Your posture and your stance toward the New Year
Have you given up on New Year’s Resolutions? If so, you may be missing a great opportunity for the feeling of a new start that can make a huge difference in your life.
Every morning is an opportunity to start anew. January is like the morning of the year ahead, a perfect time to initiate and take important steps toward your intentions.
December is like the evening. It’s the time to take stock and review the past year, just like evening is time to review your day. From that place of introspection and connection with your self, something natural occurs: the impetus and desire to stand tall for what is essential for you to feel good about yourself and your life.
This is your stance, your posture for the New Year.
The term posture has several meanings, pertaining to your physical self and your emotions and attitude.
Definition of posture:
the position of the limbs or the carriage of the body as a whole:
- poor posture; a sitting posture
an affected or unnatural attitude:
- she struck a comic posture
a mental or spiritual attitude:
- his ideas reveal an open posture
As Danny and I discuss posture we notice that those definitions are not separate but very interrelated. Your emotions and attitude can be seen in your posture, just as your physical posture can have a significant impact on your emotional state and your attitude towards life.
One of our favorite sayings is, “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.” The same is true whether it’s a new day or a new year.
Many studies have shown that certain patterns of body movements are indicative of specific emotions. Says one study, “We believe that a posture reflects not just a mental approach or paradigm, but a holistic approach that includes our bodies, hearts and minds.”
Begin by feeling how your physical and energetic posture changes in relation to the world around you. When are you open and expansive? When do you feel internally weak or vulnerable and caved in? How can you find balance in your body and your life?
When you feel emotionally weak, try this: think about the issue and practice your best one-legged posture stance: lifting through the crown of your head, engaging your core, belly breathing, knees relaxed, and foot solid on the ground. Go back and forth, one side to the other.
Now see how you feel about that issue. There will most likely be a new sense of inner solidity in facing it.
In ChiRunning® and ChiWalking® we ask that you pay attention to your posture while moving, but we might as well ask, what is your posture toward moving? Are you stiff or backed off? Do you lean in too much? Do you collapse after a short time in exhaustion and frustration, or do you feel strong and centered at the core and relaxed every place else?
What about in daily life? Do you have situations where you cave in, shoulders rounded, maybe trying to disappear? Do you stick out your chest in a military-like readiness or defiance? Or, are you balanced and relaxed, poised for whatever is coming your way?
In T’ai Chi posture is the essential element to giving and receiving in a balanced way.
A great New Year’s Resolution: practice good posture, and feel how it supports your best possible stance toward life.