You Are How You Move

Thomas Hanna once told a story about Moshe Feldenkrais, and how he said that if you want to get some insight to how a person thinks and feels, just look at their posture. Our posture and movement tells more about us than we realize. Just an animals take powerful stances in order to defend their territory, or cats arch their backs in anger or apprehension, so do humans move according to how they feel. Think of the man who puffs out his chest in order to act tough, or the teenager who slumps and round their shoulders in an effort to hide in a crowd. In today's New York Times there is a wonderful article about the photographer Philippe Halsman, who photographed famous people jumping. He called this experiment "jumpology."

The article quotes Halsman, who died in 1979 as saying, “When you ask a person to jump, his attention is mostly directed toward the act of jumping, and the mask falls, so that the real person appears.”

Enjoy the article - and then jump. See what it feels like. Notice how you move when no one's looking. Then take that awareness into your day and see how you move in general. Social, familial and stress related issues impact our movement from the time we learn how to walk as young toddlers. Through deliberate awareness we can change the way in which our bodies move and respond to stress - but only if we're aware.