It is not quite Natural posture.

Shizentai means "natural posture". However, it is not your ordinary posture.

You must learn the natural posture in order to stand naturally. Yes. Very complicated but you will get used to the posture.

The key point are;

  • to straighten the back of your neck,
  • to pull your chin in,
  • to tighten the butt cheeks.

It does not sound like a natural posture. Very uncomfortable for the first time you try.

Probably you know there is a difference between being relaxing and being lazy.

We do not want to be lazy. We need an effort to keep your posture but you can be relax.

That is what we want. Ok, this is how we create this natural posture. 

Upper body

1. lift your shoulders
2. bring your shoulders back (it feels like your shoulder blades meet at the back) 
3. drop your shoulders.

Shoulders Up at FrontFront
Shoulders Up at SideSide

This naturally sticks your chest out so that your shoulders will not roll forwards.

4. keep your chin in but not too much.
5. keep the back of your neck straight.

Shoulders Back FrontFront
Shoulders Back SideSide
natural posture, chin inKeep Your Chin In
Bad Posture with Chin OutBad Example: Chin Sticks Out
Bad posture with rolled shouldersBad Posture: Shoulders Roll In
Bad Posture with Chest Sticking OutBad Posture: Chest Sticks Out

Lower body

1. tighten your buttocks
2. heels together and toes apart (45 degrees between toes)

kendo feet standing position 45 degreesFeet Position: 45 degrees apart

When you tighten your buttocks, probably you feel the abs and the hamstrings tightened too.

You feel taller.

Now I know it feels weird but you will get used to it. In other words, do it until it becomes "natural".

> > Shizentai

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