Published: Dec 9, 2016 by Lucy Tennyson
This week I’ve been sharing some of what we did at an Alexander Technique and Yoga workshop I attended recently. The first thing we were asked to do was stand. Just shut our eyes and stand; and feel that our heads are balanced. Then, one by one, we were gently adjusted; with a light touch my head was moved softly on the neck, releasing some habitual tension I wasn’t aware of.
When I opened my eyes, it felt as if my head was at an odd angle. But no, now it was now far better balanced on the top of my spine. All 7 kg of it, an awful lot of weight which I had been carrying around off centre.
Good posture all starts from the head, we were told.
Alexander is a gentle way of releasing the stress and harmful habits we build up in our bodies, and it is very complementary to yoga.
As the following, taken from the website www.alexandertechnique.com, explains:
“Many of the yoga asanas have evolved from nature and the student is practising to gain the grace and poise we see in animals and the environment. However we will never attain that poise if we are using excessive muscular tension to try to achieve it. In applying the Alexander Technique to yoga the Alexander teacher will work with the student’s basic coordination before they make any attempt at an asana. This is done through the guiding hands of the teacher so that the student can start to experience a different way of moving without the habitual tension that feels so ‘right’.”
In my classes I encourage you to begin with a gentle warm up and stretch to start to ease your way into your practice. This can include relaxing the muscles in the head and neck while sitting crossed legged, seeing if you can bring more poise and balance into the head, and then into the whole body.
Below is a reminder of some of what we practised this week.