Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Alexander Technique 

Those of you who know me might know that I practice the Alexander Technique. Many probably will not and are probably sitting there wondering what the Alexander Technique might be or, worse, have made up their minds as to what it is and think I am a filthy bugger, a braggart or a personal friend of Sting.

The Alexander Technique is essentially is a way of encouraging awareness of the way in which you use yourself and allows you attempt to correct a lifetime's worth of bad habits. It is principally concerned with posture and breathing but can be applied to all sorts of bodily processes and even some mental ones.

It is usually taught on a one-to-one basis with a teacher guiding you through basic day-to-day stuff like standing and sitting. There is some very negligible manipulation which is mainly just tactile guidance to nudge you to take notice of something you are doing.

There are few "exercises" but the main two are the monkey which I won't describe here and the semi-supine position, a way of lying down that allows your back to release.

I just popped down to the gym to have a twenty minute semi-supine followed by a nice hot shower. My back was murder before I got there and hurt some more as I was lying there but I was almost skipping as I left the gym.

The technique isn't intended as a remedial thing. It's more a way of losing bad habits that will cause you problems. However, it really helped me today.

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