Like many, I don’t always have great posture. Though I try my best to sit upright, my consciousness drifts and I slouch like a sack of potatoes. I personally felt the difference as I played Akita Nikata Bushi recently. Unaware that my posture had sagged, my rhythm suddenly became less consistent. My ni no ito (middle string) strike wasn’t quite as sharp, and some complex phrases just come out muddy.

Realizing this, I corrected my posture and played again. Almost instantly, my techniques sounded clearer and even those complex phrases felt much easier to execute perfectly. Feeling the sudden effect of proper posture gave me newfound appreciation for what previously felt like a tedious chore.