Friday, November 2, 2007

November Tai Chi Practice Notes–-Posture

Good posture is essential for good health and balance in walking. With all of the occupational hazards out there--whether from working at a computer, a sewing machine, dentistry, or construction, or simply our own habits, what's the best way to improve one's posture? The first step must involve building postural awareness.
Here's a method for helping develop that awareness.
• Stand or sit in a familiar position, for example, at a computer. Notice the positioning of your head, shoulders, arms; then your chest and stomach. How's your breathing? After a few minutes, try straightening up more by making your head upright, as if suspended from the top of the head. Let your eyes focus straight ahead and your shoulders drop. Sit like this for a few minutes.
• Now, go back to your original, familiar position. Notice any differences?
• Switch back to the upright posture. Continue to switch back and forth until you're familiar with the differences.

How can tai chi help your posture? Since tai chi takes proper body alignment as one of its core principles, it reinforces building this postural self-awareness and better habits. By taking a tai chi class, you can get feedback on aspects of your posture and alignment that you might miss on your own. With the input of a teacher, and with the constant reinforcement of practice and principles, you're on the road to better health!