The directive to “stand up straight” is a familiar instruction to properly present oneself in the world. The progression to an upright posture, in terms of both human evolution and individual development, ultimately demands a delicate balance of a complex structure. The question of what is the most correct and credible upright alignment can be debated, depending on perspective and particular school of thought. The subject of this article discusses the Aston-Patterning model of alignment, which is based on Judith Aston’s many years of teaching and observation.
Humans are creatures of habit, and one of our most enduring habits is the way in which we move our bodies throughout the day. Generally, we move without even thinking about it. This can be a good thing, in that we don’t have to concentrate on putting one foot in front of the other. But moving mindlessly, without conscious body awareness, also allows us to perpetuate dysfunctional movement patterns that can negatively influence our health and well-being.
Most of us wouldn’t imagine needing a lesson in walking, because once we surpass the crawling and walking stages in childhood, many of our movement habits are fixed. But, according to Judith Aston, founder of Aston-Patterning(R) and creator of Aston-Mechanics(R), if we can learn about good body usage, walking holds great potential for our well-being.