It’s attentive rest – good for your back, and your whole body
We all lie down at some point, usually to rest, recline, or to sleep. But in Alexander Technique we lie down in a ‘thinking’ way. Lying down in semi supine – a balanced resting state – with knees raised and a few books under your head gives you an opportunity to become more aware of your whole body and notice any tensions you are holding.
The support of lying down allows you to explore undoing holding patterns you bring into your body and give yourself a chance to rebalance muscular activity. Learning to undo habitual tension around your body will gently encourage and teach your muscles to support you in a new and better way.
During the day our back becomes compressed and shortened as we go about our everyday life. Lying down allows the discs inbetween the vertebrae along the spine to plump up again, helping to refresh our spine. A strong yet flexible back helps us in everyday actions and activities. So, lying down within a busy day is good for our back.
In lying down and engaging in a little Alexander thinking we can allow our whole musculature to recalibrate and rebalance, so better able to support our body as we move around. So, lying down is good for our whole body too.
:picture credit Matthew Andrews at Brighton Alexander Technique College
Take some time to lie down every day
Be quietly attentive to your body and yourself. Semi supine is a skill of learning to pay attention to your body, of heightening your self-awareness, and of giving yourself a opportunity to change holding all that tension around your body that you don’t need in order to refresh your natural balance and coordination. These are skills that will be taught to you in your lessons.
With gentle practice lying down will give you a way to monitor positive changes in how you use yourself – to reflect on unnecessary tension patterns in your balance, your posture and your breathing. Learning to lie down will also give you a way to unravel stress from a busy mental life. Lie down for between 5 – 15 minutes daily, as you choose. You can use a Yoga mat, or a blanket, to lie down on. Your teacher will be able to advise you how many books to place under your head.
Semi supine is a simple, yet powerful practice of self-care which you can learn with an Alexander Technique teacher.
“The Alexander Technique makes a difference to my often tense and busy life. Its thoughtful approach has made me calmer, improved my concentration and given me a clearer sense of my own wellbeing. I am grateful for it.”
Dame Joan Bakewell, TV Presenter and Journalist