on form - and the beauty that goes with it.
With posture we can let ourselves obsess a little. Check that every vertebra in your spine moves with your breathing. Squeeze the glutes on the rear leg with every step you take.
Teacher Charlene Hannibal showing excellent form in performing ballet. Her torso retains it’s original shape as her arms and legs are compellingly expressive.
By remembering to angle the pelvis forward, roll the shoulders back and glidewalk, we can focus all that mental energy on something that will help us rather than hurt us.
I've used this technique successfully with high school girls whose body image had deteriorated to the point where it was contributing to anorexia. By giving these young girls another outlet for their desire to control their bodies and their lives, we slowly replaced unhealthy obsessions with healthy ones.
Esther teaching posture / dance to a group of teenagers in high school. This is an age at which it is very important to establish a sense of self that is health-based rather than fashion- or imperfection-based.
It's a good thing to care about our bodies, but we need to care in ways that promote health, rather than destroy it.
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