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Why Does the Oldest Chinese Buddha Figure Slump?

June, 2019

 


The oldest surviving dated Chinese Buddha figure shows surprisingly slumped posture. Note the forward head, absence of a stacked spine, and tucked pelvis. He would not look out of place with a smartphone in his hand!

This surprisingly hunched Chinese Buddha figure is the oldest dated Chinese Buddha figure that has survived into modern times. The inscription on its base dates it to 338 AD, 500 years after Buddhism came to China from India. Compare the Chinese Buddha figure with this Indian Buddha figure from roughly 800-1000 AD…
 


This North Indian Buddha figure from the post-Gupta period (7th - 8th century AD) shows... Read more

Posture Differences in Elite and Plebeian Ancient Egyptians

October, 2019

 


This famous bust of Nefertiti (c. 1370 – c. 1330 BC) exhibits a forward-protruded head. Original image courtesy Wikipedia user Philip Pikart under CC-BY-SA 3.0.

In my travels, I enjoy visiting museums. In a concentrated space and in a short few hours, I am able to travel back in time and over large distances, and compare people from different cultures. What a remarkable gift from the craftspeople of the past!  

Many museums have a well-developed Egyptian collection. The Egyptians’ expertise in preserving their dead as well as the dry Egyptian climate has yielded a bounty of specimens from... Read more

Posture in Old Lithuania

January, 2020


Harvesting rye with scythes in early twentieth-century Lithuania. Original photograph Balys Buročas, 1923.

The Gokhale Method has improved my understanding of how posture correlates to our health and physicality. The method is based on healthy body architecture and has been informed by movement patterns from populations without back pain, those shared by our ancestors worldwide. This inspired me to take a look at my own forefathers in Lithuania, especially their posture while laboring in the fields. 

Memories of my youth
I was born and raised in urban Soviet... Read more

Opening Your Heart Space

February, 2020


This bronze figure shows an open chest and “heart space;” his shoulders are well back and his ribcage is anchored. He is part of a fountain in Piccadilly Circus, London, sculpted by Sir Alfred Gilbert in 1893. Referred to (erroneously) as “Eros,” the figure is in fact Anteros, Eros’ brother, who represents a more mature, less capricious love. Original image courtesy Gareth Williams under CC BY 2.0.

“Heart space” is a term used in yoga to describe the upper part of the chest where the heart is located. Valentine’s Day is an ideal time to give some special attention to this region, and explore its relation to your posture and wellbeing.... Read more