Sunday, May 10, 2020

Maintain poise working at home

Can you maintain appropriate poise while working from home? Old habits certainly creep in, exacerbating stiffness and pain. My online lessons will certainly help you, but first consider these points. 

Start by thinking of your body as an instrument - how well are you 'using' yourself as you sit in front of the computer? What change might you ask for, without creating more tension?

  • Observe how you connect to the floor and chair 
  • Ask if you can let go tension in the shoulders, arms and hands
  • Ask for length up the body (front, back and centre)
  • Notice if your head can subtly release towards the ceiling  

Try putting your mind to observing yourself, day after day - a little at a time. Just make sure that too much thinking doesn't lead to tightening up! You can expect that maintaining your poise becomes easier over time.

Check your computer setup too, and please experiment. Simple adjustments to your chair, desk, keyboard, screen and mouse may help. 

I covered all these topics, and also eyestrain, in a recent corporate webinar.

Tearing your hair out! You may find it hard to focus enough to do this well. Why not ask about online lessons now or a webinar for your organisation.

Friday, November 15, 2019

Science and Alexander Technique

Science is now truly giving Alexander Technique (AT) a new lease of life. 
Several leading researchers are also Alexander teachers. The new website set up by Tim Cacciatore, Raj Cohen, Patrick Johnson and Andrew McCann has much to offer. 

I particularly like the article by Raj Cohen. She relates concepts used by AT teachers to relevant fields of science (e.g. biomechanics), She then outlines the extent to which each AT concept is strongly backed by current science. Most are. Some need much more research, and a few may not be not validated. 
Image from Cacciatore & Johnson The Physics of Sit-to-Stand

Monday, May 6, 2019

Soften your eyes

Try this activity and observe for yourself how important our eyes are in releasing unnecessary tension throughout the body and mind.
Ask for the muscles surrounding the eyes to soften.
Allow any release of tension to spread .... up to your forehead and back to the neck.
Scan the web of muscle across the whole head and neck .... and descending down the back.
What do you notice?
Now that you know the process, try the exercise with closed eyes.

If the neck muscles let go of any tension, maybe you grew a little taller .... just from the tiny activity of softening the eyes.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Managing morning stiffness

Are you like me and find you're often stiff in the mornings? I often find my left hip is a bit sore. Osteoarthritis is probably the cause for me, but it can also be worn joints or muscle tightness. As we age, the cartilage protecting the joint dries and stiffens, and also the joint is less well lubricated with synovial fluid. Importantly, for managing stiffness and pain, "weak muscles and stiff tendons tend to tighten during sleep" (Harvard Health online).

I don't have a consistent "fix", but use Alexander Technique to help. I watch my reactions, ask in different ways for my whole body to lengthen, and importantly try to avoid tightening around the pain. I also apply the Technique on a morning walk, and when doing the hamstring and quad stretches that also help. Finally, constructive rest reduces stiffness and makes us aware of how we tighten up. Try it in the mornings, and at night before bed. Let me know if you need help with it.