January 2018: Primal Posture

December 19 2017
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Posture presents from Christmas past ...

 

Have you read Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, or perhaps seen a film version?

First published in 1843, it depicted the plight of the poor and made moral comment on attitudes to sharing wealth and alleviating poverty in Victorian England. Its huge popularity meant the book even shaped the seasonal festivities we enjoy today. The illustration here shows ‘Mr Fezziwig’s Ball’, a delightful frontispiece by John Leech from the book’s first edition. 

Pre 20th century book illustrations are a rich archive of the posture from a bygone era, when people would instinctively stand, sit and even dance with tall spines and their behinds behind them – a way of being that has all but disappeared today. 

With a background in art and design and a professional eye for posture, I am always looking out for images, past and present, that document this cultural shift.  Of course, in Leech’s work there is an element of caricature, but there is no doubt that it captures and preserves a baseline alignment that we would be wise to rediscover.

A contemporary book with inspirational photographic illustrations of healthy posture is Esther Gokhale’s “8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back”, which I recommend as a treat for 2018. It’s a feast for the eyes, celebrating the strength, elegance and harmony of primal posture in traditional cultures and times past, but explained in way that helps us understand where we are going wrong and showing how to restore our structure. It is a very practical guide to protecting yourself from the all too common musculoskeletal problems such as back pain, plantar fasciitis, frozen shoulder, bunions, joint degeneration - and other things you don’t want spoiling a Happy New Year! 

For more information on my courses see: www.gokhalemethod.com 

or go online to book a place on one of my free workshops:

• Sunday 14th January, 3pm, Spicer+Cole, Gloucester Rd 

• Sunday 11th February, 3pm, Spicer+Cole, Gloucester Rd