LSD and Baby Giraffes
Someone told me she was puzzled by my videos because she had heard that the Alexander Technique is about posture and learning to sit and stand properly. I suspect the person who told her that had missed the point.
I teach people how to get back the effortless uprightness, and the effortless movement, that they had when they were small. We didn’t have to learn to walk, or to sit and stand when we were toddlers – we had a built-in mechanism that already “knew” how to do it. We just had to give the system time to build up the strength and develop the coordination. New-born giraffes can stand and run within an hour - humans take about a year longer!
As we get older we develop habitual ways of holding ourselves and moving. We choose some of them, and others we get because we imitate other peoples’ habits.
No matter how habitual and “slumpy” we become as we get older, that built-in mechanism is still there, waiting to be woken up. We just have to “get out of the way” and let it hold us up the way it did when we were younger.
When we do things “habitually” rather than “naturally” we get consciousness involved in our bodies, and learning to “free-up” your body the Alexander way also frees up your consciousness. FM Alexander, the “founder” of the Technique said “the conscious mind must be quickened” – quickened being an old-fashioned word for more alive.
So, the Alexander Technique frees up your mind and body at the same time. You’ll learn to drop habits, and you’ll become more conscious. And you’ll find you can sit and stand the way you did when you were young – effortlessly.
By the way, one of my trainee teachers said that she didn’t try the Alexander Technique for her back pain for eleven years after she first heard of it, because she too had been told it was about improving posture and learning to stand and sit properly, neither of which she felt she needed. Now her back pain has gone, but she says the biggest benefit she has got from Alexander is that she has more choices in life.
There’s more about habits, posture and consciousness in this video.