Moving in a feminine and graceful manner -- with good posture -- is great for a woman's overall sense of well-being. The French and Italian women aim for a feeling of being comfortable in one's own skin, and womanly poise plays a large part in achieving that level of confidence. Here are some tips for acquiring graceful posture and movement:
1) Accept your height, your age, your coloring, etc. Do not compare yourself to impossible images -- such as the airbrushed models in magazines. You are uniquely created to be you! If you do need to get into better shape or otherwise improve your health and appearance, do so. Don't set impossible goals; simply do your best to achieve the weight and level of fitness that are just right for you. Don't wait until you are in better shape, however, to start working on posture and graceful movement; these will help your sense of well-being along the way to greater health. Once you have improved your overall fitness, other than proper care of your health and a little daily maintenance of your appearance, turn your attention to more important things. Good health and a neatly pleasant appearance are great benefits in life, but they should not be the focus of your attention -- either from vanity or from insecurity. You will become more naturally graceful if you attend to your outer appearance appropriately and, then, turn your attention from yourself to things in life that interest you. Whenever you enter a room full of people, for example, think more of who you can encourage than you do of what people think of you. This will help you avoid the awkwardness that comes from too much self-focus. Chances are, focusing your attention outward will translate itself into warm and elegant movement.
2) Practice graceful, womanly movement until it becomes your habitual way of moving. At the same time, eliminate masculine mannerisms, such as high-fiving another person or walking with a masculine stride. Practice, practice, practice! Once you have practiced enough to acquire a graceful, feminine presence, stop focusing on it. Simply check from time to time to make sure that you are maintaining your good posture and feminine mannerisms.
3) Move smoothly, without dawdling or rushing. Aim for a light walk, rather than a heavy one.
4) Incorporate stretching into your routine. This is helpful in a variety of ways. If you participate in sports or have incorrectly trained in a gym, you may have inadvertently overdeveloped some muscles and contracted others. This can not only lead to awkward movement, but it can cause muscle and joint pain later on. For you, stretching properly will help you keep your muscles in balance and sufficiently fluid and flexible. Also, as we age, stretching becomes more and more important to a woman's body. It helps to defeat aches and stiffness. Ballet stretches and stretches from other types of dance generally encourage graceful movement. Devote a few moments to stretching six days a week, even on days when you don't do other forms of exercise. Don't forget to do exercises that strengthen and stretch your feet and ankles. Do ankle circles, for example. Besides encouraging smooth, graceful movement and good posture, stretching relieves tension and reduces the temptation to fidget.
5) Do not allow yourself to develop the habit of letting your head hang forward. Today, we spend much of our time looking down to work on a computer, to prepare food, to read, etc. If we are not careful, we can let the weight of our head hang forward. This not only looks and feels awkward, it is not good for the health of our upper spine and neck. From time to time throughout the day, let your shoulders drop smoothly into place. You may want to lift them a bit and then ease them back into proper position. Lengthen your neck upward. Stretch upward from behind the ears without necessarily raising your chin. Try to have your ears over your shoulders. Visualize your neck as long and gracefully elegant and your upper chest as smooth and uplifted -- like that of a beautiful dove.
6) Keep the muscles of your face relaxed, yet uplifted. As we attend to the tasks of our day, we can carry a lot of tension in our faces without even realizing it. Take time to relax your face and then to train your muscles to assume a cheerful expression. Smiling lifts the muscles of the face upward. There is a time to express sadness or concern by our facial muscles, but we shouldn't let that be our default expression. Maintaining a pleasant, tension free expression will cheer us, cheer others, and delay wrinkling and sagging of the skin.
7) When sitting, don't just plop into a chair. Lower yourself into the chair smoothly and gracefully. Also, attend to how you get into and out of a car.
8) Think about maintaining a soft curve of your arms. When you are sitting, let your hands rest softly in your lap while your spine stays straight. Shoulders should be loose and relaxed. Think of them as falling away from the straight spine. Let your elbows hang loosely away from your body, so that your arms form a graceful curve as your hands rest in your lap. Don't hug your elbows tightly to your body. Practice the following exercise while standing. Start with your arms at your sides. Lift your arms up in a circle in front of you, as a ballet dancer would. Pretend you are holding a beach ball, so that your hands are separated by about 12 inches. Let the movement be controlled by your back. Lift your elbows up, but keep your shoulders down. Open your arms gracefully to each side, keeping your shoulders down. Turn the wrists up and finish with a gentle and graceful motion of your hands. Let your arms glide down to your sides. Repeat 12 times.
9) Some inner attitudes that can translate into graceful movement are love, gentleness, tenderness, kindness, and appropriate affection for loved ones.
10) There's always the tried and true exercise of walking while balancing a book on your head. This creates the habit of smooth movement. Of course, you won't be able to walk at a normal pace while balancing a book on the head. But, practicing this for a few minutes every day for a month should make a difference in how you do walk in everyday life.
11) When researching articles and books about good posture and graceful movement, remember that what makes for appropriate posture and grace in a woman differs somewhat from what makes for appropriate posture and grace in a man. Military posture and some other techniques for posture were developed with a man's physique in mind. Educate yourself about what is best for a woman's body.
12) Practice exercises that develop the core muscles of the body. Strengthening your core muscles will aid in maintaining correct posture. Remember that strengthening the core and maintaining good posture is vital to the lifelong health of a woman's internal organs. This can also aid in childbirth, as well as help some women ease monthly discomfort. It's best to start practicing this when you are young to prevent problems in the future. It's never too late, however, to improve.