Saturday, April 01, 2006

Which arm should be forward?

I wanted to ask you about something that has been troubling me for quite a while. Should the forward arm be on the OPPOSITE side of the back-stretching leg or the SAME side? I have seen both styles and want to know which is correct. For example: opposite versus same side. In my mind the phoon pose is a frozen movement; the phooner appears to be running by. This is why, in my mind, phooners standing on a leg with a bent knee (observation wall) look better than those standing with a straight knee (big ship). --Göran L.

I have done both styles. And when I look back, I see that I did more (or only) same same-side Phoons when I started!) Both ways are okay.

The pose came first (in both styles) and the description came later. The description is simply a way of making the strange pose sound tolerable to a new viewer. "Oh, I can do that silly pose because I look like a stylish runner" is better than "You expect me to look like a crash-landing albatross? No way!"

Since almost all human beings (as opposed to, for example, hippopotami and porcupines, I believe) are non-amblers, one would expect that most Phoons would be of the "opposite" style. Though I have not done a proper statistical analysis, a quick sampling suggests that the overwhelming majority of the Phoons are using the "same side" style. But the fact that one appears more "natural" does not necessarily mean that it is "better". One could argue that the the unnatural one looks more funny. So my question to you, as the undisputable authority in the area, is: Do you have a lateral preference, or are they equally good?

Both ways can result in a great Phoon pose. No preference there. However, I do have other preferences reflected in the evolution of the Phoon pose (compare my original poses with my latest poses to see the differences). It is better to not look at the camera and to not smile (but that is not a requirement). (Compare my original poses and my current ones and you will see that I have changed in this way.) It is better to show distinctly bent limbs in an athletic or energetic pose, rather than a pose that looks like the person is bored and has little energy or did not try to look as good as other phooners on the web site. There's also the matter of balance. Try phooning both ways and you might find it easier to keep your balance one way instead of the other.

What a pain it would be if there were actually a rule on this. Imagine trying to tell a group of phooners, "no, the other arm forward, no, the other leg back". It's easiest to just say "either way" and let them join in the fun and refine their pose as they do more Phoons in the future.


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