As Martha Graham famously declared, “The body never lies.”. She was an observational genius. Whether slumping or lifting, posture reveals all. Good day. Bad day. OK day. Doesn’t matter. Life is a story told through our bodies. Pretending to be happy has helped my posture. Tricking my outsides by believing my insides. Having a physical mantra is important.
Giving my advance level ballet students their weekly modern class today, brought this idea to the forefront. What are their physical mantras? Why do some students resist inverting their heads? Why do some students restrain from locomoting forward? Why do some students refuse to change their focus? Observation shows that the brain is reeking havoc on the body. Really, these deficiencies crawl out of the brain and into the body little by little. Tension, stress, negativity, to name a few, could be the cause. These signs show me that something is not right. Positive reinforcement and continued movement repetition are part of the cure.
In my adult Pilates clients, shoulder tension is the biggest physical issue. Throw family, work, health and financial stresses into a big pot and out come neck and shoulder problems. Being a victim of shoulder tension my entire dancing life has made me an expert in this area. Strong lower abdominal muscles allow the body to release the overworked shoulder and back muscles. The same goes for the neck.