I was sharing some work with an excellent teacher very recently, who I know from experience is very positive in outlook in all respects, perhaps because of the very fact that she has a hearing difficulty. She was observing my head balance, of which I’m all too well aware, and encouraging me to send my head forward and up. Whilst doing so, she mentioned the word “self-appreciation” in respect of this Alexander Technique direction. I took a keen interest in listening to what she was saying, because I knew that head balance has a very important part of play in how we feel about ourselves, and equally how we feel about ourselves plays a very important role when it comes to head balance. Indeed, she mentioned that the direction was very much connected to being as good as others, equal to, not better than, but as good as, in other words, worthy. As with anything Alexander Technique, this is in our thinking but has a very close relationship with our postural habits.
My head balance, such as it is today, is very much related to self-appreciation, feeling worthy of myself and as good as. For me this is a very tall order and yet I’m by no means alone in this. It was my dad who taught me never to lose sight of what is important, no doubt because of his own experiences, and he always taught me to persevere. So I’m continuing with noticing where my head is at any given moment, head balance very much being a key aspect which we consider in working with the Alexander Technique.
Our head, neck and back relationship, as FM Alexander witnessed in himself, is the all-critical relationship which affects everything else and we tend to be so immensely unconscious and unaware of it, not giving this a moment’s thought. However, it is very much worth devoting time and thought to for the following reasons; understanding this relationship based on his own personal experience meant FM Alexander was able to regain his voice, we also have the potential to sort out things which might affect us for similar reasons, which might be holding us back, by devoting a little more thought to how we are designed to use ourselves and how this affects our functioning. In terms of feeling worthy and as good as others, the way in which our head balances on the spine plays an all-important role, because in whichever way we are pulling our heads, such as back and down or forward and down, coming down towards the torso, the head is not in balance and as such nor will the rest of ourselves be. We are able to work with a gradual ongoing process of improving our awareness of our head balance, it may not be a case of having achieved forward and up as others perhaps have, but rather a journey in which the means whereby we consider this are way more important than the end.
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