Is Posture Physical or Mental?
If you think posture is a problem of the body then the logical conclusion is the solution will be found in doing things with the body. But is it?
Most people think posture is primarily about "the body." My aim here is to show that posture is much more in the realm of what we normally think of as “the mind.”
It is of course impossible to separate mind and body in reality (only verbally) - as they are intertwined, interactive and dependent on one another in some mysterious way.
But for the sake of being able to speak about posture at all, I need to use the terms here as if they refer to separate domains of life.
Posture of “the Body”
If you think posture is a problem of the body then the logical conclusion is the solution will be found in doing things with the body.
Typical methods are exercise, weight lifting, shoulder straps, ergonomic chairs, chiropractic, physiotherapy - things that manipulate the body directly. Things you can see and feel in action.
I have tried most of the "body" based methods over the years, and they only give short term temporary relief, and in many cases they actually make the underlying postural problems even worse. They treat the symptoms and don't address the underlying causes at all. Body based methods can also be very deceiving.
I spent years feeling a little bit better, enjoying nicer sensations, and so being convinced that i was making progress, but a few minutes of video analysis revealed that I had no idea what I was really doing, and that I had been deluding myself the whole time.
And if one body based method does not work then people typically try many others, until they find one that gives the best ‘fireworks’ or just seems to be better than nothing. Which means: it makes them feel good in the moment.
Most people will not even consider non-body based solutions at all because the assumption is posture is about the body and therefore the solution must be found in doing things with the body.
Posture of “the Mind”
In my view, posture is much more about what we commonly refer to as "the mind." Therefore the solution I teach for postural control is all about doing things with "the mind."
I explain principles and rules for doing the sub-movements which combine to create your posture, and then teach you a technique for enacting these principles to change your posture, the results of which you can see in a readjustment of "the body."
The actual method involves using a series of verbal orders - instructions that you give to yourself in advance - which coordinate the movements of the different body parts, in non-habitual ways, resulting in the creation of a new posture.
This is a mental process that includes: attention, intentions, decision making, working memory, geometrical thinking, visualisation of diagrams, and the ability to translate words into actions.
These are primarily activities of the mind and not the body - you can't feel a principle or sense a rule, you can only THINK them - but the results of this invisible, mental process can be revealed in the visible, physical movements of the body.
Posture of “the Will”
So we are really talking about the development of your conscious will. The ability to reason out and plan a set of decisions with regards to your posture – and then actually doing it!
The capacity for consciously willing the synchronised movements you need to combine in order to create a new posture - and then to implement these decisions as planned, and only these specific movements and no others (conscious won’t!).
This is the skill to actually do what you say you will do, and to prevent yourself from doing what you say you don’t want to do. Do you think training this skill will also be helpful in other domains of life? Yes!
In my course “Principles of Posture” I teach a system for training your Conscious Will, while improving your posture and movement habits. You get access to the 10 videos when you become a paid subscriber.