Stand up straight

Stand up straight

Good posture actually begins in the stomach. By simply pulling the stomach in, we immediately, and without further effort, lift and straighten our shoulders and spines.

Good posture actually begins in the stomach. By simply pulling the stomach in, we immediately, and without further effort, lift and straighten our shoulders and spines.

by Shirley Osborne — 

Deportment is a very old-fashioned word for posture. “Carriage” is no more modern. We never use words like these anymore, and more’s the pity, because these words convey lightness and grace just in the speaking of them. If we still used them in our everyday conversations, we might move about our daily business quite differently — combining our very modern energy with old-fashioned grace for powerful effect.

So many of us fail to cultivate good posture nowadays. We slouch, and it shows in everything we do. In days of yore, young ladies who either belonged, or aspired to belong, to society’s upper echelon went to great pains and formal lessons to add grace to their carriage. Young men improved their deportment by becoming soldiers, or by training in graceful arts, such as fencing.

The way we carry ourselves affects the way we feel inside and is a result of our emotions. Good carriage is attractive, and helps us feel and act thusly. When we are careful to move with style and grace, we also are more careful to behave stylishly and to treat people more graciously. Truly upright deportment is very healthy and uplifting, whereas slouching is not only graceless and ugly, but is also extremely damaging to our internal organs, to the spine and feet, and to our general outlook and demeanor. Grinches slouch — and slouching makes grinches of us all.

Good posture actually begins in the stomach. By simply pulling the stomach in, we immediately, and without further effort, lift and straighten our shoulders and spines. The head raises very naturally and easily once we hold the stomach in, and the chin settles into its most comfortable and attractive position, parallel to the floor, so that we are neither hanging our heads, as if in shame, nor sticking up our noses in the manner of silly snobs.

When our bodies align so that the ear, shoulder, hip and ankle run in a straight, vertical line, the rest of the body is relaxed and flexible, moving effortlessly and beautifully. We are light on our feet, and a spring bounces right into our step. A spring in the step lifts the spirit. Lightness in the body inspires openness of mind.

Try it. Stand up straight. Carry yourself with grace, and you will deport yourself with style.

 

Shirley Osborne, MBA, is lead coach and consultant with Empress, a program of Regal Outcomes, a women’s communications and life-coaching organization. 602-367-3864 or Empress@RegalOutcomes.net.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 24, Number 2, April/May 2005.

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