The process involves kinaesthetic learning. It’s not about a certain position, angles or being ‘right’ in how you sit, stand or move. It’s about having a space to explore you – mind and body – and learning to use yourself without unnecessary, instinctive tension.
In a lesson a teacher will guide you, very gently, to experience a new way of moving, usually walking and sitting and standing. We help you explore how you move, and how you think. You are learning to understand habits which interfere with your natural ease and poise.
Through our hands and words we help you identify and release knots of unintentional tension you are holding, helping you to stay in balanced support and allowing expansive release into stature and movement. As your awareness changes you learn how to undo tensions that are pulling you down for yourself, letting go of habits that don’t serve you well. You take your new awareness and positive changes into all the activities of living.
Alexander Technique is an Education rather than a therapy – a way of understanding your body and getting it to work better, for you.
The practicalities of balance and poise
Alexander Technique is a thoughtful discipline, but essentially practical and problem-solving. It helps us re-establish a relationship of free poise between our head, our neck and our back or whole torso; an organising dynamic that helps us use our whole body better. The potential is for you to stop what interferes in a natural integration of postural support, movement and breathing as you go about your daily life.
What you are learning is a quality of conscious attention; to pause fractionally in order to reorganise your thinking and your body, enabling you to act more from intention than habit. To tense less.
The benefits of lying down – Semi supine or Constructive Rest
As part of your lesson you may lie down in semi supine with your head on a few books and knees raised, allowing maximum rest and support for your back. This gives you an opportunity to pay attention to your body and your balance and to teach your muscles to support you in a well-organised way.
Semi supine is a practical procedure that helps you to let go of undue tension habits that contract and compress you, allowing gentle release through your neck and back and encouraging a quality of appropriate ‘lengthened’ elastic tone throughout your whole body and musculature. Most people find this part of the lesson the most enjoyable as they learn to let go of deeply held patterns of tension and to re-set their stress thermometer.
When in doubt, semi supine. It can benefit your postural organisation and your wellbeing.
Your back will thank you for it too.
Learning to apply the skills you acquire in lessons will help you to recalibrate unconstructive tension habits for yourself on a daily basis.
“Prevent the things you have been doing and you are half way home” FM Alexander