Posture, Energy and Mood

This is a follow on from my last post

Our posture, vitality and mood interweave in such a way that any one affects and reflects the other two. When we are happy, joyful, in high spirits it manifests in an open, expansive, energetic demeanour. Conversely when we are feeling low our posture tends to collapse downwards and inwards. This restricts breathing and reduces vitality. Also when our gaze is directed downwards, we are more focused inwards, more introverted, less connected with the world and others and more likely to be ruminating in a vicious cycle of negative thoughts and feelings. 

Language expresses this downward pull, we talk of feeling down, in low spirits, downcast, downhearted, on a downer, down in the dumps, down at mouth, crestfallen, depressed

A homework that has sometimes been prescribed for depressed people is to walk around the streets counting chimney pots, because the physical action of looking upwards lifts our head and the chest follows. This means we can breathe more easily, have more energy and feel better in ourselves.

In this, the last week of the month, the theme of classes will again be mainly focusing on bringing awareness, movement and prana into the upper body; upper chest and back, shoulder girdle, neck, head and special senses (the ‘portals’ via which we perceive and respond to the world). 

The energetic current associated with the upper body is Udana Vayu, the upward flow of prana. It holds us upright, enables us to ‘stand tall’, to express ourselves particularly using our voice. It lifts our spirits and raises our level of consciousness. It is also said to facilitate the separation of the soul from the body when it dies. 

We will also reflect on some of our own habits and simple steps we could take to improve our posture, vitality, state of mind and being. 

I wish I could show you,
when you are lonely or in darkness,
the Astonishing Light of your own Being.”

– Hafiz