The most fundamental human characteristic is walking and standing upright and the foundation for walking upright is standing upright. Why early humans “took a stand” is still debated but when they did about 4 million years ago, the transition from four-limbed lumbering to bipedal striding came with some problems. This shift produced skeletal adaptations that made early humans more susceptible to back, leg and joint injuries.
For 4 million years now, humans have been dancing with the advantages and disadvantages of an upright posture while searching for food, for shelter and a deeper understanding of existence.
We’re all familiar with the running quandary of how to address the aches and strains of life in a body, but in the end, all roads lead to the question of sustainability. Whatever our opinions about how our bodies work or how we choose to use them, in the end, if our posture isn’t sustainable, we’ll have to answer for it.
The reality of searching for meaning and happiness is a step by step process. The fact is that it just takes time to experience, learn and grow. So being able to maintain balance between our physical, intellectual and emotional bodies, by keeping them aligned in a sustainable way, is crucial to the equation of waking up, recognizing reality, and making more accurate choices moment to moment that are aimed at happiness and peace of mind.
So imagine yourself at the beginning of our day. It’s an auspicious place to invest your attention and apply your intention to recognize what’s unsustainable about your posture and make adjustments to correct it. I’ve been breaking down the minutia of your morning in the last few posts, building a sequence for applying awareness and making those adjustments.
We practiced the pause as the very first thing while you were still laying in bed. Then we took a look at graceful transitions and equal consideration of every aspect of movement as you rolled to your side to sit up in bed.
Now I want to apply these awareness tools as you come to stand for the first time in your day.
First, work your way to the edge of the bed at a pace that allows you to maintain a relaxed body, easy and full breathing, and a quiet mind primarily focused on these two things. Let your whole body lower toward the floor at a smooth and even pace.
As your feet come the floor, think about your center of gravity, at the center of your pelvis. Imagine you are touching the floor with your center of gravity through your feet.
Continue lowering your weight slowly onto your feet. Feel the surface of your feet in full connection with the floor and imagine yourself filling from the bottom up as your weight transfers from the bed to your feet.
Pause here and take a breath or two in this standing position. Before you step forward, make a commitment to use the awareness practice of posture, breath, and mind every time you stand up. Take your time today and let every time you come to stand be an act of standing for peace of mind and balance.