A Graceful Maiden's Memoir

"The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to Him in song!" - Psalm 28:7

Monday, June 26, 2006

A Posture of Excellence

Last summer I went to the Heroes of Today Challenge Week at Christian Training Center International. I learned a lot of things that week, among them, the importance of good posture. At CTCI, they taught us how to stand and sit like a lady, and we had to practice by walking around with books on our heads! It was a bit hard, but it was so fun to walk straight and tall, like a true lady!

Since coming home, I have tried to practice having good posture. I don't always have good posture, especially when tired or sick, but I have learned that practicing an excellent posture is good for a variety of reasons.

First, maintaining a good posture gives one a measure of confidence. Before Heroes, I would often walk around with my arms crossed, shoulders slumped, and eyes on the ground. I wasn't very confident for a variety of reasons, and my posture showed it. Now, when I walk I try to do so with my back straight, arms gracefully at my sides, chin up, eyes alert, and a smile on my face. Before I wanted to sink into oblivion, whereas now I want to be an example of a young lady following after God. And one's attitude is there for all to see, on display through one's posture.

Which bring me to another matter, the crossing of one's arms. I used to do it all the time, and still find myself doing it occasionally, because to me, it is quite comfortable. However, did you know that crossed arms are a sign of anger or disinterest? When you sit or stand with your arms crossed, you are telling everyone that you aren't interested in what they have to say, and would prefer to be left alone. Something to think about, is it not?

Now, back to posture. Good posture is also good for you! When one sits or stands up straight, one is more alert. In fact, sitting up straight will actually improve your attention, and allow you to learn more while in class. Are you having trouble doing schoolwork? Whey I find myself sleepily solving math problems or answering history questions, I often find that I am sluggish and sleepy because I am slumped over my desk. I straighten up, and I begin to wake up, resulting in my finishing my schoolwork faster. It's a good incentive, but often hard to implement.

Good posture can also prevent back trouble. One of the ladies who was teaching us girls could speak from experience. She had slouched so much s a teen, that her back had grown crooked. She had to wear a horrid, uncomfortable brace to straighten it out. This is yet another good reason to straighten up!

So, our parents are right. When they tell us to "stand up straight!" it is for our own good. I used to resent them telling me this, but have since learned better.

"Well then, what is the correct posture?" you may be asking. The proper way to stand, I was told, is to have shoulders and hips squared, back straight, chin up, and one foot placed in front of the other slightly. Basically, fourth position for the ballerinas out there! =) The proper, ladylike way to sit is to sit erect, not leaning back in your chair, but to sit with the legs either crossed, knees together and legs slightly slanted, or, my favorite, ankles crossed and legs slightly slanted. The proper way to walk is erect, chin up, and arms gracefully hanging at your sides. The best way to practice this is, indeed, to walk around with a book on your head. In fact, the ladies that taught us, said that their mother used to make them walk around with a book on their head for 30 minutes a day! I admit, I haven't done book practice very much, but it must have worked! These ladies had a most exquisite posture!

You may be think that having such a posture would mean never relaxing! One does need times to rest. I admit, I don't always stand or sit that well, and often catch myself slumping and slouching, often while at the computer. It will take some discipline, but will you ladies join me in truly developing a posture of excellence? I'm sure you'll be glad if you do!

And, to give you something to look forward to, good posture makes you feel, and often times look like a queen! We are princesses, daughters of The True King, so why not look and stand like one?


  • At 5:20 AM, June 27, 2006, Anonymous miriam hart said…

    Oh, now I feel really chastened.
    I do all those things that Anna says we should not. :( Especially crossing my arms and crossing my legs! Sounds like I've got work to do. :)

  • At 5:54 AM, June 27, 2006, Blogger Anna Naomi said…

    sorry... I was unclear. You're actually allowed to cross your legs, just not your arms. I'll go change it.

  • At 8:44 AM, June 27, 2006, Blogger Samantha C. Brooks said…

    I have the problem with slouching big time. *goes to find a book to put on my head* hehe.

  • At 1:23 PM, June 27, 2006, Anonymous miriam hart said…

    Oh okay. I"ll work on the arms.
    I know, Samantha. I got a book after I read Anna's post and for the rest of the time I was on the computer, I wore it on my head. lol. It was sort of fun. :)

    I may have just read it wrong, Anna. I have a habit of reading over things too fast sometimes,
    and misunderstanding what it says.

  • At 5:27 PM, June 27, 2006, Blogger Ella said…

    I get what she means about crossing the arms. It does appear disrespectful, even if that's not our intent at all!

  • At 2:35 PM, June 28, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I feel so bad now! Since I took ballet my posture is so much better! I'm going to try walking with a book on my head!


  • At 12:29 PM, June 29, 2006, Blogger lioness_for_Him said…

    Ah, yes. ^.^ I think another thing that crossed arms might communicate (whether correctly or not) is cynicality, apathy, and disbelief. "Sure, right, this is ever-so-believable."

    But what about clasped hands? Or holding your elbow with one hand and letting the held arm dangle uselessly?
    I think former is fine (folded, in your lap when sitting), and the latter on some occasions.

    I try not to slouch (I have back problems). And I completely agree with what you have written here! Keep up the good work.

    ~ Lioness
    (ps, The book never worked for me. I have a somewhat level head [pun intended])


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