Posture & Poise
What is good posture? Some people have it naturally, You can regain that naturally great posture that you had as a child simply by taking lessons in the Alexander Technique.
Good posture comes from ease and grace, not from holding a position:
We grow up hearing a lot of myths about good posture. We hear things like: "sit (or stand) up straight", "shoulders back", "chin up", "chest up" and "tuck your tailbone under". You can probably name a few more. To do all these things, we overlay muscle pulls on top of whatever habits of pulls and slumps we already have. We are then doing 2 layers of muscle tension habits and this gets up tied up in knots at best, and at worse, these so-called posture corrections cause pain and injury from using muscles for posture that were designed for strength and movement and not for holding posture. Above is a short video by Kathleen Porter with some good graphics contrasting good and bad posture.
Authentic good posture comes from undoing our contortions and compressions. Then, not only do we move fluidly with poise and graceful coordination, we also live in our body with a sense of effortlessness that is our birthright!
To the left is a 1982 video of Marjorie Barstow, the first teacher certified by F. M. Alexander. The video is about 25 minutes long. I apprenticed with Marj for 15 years, studying with her and assisting her teaching. It is a good video about the Alexander Technique, filmed in her hometown of Lincoln, Nebraska. This video was part of a Nebraska Educational Television series about famous older Nebraskans called "Grand Generation". If you watch closely about 8 minutes in, you will see Marj give the producer his first experience of the Alexander Technique and you'll see quite a difference in his height and poise.