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BODY AWARENESS

One way to stay in the moment is to be very aware of our bodies. We can accentuate this by trying to connect to various muscles needed to make a movement or create a posture. By being connected to our physical body we create an awareness of our physical self and this can form part of a useful feedback system, feeding into our intuition.

I have written out a simple routine for you to try. It only takes a minute or two and can have a profound influence on our general posture.

Begin by standing so your back is gently touching a flat wall.

Start with feet

Feel weight between feet. Shift your weight from side to side. Move your weight back and forward slightly until you are aware of your weight being central.

Pull your knee caps upwards by contracting your front leg muscles. This will make you knees straight.

Tilt your hips backwards so that your bottom moves towards the ground and your pubic bone moves up, towards your chest. Keep your abdominal muscles contracted so that your breastplate and pubic bone are drawn towards to each other.

Move your lower ribs back, so the middle of spine becomes straighter and the front of your torso becomes flatter. You can use the wall to help you. Place your heals close to the base of the wall. Then try to keep as much of your back touching the wall as possible. You can put your fingers into the places you feel a gap and adjust your posture so you press your back against your fingers.

You may now feel that your head is leaning forward. Carefully pull the crown of your head up towards the sky. Notice how this influences your back and make any new adjustments to keep you back flat against the wall.

Gently slide your shoulders back so that your shoulder blades feel flat in your back. The wall will help become aware of where your shoulders are. This might be easier if you turn your arms outwards so the palms of your hands face forward.

Try to feel this posture and be aware of all the muscles that contribute to maintaining it. Feel the position of various bones, and what is happening in your joints.

When you feel you know the posture move away from the wall and see if you can recreate the same stance. You might find it easier standing with a mirror to your side.

Try practicing for a few minutes a day. After a while you might find you become more aware of your body and posture in general. You may find yourself adjusting your posture throughout the day. It may also give you choices on how to stand if you experience back aches.

For variety, try bending your knees slightly and slowly moving your weight over your feet, whilst keeping your back straight. You can experiment with stretching your arms above your head. If you feel confident and balanced, try lifting one leg slowly, so you stand on one leg. As you change your position be aware of whether you can keep your spine straight. What muscles need to move and change?

Copyright Simon Brown, London, 2011