Our human bodies are designed for easy, well-coordinated movement.
Either collapsing or holding too much muscular tension interferes with our inherent structural integrity and can lead to movement that is awkward and inefficient, eventually causing discomfort or pain. Excess tension and slumped posture become so habitual that we do not even notice it; our capacity for energy, balance, and grace gives way to effort, strain and fatigue, and too often, back pain.
We humans are continually falling and up-righting ourselves. Gravity makes us fall. Ideally we capture the force of our falling as our innate up-righting system kicks in and sends us back upwards.
But lack of awareness and habits lead us to falling backwards and holding on. When we fall even slightly backwards, we add muscular holding to stay upright. When we lean back in chairs or stand with our weight on our heels, our bodies respond by adding muscular effort. Although this extra effort is small, it causes an ongoing tightness and compression of the spine that is outside our conscious awareness. Eventually these holding habits feel normal to us and usually we don’t bother about them until we feel pain or discomfort.
In the Alexander Technique, we bring into awareness our good falling, straight down through the bones, or even slightly forward, which activates the plantar muscles, then up the powerful leg muscles, up to the deep muscles of the spine and up to an easy head balance. These innate postural reflexes work best when interfered with least.
We learn to un-do the excess effort, and to balance and re-balance rather than fixing ourselves into one “right position.” In sitting, standing and moving we begin to restore the poise we were born to experience.
We are designed to be whole integrated beings.
The work penetrates to the center of what it means to be human. Through the Technique, we come to know ourselves at deeper and more subtle levels. Once we see how we habitually react to life, we notice patterns even as they arise. By applying the principles of the Alexander Technique, we discover new choices in our responses to life. We move out of the automatic toward a more conscious and flexible way of being. We discover what it is to embody wholeness in all our life.