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How to Improve Your Posture for Worship

Feb 6 2018

Posture is an attitude of the heart. Whatever is happening internally is transferred externally. If injury and pain are present, particularly if it’s chronic (been there for more than 3 months) then your outward posture will be affected. The effect of injury to posture is extended not only to anatomical posture, but also to heart posture as your body succumbs to the fact that you may need to take some time out to concentrate on rehabilitating your injury. I have seen many times the deflated heart that can come from feeling of being defeated by injury.

Essentially good posture means a position in which the body functions ‘properly’, however the more I work within our worship team, the more I realise that good posture means a good attitude and the posture of the body that can best minister the Word through a chosen instrument. As you draw closer to God in worship, your posture can shift as your heart gets caught up in the experience of the moment. This then causes the body to respond outwardly through postural movements. We do this because God wants all of us. He expects us to worship Him as an expression of our heart posture. It also means that we may get lost in the art of worship and place physical demands on our body that could cause injury. This is why preparation is key. Some physical symptoms can include headaches or migraine, back and neck pain, weakened immune system, reduced range of motion in joints, fatigue and maybe even loss of function.

Preparing your body for worship means a commitment to yourself to strengthen and support your body for the physical demands of your gifting. The Internet is full of exercises and stretches that you can do to support your posture and finding a good Musculoskeletal Therapist trained in Exercise Physiology is a great step forward.

I myself have learnt a lot from working within our team. Mainly that I must be mindful of worship posture. If I try to over correct anatomical posture I risk hindering the ability of the musician to connect with their heart for worship as they become so busy trying to remain in the posture I have created. I had a powerful revelation of this at Hillsong Conference while watching the drummers. I have been so cautious ever since to navigate postural changes little by little so as not to overload them with too much at once. Slowly we have made adjustments to drum kits and chair heights and strengthened areas with various exercises so that the end result should be a subtle reflection of my work and a large reflection of their own worship posture.

It’s a balance that I believe is achievable and necessary. It’s definitely best to make lots of small changes to habits rather than change too much too soon. I’m constantly looking at ways to manage the longevity of our team in order to reduce fatigue. I encourage warm-ups and stretching after each service to keep the body in peak physical shape, especially when touring. As each instrument has a different demand on the body, therefore each musician has different areas to strengthen.  It takes diligence and commitment to create a strong body.

Here’s some tips to get you started on your journey.

1. Commit

Make it a habit. Find the time to look after YOU!

2. Education

Arm yourself with good information. There is so much available on the internet and if in doubt, seek the guidance of a health professional.

3. Be prepared for the journey

Just as your injury didn’t happen overnight, it won’t be fixed overnight. Be prepared to invest time into your health.

Donna West
Hillsong Creative Team & Remedial Massage Therapist