What is Alexander Technique?
Look at these two pictures of the chipmunk and the monk. Which do you think is more at ease in his body?
Do you have a hunch as to why that could be?
In Alexander Technique we help ourselves to regain the natural easy way of moving and being that we may have lost through the course of our life.
We can enhance the freedom of movement that we do have so we can be better at whatever is important to us.
In practising AT we are improving our deep postural strength - enabling us to balance well in whatever activity we are doing.
Can you see that the monk - absorbed in the book - is gradually moving downwards? His head is leading his whole body towards the ground and gravity is drawing him down too. The chipmunk's head is also leading him - his beady eyes looking out, and the rest of his body is balancing in response to that - on the tip of a tree branch! His reflexes are working effectively to help him balance in the trickiest of places.
Let us imaginatively replace the monk in our minds with ourselves - looking at our phone, our ipad or computer.
What happens in our bodies when we let ourselves get drawn down and down into our gadgets? The spine is put under pressure, the chest compressed which squashes our vital organs and lungs. How can we expect to function well when we develop these habits?
The young woman in the photo sitting on the wooden horse is exploring changing habits. She is allowing her head to lead her up so she can - in her imagination - ride harmoniously with her horse.
She can sit balanced and flexible without creating compression and stiffness. These habits can then be practised riding a real horse. There are many other practical uses of the Alexander Technique.
To discuss ideas Contact Cherry
AT is about letting go of unhelpful habits and developing helpful ones. These new habits enable us to live well whatever our way of life or condition of health.
Alexander technique semi-supine: daily love for our spine.
The Alexander Technique includes learning a simple but profound practice which we can include in our daily well-being routine.
We are throwing out a line of thought, which our nervous system responds to, learning how to change habits of movement and tension that may go very deep indeed.
So we are gentle, and persistent, simply returning to the thought-line as we realise we have wandered with our minds. We can use our training in mindfulness to bring skill and kindness to Alexander Technique practice.
AT links the themes of connection and release with our mind, muscular & nervous system. This creates springy, lively energy and greater balance and harmony in our movement and our mind.
Please see practice guidance notes
Photos by Paul Collins
Photo acknowledgements: You can meet the monk at Michelham Priory in Sussex, UK sitting in the beautiful gardens there. Photo : Cherry Collins.
Photographer Paul Collins met the chipmunk in Canada one day.