Dissapointingly, mildly, Daniela Vallega-Neu's The Bodily Dimension in Thinking makes no reference to Erwin Straus' work on the upright posture. I'm reminded of Straus by Dylan's latest post (in a series of excellent posts on the theme of embodiment) which specifically explores a relation between thinking and standing. Some cursory googling on Straus unearthed a real find, a book which will move to the top of my wish list: The Child in the World: Embodiment, Time, and Language in Early Childhood, by Eva Maria Simms.
Uprightness requires resistance against gravity and the constant work of opposing its pull. Human walking is arrested falling: a carefully balanced play between letting oneself fall forward and arresting the fall through the movement into the next step. It requires the courage to let go of the father's hand or the table's edge and risk hitting the floor. It is truly amazing to watch an infant fall and pick him- or herself up over and over again in order to be upright. And how exciting it must be for a toddler to cruise th[r]ough the living room, initiating movement forward but then be carried along by its velocity! Without motility, the upright posture is hard to maintain. We cannot stand still for hours on end, and every night sleep forces us to give into gravity and recline: "in sleep we no longer oppose gravity; in our weightless dreams, or in our lofty fantasies, experience becomes kaleidoscopic and finally amorphous" (Strauss 1966/1980, 142). The posture of the body determines the quality and range of attention and activity. Letting go of uprightness restructures the experienced world, as every bed-bound hospital patient knows. We become dependent on others, unable to care for ourselves, and we easily fall into reverie and sleep. The horizon of the world closes in around the bed, and the beckoning "action space" is lost in the fog of amorphous and fragmented events. With activity restricted, attention tends to wander and lose its focus: it becomes kaleidoscopic.
(p. 37, Simms' emphasis, my bold)
Do we feel the ebb of momentum as we lie flat on our backs or stand perfectly still? Do we become less playful in these dilated moments, or does another kind of playfulness come to hold sway, something removed from all equipoise?
I find a tranquility in walking, I must admit. Just for kicks I will think about the question while walking, and also while in triangle pose (trikonasana), and compare my thoughts.