What ever happened to the scholarship of poise, posture and confidence?
I acknowledge that elegance is not a virtue I naturally behold. That being said, I openly confess that I certainly could benefit from attending finishing school, charm school, or any school commissioned to refine my delicacy of character or polish my manners. I am also certain that the outcome would be favorable; but let’s be honest, not miraculous!
In one of my hurried mishaps, I recently plunged myself face-first into a closed glass sliding door. The gentleman sitting opposite the glass, visibly stunned by my Ally McBeal-like calamity, was restrained enough not to laugh as he witnessed my body bouncing off the clean glass with a shocking thud. When I recounted this embarrassing incident to a family member, her only words were: “You’re like a bird.” And by that, she was not implying gracefulness.
Many of us desire to cultivate behavior and lifestyle practices that help us to look and feel our best. But where should we begin? First, let’s consider poise and posture. There is much we can glean from the lost art of poise, and the importance of posture for attractiveness, wellbeing and strength of both body and character. Poise and posture are states of balance or equilibrium; stability in the way we hold ourselves. When we practice good posture, we keep our body in balance. This is the basis for feminine composure. Additionally, poor posture is the culprit of many everyday aches and pains, leaving us vulnerable to injury. Case in point: Proper positioning while sitting at your desk or computer can dramatically reduce tension in your neck and shoulders. We also breathe easier and our blood flows more efficiently when our body is not compressed or misaligned.
Strengthening our core muscles plays an essential role in the development of postural perfection, and can be achieved through regular exercise—pilates and yoga in particular. Postural evaluation is also key. Seek an assessment from a professional, or follow these simple steps to quickly check and improve your posture:
-Stand tall, with head, shoulders and heels against a wall.
-Keep your chest up and out.
-Maintain a small gap behind your neck, and also behind the small of your back.
-Tuck your stomach in, using the stomach muscles to support your body.
-Keep both feet parallel and hip width apart.
-Have your head up, with chin level and parallel to the floor.
-Center your chin over your shoulders—not pushing forward or pulling back.
-Draw back shoulders, then relax them.
With time and practice, your posture can become perfect. You can apply these relevant principles to your upper body when sitting at a table or desk, and commit to carrying yourself with composure. Envision the African women with strength, beauty, and poise: shoulders back and down, head straight, chin up and centered, hips level, arms at equal distances on each side, and ankles straight. You, too, can be that graceful in time.
I’m not suggesting that your next Christmas photo need be one of you sitting on a white high-back chair, wearing a poufy dress with matching gloves, modelling a tiara placed fastidiously in an elegant up do, whilst holding a fan. We can all agree, that day is gone! Just remember that a self-assured woman walks tall and turns heads. Her composure and positive presence radiate confidence and contentment when she enters a room. She is not a debutante; she is simply lovely.
The world says “Strike a pose.” But we at Darling say, “Poise is striking.”
Photo credit: http://pinterest.com/pin/185069865907179812/