Beginning Alexander Technique
Alexander Technique primary directions
‘I wish to free my neck, so that my head can move forward and up, so that my torso can lengthen and widen.’
If your neck is overly tensed, it can bring your head back and down making your torso shorter and narrower. Primary directions are preventive ideas. I wish to free my neck may be interpreted to mean: I want to stop tightening my neck. ‘So that my head moves forward and up’= so I don’t pull my head back and down, compressing my spine. ‘So that my torso can lengthen and widen’ = so I stop shortening and narrowing my torso.
So, if your neck is tense or, more in terms of the Alexander Technique, if you’re tensing your neck, not only will it bring your head back and down, but it will shorten and narrow your torso, giving you a sunken, round-shouldered look. You can try it yourself to see (or maybe you’re ‘trying’ it right now as you collapse towards the computer screen). Don’t worry; we’re all doing it to a degree. Once we become aware of these detrimental habits, we can slowly stop doing them. At least we can start to do them less often, and less intensely. Large transformations can start with small, positive changes.
The torso starts at the pelvic floor and includes the neck. We don’t want to shorten and narrow our torsos. We want the opposite of this self-inflicted compression. We want expansion. We want our head away from torso, arms away from torso and legs away from torso.
Mark Josefsberg-Alexander Technique NYC