Are You Going to be One of the Hunched Crones? Body Awareness in the Martial Arts

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Are You Going to be One of the Hunched Crones? Body Awareness in the Martial Arts

I was walking around at work today; practicing awareness. You know, trying to stay in the moment and paying attention. Well, as I did I couldn’t help but notice a growing problem. People hunching over their devices- sending text messages, little note book laptops or even just the newspaper. Yes, some people still know how to read. It seemed like everywhere I looked, I saw curved spines and bent necks.

Now I do not claim to have the best posture but my kung fu practice has taught me some body awareness and I do try to sit and stand up straighter these days.  Quick, check your posture as you read this. See what I mean? We are going to be a society of hunched over crones if we don’t straighten up our act and our spines.

I was stopped at a red light the other day and watched a man jogging in a virtual horizontal position from the waist up. It was one of the oddest things I have ever seen. Not sure how he was managing to run.

Your whole body will relax if you are in the correct posture. At the some of our Chi Kung class (slower side of kung fu) my Shifu (that is the Chinese name for teacher for those of you who are not familiar with the term from over exposure of Kung Fu Panda) has us stand up straight and put a little weight on our heels but not too much. You then try to make sure your shoulders are over your hips and your hips over your ankles. In other words, standing straight but not rigid. This is a good thing especially for those with back issues.

Originally published September 10, 2008

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