Thinking in Activity, Back into Balance

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Lessons

Lessons take place on a completely holistic level. A student is asked to either sit or stand or lie on a table or couch and to think their directions. Directions are thoughts which we give to ourselves which remind us of our connection with our body, such as asking for freedom in the neck, 'forward and up' head balance, a back which is at height and width, and more generally allowing ourselves to let go of any tension of which we may become aware when lying down, sitting or standing. We are also asking a student to develop their sense of inhibition, inhibition being the ability to say "No" to their unconscious habits of posture and co-ordination. Both these principles form the basis of the Alexander Technique.

We are also considering the "means whereby" such unconscious habits can be restored to more conscious ones. With the aid of our teacher's hands and words, we are guided into more efficient and beneficial patterns of movement by means of stopping to think before we approach how to carry them out. While stopping. we will be asked to pay attention to our breathing, also our feet on the floor, freedom of the neck, head balance and so forth as preparation and this preparation is an all important part of any lesson. We are not so much looking at the final end to be reached but far rather the means by which we will be able to gain that end with ease. To this end, a teacher will work with a student, repeating activities which certainly include sitting and standing, and may include voice work. Whatever the activity, the principles remain the same.

Lessons provide us with the experience of what it means to move with more ease and grace as well as the added benefit of table work, which provides us with a similar experience albeit lying in the horizontal. Calming down of the nervous system and letting go of unnecessary tension within the musculature occur by means of this indirect technique. Often the experience after a lesson is one of more ease and freedom within the musculature and an overall feeling of lightness.