The Alexander Technique And Exercising
As Alexander Technique teachers and students are aware, there are no right positions, only right principles. Let’s add: There are no right movements, only right principles. Jogging, sit-ups, push-ups, and pull-ups aren’t intrinsically good or bad. It’s not the what of what we do, it’s the how. Alexander Technique instructors teach how to move in an optimal way-whatever movements we’re making.
The benefits derived from proper exercise are well-documented. We just need to exercise some common sense and apply the principles of the Alexander Technique. Use the Alexander Technique before, during, and after exercising.
Let’s talk about the often-maligned sit-up. Sit-ups will be more beneficial with your knees up, and something or someone keeping your feet in place. As you start your your sit-ups, pause. Free your neck. Let your head move forward and out before you start, as you start, and during the movement. Be aware of your breathing and use whispered ah thinking. Think of your legs releasing away from your torso. Although your spine may be curving, you want to curve into length. Continue to breathe fully and easily, and don’t hold your breath.
Supporting your head with your hands will help reduce neck strain. Notice any extra tension in your arms, and let it go. If your goal is to do ten sit-ups but after six you’re starting to strain, stop.
Apply Alexander Technique directions while using weight resistance machines. Remember: it’s not the piece of exercise equipment, it’s how you use the equipment, and it’s always how you use you, so use yourself well. When reaching for the bar or the handles, use hands on the back of the chair thinking and lead the movement by thinking of moving your fingertips. Use only as much tension as required, using the muscles you are intending to exercise. Excessive straining of your jaw and your neck won’t give you the desired results. It will just give you a tense jaw and a stiff neck.
The Alexander Technique is about choice, so choose exercises which will help rather than hurt you. If you have lower back pain or neck pain, for example, sit-ups might not be the best option for you.
With any exercise, be on the lookout for the Alexander Technique concept of end-gaining. The unintended consequences of being overly goal-oriented might lead to injury. Stay aware, be present, and exercise Alexander Technique’s inhibition. Enjoy your exercising.
Mark Josefsberg-Alexander Technique NYC