Use The Alexander Technique
“How can I use the Alexander Technique in my life?” I hear this question, and versions of it, while teaching Alexander Technique lessons. It’s really a great question and gets some of the benefits of the Alexander Technique.
The Alexander Technique is done as you think about it. If you’re thinking about the principles of the Alexander Technique, you’re using the Alexander Technique, or you’re ‘doing’ the technique, or you’re practicing the technique, or you’re performing the technique, or you’re applying the technique, or you’re incorporating the Alexander Technique into your life. You end up using the Alexander Technique hours a day, and you get better at what you practice.
You develop awareness of initiating movement; how you start actions like moving your hands, walking, or how you begin to hinge forward in a chair by using your hip joints instead of anywhere else. So, one way of using the Alexander Technique is to pay attention as to how you begin something, before you get caught up in it and go into your habit. If your good posture, or the way you use your body starts to deteriorate after a few minutes, or a few seconds, that’s alright. It’s a beginning. It’s improvement.
If you’re sitting at your desk ready to begin computer work, take an extra few seconds to think about and apply some Alexander Technique principles. Free your neck, let your head rotate forward and up, allow your sit bones to release down into the chair. Think of lifting your fingertips (not beginning the movement with your neck, shoulders and upper arms, ) and lightly place them on the keyboard. During the course of the day, there’s always time to take small breaks, even 15 seconds or less. This is a time to regroup, and incorporate appropriate Alexander Technique principles and initiate the movement again. A fresh start.
Another way to use the Alexander Technique is by applying it to simple activities you do every day, such as brushing your teeth. You probably brush you teeth while standing. Think of your feet flat on the floor, 50-50 left and right, 50-50 front and back. Let your knees be unlocked and soft. Again, neck free, head forward and up, using only as much muscular effort as needed to raise the tooth brush, which weighs approximately… nothing. How little of your shoulder muscles need to be involved? How little bicep tension is required?
Notice your breathing. Just the simple act of being aware of your breathing can change things for the better. Being aware of breathing usually allows it to be slower and fuller. At that moment of change, you’re using the Alexander Technique.
There will be times when you put the Alexander Technique in the front of your consciousness; during your Alexander Technique lesson for instance. As you get more used to applying the principles when you’re giving them your full attention, they will start to be applied, to some degree, when you’re giving them less than your full attention. The Alexander Technique starts seeping into your life, possibly at moments you least expect it. So USE the Alexander Technique whenever you can.
All comments welcome!
Mark Josefsberg-Alexander Technique NYC