Does Posture Affect Self-image or do Emotions Affect Posture?

By Darren Stehle

Do Emotions Affect Posture?

"How Does Your POSTURE Line Up" - NA...

In that moment of changed and improved movement, she was ‘moved’. She was moved to feel something that she hadn’t experienced for some time. That she so clearly stated, “I feel more feminine” brought up a host of emotions for her. For one, the smile on her face, the joy beaming from her being, was incredible. She felt good about herself in that moment and it showed – she had found and re-claimed her personal power, she was declaring a connection with her physical, emotional and social identity. She captured and moved into her power as a person and her gender identity as a woman. She was improving her overall wellness in that moment.

All of this came about with movement – with more natural, easy and fluid movement. We cannot experience emotion without a corresponding physical reaction. The origin of the word emotion comes from the Latin, ‘emovere’, which means ‘to move outward’. So when we emote, when we express emotion, we manifest the feeling created in the brain to our physical body. In many meditation practices, often the mediator will tense up every muscle of the body, from the feet to the head, holding the tension and then letting it all go. The reason for this preparatory exercise is to release any physical tension and associated emotions so the meditator can completely let go and relax.

Does Posture Affect Self-image?

Our language is rich with descriptions of feelings associated with movement. Phrases like, ‘I was moved to tears’, or ‘I was moved to tell you…’ Even our facial muscles move to express what we are feeling internally. Our facial expressions are immediate and universal in describing what we feel.

Image via Wikipedia

When we repress our emotions, what normally happens? We feel uncomfortable to the degree of the intensity of the emotions or feelings we are holding back. Think of a time you were really upset or angry at something that was significant to your well-being, like a relationship challenge. If you held in any of those feelings for whatever reason (perhaps you were at work or you didn’t want someone to know how you were feeling), I am sure you were physically uncomfortable, possibly manifesting redness in your face, increased heart rate, laboured breathing, tight shoulders, churning stomach, sore back, and so on. By the end of the day you were probably physically, psychologically and spiritually exhausted.

We are meant to physically express our feelings, thus releasing tensions. By not doing so we may create dis-ease in our mind and body, that could in fact lead to or further aggravate any number of real diseases, including cancer, colds, high blood pressure, etc. When the mind and body are at ease everything moves without hindrance.

The deeper we go into understanding our mind-body connection, the better we understand every tightness, every tension, every pleasurable sensation, and all of the relationships to how we physically communicate our ego, our sense of self, to the outside world, and how we respond and react to external stimuli. The better and more easily we move, the better we feel. Emotions is truly in motion.

© 2012 Darren Stehle. All Rights Reserved.