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'Going from known to unknown'

Alexander mentions Joseph Rowntree’s comment about ‘going from known to unknown’ during Alexander Technique lessons. Certainly it is a process and as such takes the time it takes, not a ‘quick fix’ by any means but a process of educating oneself about one’s unhelpful habitual postural habits and how these can be prevented. This should not be rushed for it is in the gradual process that learning is to be had which makes change possible. In this day and age few people have the time and patience to learn in this way, preferring instead to seek something which is going relieve their pain, rather than seeking to learn something for themselves, which as it happens may well also relieve their pain during the process. Just like learning a musical instrument of learning a new language, it takes time to learn the basics. Therapies out there don’t teach this, they administer treatments which are a short-term ‘solution’ to the ‘problem’ and the problem lies in the way a person is using themselves in their daily activities.

‘Going from known to unknown’ entails a sense of discovery and willingness to enter into a learning experience the outcome of which is not known at the beginning. Certainly the known will become apparent, the shortening of muscles is replaced by elastic, lengthened muscles which support the body rather than compress it downwards in a slump. The ‘unknown’ is something is intangible, all we have to work with is the present moment in our present surroundings and in this moment it’s preferable to be going up, or at least thinking about going up. This may even be the ‘unknown’ for many people who lead busy lives and work in offices. 45 minutes of a lesson dedicated just to themselves can be a real eye-opener.

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