Alexander Technique’s “inhibition” does not reside exclusively within the realm of the Alexander Technique. Inhibition is universal and timeless. It was not invented by anyone. It just was, and is. Inhibition is used by people from every walk of life, and by animals in every walk, swim, fly, and crawl of life.
People may not realize they are inhibiting and, if they did, might choose to call this non-acted act by another name. Apart from the Alexander Technique, inhibition may have negative connotations. There is a psychological condition known as behavioral inhibition. Behavioral inhibition has been described as: a general pattern of wariness to unfamiliar stimuli, as shown through the tendency to react strongly and negatively to novel things, places, people and situations, through displays of fear and distress and attempts to avoid or withdraw. (Kagan, Reznick, & Snidman, 1988) Fear and distress is not what the Alexander Technique has in store.
The Alexander Technique’s use of inhibition is intentional, practical, beneficial; a conscious choice leading towards freedom. But inhibition is universal.
Cats inhibit, and most of them do it without actually taking Alexander Technique lessons, though they audit. When cats are stalking, they are inhibition champions. Their paws pause, waiting for just the right moment and place to pounce. Sometimes they wait so long, they forget everything. Bath time.
If the biggest, strongest, fastest football player on the field doesn’t inhibit on every play, he won’t be on the field for long. Every time a player fails to inhibit, his team receives a five yard penalty. Just a few of those in a row, he will soon be on the bench, screamed at by his uninhibited coach. A few too many lapses of inhibition per game, and his career is over. In football they call lapses of inhibition ‘offsides’ for moving too early. You’ve got to be ready, but not anxious or tense. You’ve got to be loose. You’ve got to be quick, but stay back until exactly the right moment. One split second early and the refs will blow the whistle and stop the game, because you moved your foot. Failure to inhibit- five yard penalty.
Poker players, dart players, and musicians all must inhibit. If a triangle player in the symphony comes in a split second early, her triangular days are over.
Basketball players rebounding too early watch the play on the way down.
I heard a sportscaster describing a batter who was in a batting slump say: “he’s not staying back.” He was referring to the way the player was moving his body towards the ball, instead of allowing his torso to stay back and extending his arms. His Alexander Technique teacher will probably address that at their next team Alexander lesson.
So get out of your slump, and let your Alexander Technique teacher show you how to inhibit.
Mark Josefsberg-Alexander Technique NYC
(917) 709 4648