Charlie Chaplin

Charlie Chaplin

Is your back sore when you turn? Or, do you find your back to be stiff? This mini-Awareness Through Movement  activity may help you regain mobility and reduce discomfort.

Charlie Chaplin, an actor in the 1920's and 30's had a very characteristic way of standing and walking. This lesson will not teach you to walk like Mr. Chaplin, but it has some aspects of his standing posture  that may be of value in your developing awareness of yourself.




Part 1
Standing with your heels together, turn your upper body to the left. Go only so far that is easy and comfortable. Note how far you turn (see note on the left).

  1. Looking straight forward, begin to simply bend your right knee. Do not turn, simply bend your right knee.. You may or may not notice a shift in your weight; you may or may not notice  a tipping of your pelvis. Bend the knee gently 5 times.

Stop bending the knee. Return to the center again and begin turning slowly to the left. Notice the increase!


Part 2


Again, with your heels together, turn your upper body, this time to the right ñ notice how far you turn.

  1. Looking straight forward, bend your left knee. Do not turn, simply bend it. You may or may not notice a shift in your weight; you may or may not notice a tipping of your pelvis. Bend the knee gently 5 times.

Stop bending the knee. Return to the center again and, remembering the constraints on turning, begin turning slowly to the right. Notice the increase!
Now turn to the left and check if your body has retained the turning, and then go again to the right

Go for a little walk around this area, and notice the increase in flexibility in your back!



Part 3

Slowly bend forward, rounding your back, if possible, letting your arms and head hang down. Only bend as far as is comfortable and easy.

  1. Keeping your legs straight, slowly turn to the right. You will notice your upper body turning. Let your arms and head be free to hang down. Finding a way to allow your breathing to be easy, repeat 4 or 5 times.
  2. Gently roll back vertical.

Turn to the left and notice how far you turn. Notice now the change!



Part 4

What about the other side? Stand in the same style with your legs rather straight, heels together and your upper body and head facing forward.

Turn to the right and notice how far you turn. Remember the location.

  1. Slowly bend forward, rounding your back, if possible, letting your arms and head hang down. Only bend as far as is comfortable and easy.
  2. Keeping your legs straight, slowly turn to the left. You will notice your upper body turning. Let your arms and head be free to hang down. Finding a way to allow your breathing to be easy, repeat 4 or 5 times.
  3. Gently roll back vertical.

Turn to the right and notice how far you turn. Notice now the change.

Turn back to the left and notice how far you turn now!



Finally, allow your knees to bend with the turning. That is, as you turn to the left, let your right knee come forward; as you turn to the  right, let your left knee come forward.

Notice the change in freedom, the ease of turning. Notice how the stiffness has diminished.

Go for walk. Notice your increase ease in your whole body!



Feel free to share this short Awareness Through Movement® lesson with your friends and colleagues.