There’s a person I work with who has good posture.
Revision: there’s a person I work with who I think has good posture.
Revision: there’s a person I work with whose posture I notice with approval.
Let’s be honest, I’m judging the hell out of my colleague’s posture. Who am I to say it’s “good”? To me it appears upright, symmetrical, unafraid of taking up space. These are qualities that I appreciate and aspire to.
Why do I aspire to them?
- Because they’re qualities that so many of us lose to desk jobs and stress/fear/sadness/poor self-esteem.
- Because I’ve been taught to prize them through movement modalities that I’ve studied.
I have experiential knowledge that it feels bold and empowering to take up space, and that it’s rewarding to work towards postural symmetry. But I’m concerned that when I judge these things as “good”, I’m participating in a form of body-shaming of myself and others when we inevitably measure up as imperfect.
Being rather a fan of hard work, I listen when my teachers say “your glutes need to be engaged all the time”, but I tune out when they say “just practise this whilst walking from one lamp-post to the next” or “try not to try too hard”.
I’ve just been hanging out with some of my wonderful yoga buddies, including the lovely Russell, who has been training in the Ido Portal Method. I happened to open my notebook at the notes I’d made last month for this post, and some of what we were discussing felt like it tied into my thoughts. Most of us who were there had studied a bit of postural patterning, and Russell was saying that these days, he only really applies it consciously when he notices that aspects of his pattern are disadvantaging him in a particular movement.
I’ve wrestled for some time with feeling that because I have a wonky postural pattern (just like everyone else!), I shouldn’t risk taking it with me to do stuff like running or climbing because I might get hurt (I might get eaten by a velociraptor who only eats people with “bad” posture!).