Catching Yourself Doing The Alexander Technique
Alexander students have said to me ‘I did ok this week, Alexander Techniquewise, but I caught myself a few times.’ There can be a negative connotation to ‘catching oneself’ , but there doesn’t have to be. In fact catching yourself slumping or sitting up rigidly straight is really a positive thing. It’s at those moments where you can employ the principles of the Alexander Technique and make positive changes. As you catch yourself, you’re becoming aware; you’re waking up. Additionally, we can’t walk around, or sit around perfectly all day, whatever ‘perfectly’ means. So every time you catch yourself, you’re ‘doing’ the Alexander Technique. Every time you think of the Alexander Technique, you’re doing the Alexander Technique.
Also, you may catch yourself actually doing the Alexander Technique. As you develop new habits, you may catch yourself using your body differently. As an impartial observer you may notice yourself in an upright position, where you’re neither slumping or holding yourself up. At those moments we can enjoy the catching.
We’re never going to be in a place where everything is completely automatic without thought nor do we want to be. Even F.M. Alexander thought about the ‘directions’, (told to me by Elizabeth Walker, one of his first trainees.) One does develop new habits, of course, but there’s always a little more up, a little more width, a little more length, a little more expansion. Hopefully we can let this attitude take some pressure off us, knowing that the Alexander Technique is not the kind of technique one masters. It is more a place we’re moving towards. After a while see if you catch yourself breathing more fully, or smiling for no particular reason.
Mark Josefsberg-Alexander Technique NYC