Archetypal postures are primal human postures that are biologically embedded within our joints and muscles. Much like walking is an inherent human function, so is squatting, kneeling and sitting on the ground comfortably.
The term “Archetype” may be defined as:
- the original pattern or model from which all things of the same kind are copied or on which they are based
- a model or first form
- an action or a situation that seems to represent universal patterns of human nature.
Archetypal postures are primal human postures that are biologically embedded within you, including all of your joints and muscles. Much like walking is an inherent human function, so is squatting, kneeling, and simply sitting on the ground comfortably.
Unfortunately, many of us have lost these archetypal abilities that connect us to the earth and keep us grounded. This has negative health implications related not only to our overall movement capacity but other systems in our body, such as your digestion, respiration and lymphatic flow. Learning how to move in positions like our primal ancestors allows your limbs to receive the stretch and compression shown to maintain optimal joint and muscle tissue viability and functioning.
Dr. Phillip Beach, an expert in this field, calls archetypal postures our “birthright.” His model investigates human shape, posture and movement in the context of evolution, embryology, childhood development, physiology and neural function. More information about archetypal positioning can be found in Dr. Phillip Beach’s book, Muscles & Meridians: The manipulation of shape.