Do you ever think about the back of your body? Are you aware of it as you walk along? Do you feel the length of your spine, the breadth of your back?
Can you imagine what you look like from behind as you pace a corridor or stroll down a city street? Can you picture your knee-bending stride, the swing of your arms and the sway of your pelvis as you walk into the distance?
The fact is we live in the front of our bodies. Our modern culture is front-focused. We have forgotten about the back. We've left it behind. When we think of how we look, we have an image of our face and the front of our bodies in our minds. We are encouraged to groom and preen ourselves so that the front looks its best. And the back? Well the back who ever tells us to think about the back?
Nowadays we live in the front of our bodies. Our modern culture is front-focused.
We have forgotten about the back. We've left it behind.
Is it because we can't see ourselves from behind that we are unaware of this dimension of our bodies? Has the visual become so dominant in our culture that we've lost touch with how we function and feel in the back of our bodies? Or is it that with the decline in 'physical doing', that this dimension has slipped away from our awareness?
Allow me to introduce you
For just one moment draw your attention away from the front of your body to the back.
- the back of your legs that support and transport your body
- the generous bowl of your pelvis as it holds up your torso
- the narrowing at your waist from behind
- the ripple of your spine as it sends your height upwards
- the string of vertabral segments that run up your back like a chain of boney beads
- the rounded ribs as they branch out from your spine and encircle you from behind
- the broadening across your back, shoulder to shoulder
- the back of head balancing on your neck.
All vertabrates have spines but only humans have spinal columns. It is this unique feature that gives us the privilege of height
The human back is an extraordinary structure. All vertabrates have spines but only human beings have spinal columns. The human spine, situated in the back of our bodies, is not only long but also tall and it is this unique feature that gives us the privilege of height. Essentially our posture is a long and upright structure balanced on a base that is the rectangle of our feet. How well we manage this precarious structure, is basically how well this modest base supports the height that aspires to the sky.
Do you think yourself into the front of your body or into the back?
Can you lean back in your mind and inhabit your back, as you are sitting, standing and walking?
Walking the Walk: a pilgrim's progress in the age of rush and hurry.