Two of the English translations of the Japanese word ‘kamae’ are posture and attitude.
Consider that if these terms are interchangeable, this one idea can have a huge influence on us. Simply put, they way you stand and the way you present yourself is an illustration of your overall attitude to life.
It’s easy to imagine a timid guy being bent over in two, not keen to make eye contact. Or the arrogant dude with the chest pushed out, walking with a strut.
Martial artists have long understood the need to have a relaxed and natural body posture, able to move freely, quickly and with purpose. Unfortunately, us modern gents are plagued by too many hours sitting at a desk and even more staring at a computer screen. Thankfully, the first stage in addressing these issues is very easy to do. Firstly, become aware of your posture, how do you stand? Do you slouch forward? Do you lean to one side?
If you look at yourself straight on in a mirror your head and torso should be in a line and your arms by your sides. Shoulders should also be in line. Long periods of computer use can tend to make us internally rotated, if this is the case you may see that your hands are sitting more on the front of your body, thumbs pointing towards each other. One easy remedy here is to gently pinch the shoulder blades together, stay relaxed though, and don’t tense your traps.
To begin undoing the damage of sitting, move more. Get up from your desk for 5 minutes of every hour, get out for a quick walk in your lunch hour. Do not underestimate the simplicity of this. We were born to move.
Failing that try to perform some light stretches throughout the day.
As your posture improves your attitude will too, strive to be positive in your body movement and in your approach to life. Move and act decisively, your mind, body and spirit as one unit.
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