As I was doing my morning walk today I remembered the lesson I taught in class this week. It’s called “Small Tall”.
As I walked I brought to mind the image of small and the image of tall. Small I rounded my spine forward and tall I arched my back up and backward. Then I made it smaller and smaller until it was a micro movement. It felt good, pleasing to my body.
It was early morning and cold and I was a little stiff. This helped me loosen up my back and the rest of me. And walking was more pleasant.
We spend a lot of time with the idea of tall as in good posture. Moshe Feldenkrais hated the word “posture” because it was a fixed place. He used instead the work “acture”, meaning a place from where action can take place. You can move in and out of acture to do whatever you need to do.
The image of small tall helps you tend away from that posture stance which is often very stiff and immobile. This can lead to discomfort in places like your neck and shoulders and can sometimes lead to injury.
It was so beautiful watching my students doing this lesson of Small Tall. On their side on the floor, rounding through their whole spine in small, and arching through their trunk as in tall. It was like watching underwater ballet.
For you, you can practice this concept as you stand:
Stand up and drop your head and tilt your pelvis forward rounding your back, then do the opposite arch your back up and back. Think small and then tall. Then do it again. Each time make it smaller and smaller until it’s a micro movement and then just have the thought small tall. See what that does for you.
I think you’ll discover another possibility of what posture is. Not static and also somewhere in the middle of small and tall. We’ll call that acture.