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 in seemingly simple activities such as sitting, standing or walking but which require coordination of your head, neck and back. We help you explore how you move, and how you think. You are learning to understand your habits and instinctive, unnoticed tensing responses which interfere with your natural ease and poise.
Through our gentle hands-on work and words we help you identify and release knots of unintentional tension you are holding, helping you to stay in balanced support and allow expansive release into stature and movement.
As your awareness changes you learn how to undo tensions that are contracting or compressing you for yourself, letting go of habits that don’t serve you well. You are learning a skill which you can then apply in other aspects of your life.
We also work hands-on with you lying down. This helps you understand your coordination and balance as you learn to link mind and body and change unnecessary tension habits.
It’s 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 subtle and thoughtful discipline, but essentially practical and problem-solving. It helps us re-establish a relationship of free poise between our head and spine, between our head, neck and back; an organising dynamic that helps us use our whole body better.
What you are learning is a quality of conscious awareness and attention; an ability to pause fractionally in order to reorganise your thinking and your body, enabling you to act more from intention than habit. To tense less.
As a result of understanding the principles of Alexander Technique and putting them into practice many people experience moving more lightly, more freely and in better balance, applying their new skills in a very practical way in all acts of living.
The potential is for you to move better, look better and feel better!
Semi supine – How lying down is essential for an active life
As part of your lesson you may lie down on an Alexander table with your head on a few books and knees raised, allowing maximum rest and support for your back. Lying down in this way will give you an opportunity to pay attention to your body and your balance; to teach your muscles to support you in a well-organised way.
Semi supine is a practical procedure that you learn in your Alexander Technique lessons. It is a process of Constructive Rest helping you undo undue unnoticed 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.
Semi supine can benefit your postural organisation and your wellbeing. Your back will thank you for it too.
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. Learning to apply the skills you acquire in lessons will help you to recalibrate unconstructive tension habits for yourself on a daily basis. For maximum benefit you can practice semi supine outside of your lesson.
“Prevent the things you have been doing and you are half way home” FM Alexander