The story is told that when Leonardo DaVinci walked down the street he had such beautiful poise and grace that people stopped to watch him.
I think, perhaps, I might miss him if he walked past me. I just might be looking down at my phone. Probably on my way to an iHunch. (It comes free with your phone, no matter which brand you have!)
Many hours of sitting (and most of us have to sit to do much of our work) can bring on forward head posture, with the slumped shoulders and the hunched back.
In an interesting book How to Think Like Leonardo DaVinci; Seven Step to Genius Every Day, Michael Gelb identifies one of the seven steps as Corporalita: The Cultivation of Grace, Ambidexterity, Fitness and Poise. Gelb tells of the awe of observers as they watched DaVinci switching hands with his paintbrush as he was working on the Sistine Chapel.
DaVinci was ahead of his time in so many ways. As I read Gelb’s chapter it seems DaVinci innately knew that we need to build strength, and balance of body, to support strength and balance of the mind. His ambidexterity and physical strength were legendary. Not just for show, but in order to be whole.
If anyone has the excuse of not enough time, Davinci did. Truly how can a man become all those list of professions in one lifetime. And he juggled! It is easy for me to use the excuse that it is my desk or chair, or work that keeps me in my chair and that is why no one notices when I walk down the street.
Sitting is the new smoking…right? Well…I’m tired of my own excuses.
What if the time sitting, and standing, was time toward shaping that DaVinci grace and ease?
DaVinci painted and wrote and drew and I bet he was sitting. We are all, in a way, shaped by our times. When I think about it, I want a say in how my body is shaped, not a form dictated by the technology and electronic devices I use.
Not just because it looks good, but because when my body is in its designed form (that means good posture) it also works better. When my body works better I feel better and I have the the energy to do the many things I love doing. I may not paint the Mona Lisa in that time but I will have time to do what matters to me.
I have not yet uncovered that DaVinci practiced yoga. (When I do I’ll let you know!) I’m going to hold that image of his grace and poise in mind, and start with Mountain pose. How about you? Where will you start?