Tuesday, April 28, 2009
DAY 12: Keeping One Point
What do dancers, yogis, Marines and our president have in common? They all know that the way you hold yourself changes things--and not just externally. Sit or stand straight and strong, and you immediately gain power.
Now I've written in all positions, slouching in my favorite chair up with my feet on a hassock and a cat trying to nudge my laptop out of HER space, semi-reclining in a hospital bed to tap out a blog post that wouldn't wait thirty minutes before surgery, or stretching out in a lounge chair on my deck. It's all good.
But I'm more focused, and do my best work when I sit relaxed and straight and "keep one point," as I learned when I studied Aikido. Though a torn meniscus ended my study of the martial art, it still changed my life, and continues to do so every day. (Each morning on arising, I still recite my own adaptation of the Aikido Pledge) and I believe it enhances the quality of my hours.
Like the vow, I go through my own bastardized version of establishing one point every time I prepare to do something important--like my own work:
1. Center on the point in your lower abdomen where you cannot put tension.
2. Lift your sternum and lean slightly forward.
3. Keep your breathing calm and subtle.
4. Accept what comes.
5. Do your best at any time.