Sitting for many of us is an inescapable feature of our daily activities and one which we struggle with, or maybe even pains us. Many books on ergonomics and posture propose a correct way off sitting, an ideal, which if we take seriously, we cannot help but fail to live up to. In this paradigm, any discomfort experienced while sitting is either our fault or the fault of our particular chair-desk combination. The first costs us our sense of wellbeing while the second costs us money, if we join the quest for the latest ergonomic furniture solution.
We human beings are not designed to sit still, nor are designed to sit up straight. If there is an ideal way to sit then it is one which nearly all of us has experienced. It is that of the baby who has just newly acquired ability to sit. With a larger head in relation to body than that of the adult and the neuromuscular system unused to the position, the baby has no other option than to balance its head above its pelvis making the best possible use of the bones of the spine and pelvis for support.
And babies don’t sit still for long, sitting for them is not a position they hold but one they move through. So if we take baby-sitting as an ideal which inspires us, movement is a part of it too.
In other words, sitting is dancing. So we can benefit from many of the latest somatically-oriented contemporary dance training techniques, supported by the latest developments in neuroscience, to improve our experience of sitting.
The movements are easy, slow and relaxing and can be done by anyone. We’ll explore the anatomy and function of the torso, the arms and hands, and the eyes in many different situations, returning always to apply what we have learned in sitting.