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Elements of Poise

Postural or movement education should be about principles, first and foremost. What are some of the principles of neutral alignment?

  • Neutral alignment effectively demands stabilization of itself (as does poor alignment). It is not an imposition or a struggle.
  • Neutral alignment poises one segment on top of another, so that each segment is in its highest position. Therefore…
  • The least crooked alignment is also the tallest alignment. In other words, we get shorter by getting more crooked.
  • The feeling of improved alignment includes the sense that our musculoskeletal system is supporting us, not that we’re trying to hold ourselves up.
  • Local body support is vertically organized: in standing, the front of the foot holds up the front of the body, the medial aspect of the leg holds up the midline of the upper body, etc.

I love thinking about how our bodies function in gravity. For me, the most interesting and relevant ideas are those that characterize the feeling of neutrality and harmony in position and movement.