The Stance ® is a standard to which you'll keep referring throughout the entire 34 Movements. The Stance is the basis for everything you do, every move you make - your whole bodily relationship to the world. Eventually you'll be able to run through it in just a few seconds, joint by joint, image by image, almost automatically, and it will become a resource to call upon throughout your day, a rapid, systematic release of tension that restores ease and fluidity to all your moment.
Here is The Stance in brief:
Ankles maintaining sufficient tension to lift arches.
Ankles parallel to the floors, feet pointing straight ahead.
Knees pointing straight ahead.
Knees and ankles hinged to bring knees into alignment over ends of toes.
Hip joints in front released and open so that the "eyes" are opened wide and looking straight out, not half-closed (as when the hip joints are partially flexed).
Pail of Water
Waistline level, parallel with the ground, tipped neither forward or back nor side to side.
Space added between hips and ribs to lengthen the torso up out of the pelvis.
Chest erect and wide, not stooped or collapsed, so that the plunger handle sticks straight out in front.
Shoulders parallel and easily dropped back and down, allowing the "milk pails" to hang comfortably on either side.
Neck long, lining up the head as it rises straight up from the shoulders.
The whole body suspended, tall and easy, from the "eye" overhead.
Piece of Paper
Heels pressed down as a counterforce to the lift of the torso; energy pressing down from the hips into the heels and flowing equally up out of the waist, lengthening the spine all the way up through the top of the head.
See page 34-55 The Vance Stance for a complete review of The Stance.
You & The Stance®
Before you can expect yourself to be able to do The Vance Stance, you have to find out precisely how you stand right now. Your mind needs to understand the exact degrees of difference between the ideal we now have of the Stance and the reality of how you are at this moment. These discrepancies will tell us where to begin work, to bring you to a new, higher level. You will then assume the Stance, beginning with the feet and ankles and working working your way up through the whole body so that you can begin to experience the freedom of balanced alignment.