It’s time to make time to lie down…

Do you make time to lie down in semi-supine between lessons?  The bottom line is that those that do, get more from their investment in lessons. But for
some, it’s difficult to get to grips with how lying down can help them learn the Technique. And of course we are always much more likely to do something if we understand why we should. So I thought it would be helpful to give some insight into F.M. Alexander’s own thoughts on the purpose of lying down as remembered by Walter Carrington in conversation with Séan Carey.  Here is his answer to the question: “did FM encourage his pupils to lie down between lessons?”
“Yes, he did. He explained that people in their daily activities get pulled down, shortened and out of shape, but lying down and directing serve to create expansion and put them into better shape.”
From my own experience and that of my clients, the real value in terms of learning the Technique is that it provides an ideal time, when there are fewer distractions, to increase your awareness and project ‘consciously’ your directions of lengthening your spine and widening your back, allowing your neck to be released. With regular practice of ‘directing’ while lying down it will become that much easier when you are out and about or sitting at your desk.

April 2016
Tagged ,

are you suffering from ‘text neck’ or ‘iPain’?

In a recent article entitled ‘Taming technology?’ the British Chiropractic Association reported that an online research survey had shown almost one in four people are complaining of a sore neck, back or shoulder due to using or carrying gadgets.  

The title of the article implies that in some way the ‘wild’ technology is to blame – hence the need for ‘taming’ it.   I often hear people saying that their computer is causing them back pain, when the reality of course is that it is something they are doing while using the computer that is causing the problem. 

The Alexander Technique offers a different approach.  Lessons in the Technique can give you the foundation needed to address the unhelpful habits which are likely to be at the root cause of the problem.  By increasing your awareness and noticing what you are doing, you are taking the first step towards finding a long term solution, which will involve not trying to correct your posture.  Here the role of the teacher is vital in helping you to resist the temptation to ‘do’ something about it, as that will usually result in increased tension.  For example, if you notice that you are slumped you might think it would be a good idea to correct this by sitting up straight.  But it is quite likely that your idea of ‘sitting up straight’ will result in you pulling your head back and your back in.  Apart from the fact that you will soon become tired by trying to remain in this position, it is just a different version of a harmful way of sitting at your computer.  This is what F.M. Alexander was referring to when he said: ‘there is no such thing as a right position, but there is such a thing as a right direction’.    

It’s really about learning a new way of thinking so that you can make helpful and healthy choices about the way you use the technology.  Using your mobile phone provides a good example: 


instead of trying to remember a specific instruction of what to do or what not to do, you will be making a conscious choice in that moment to bring your phone up to you rather than dropping your head down towards it. The result of making that choice is that you will avoid causing yourself neck pain or tension across your shoulders.           









November 2011
Tagged , , ,

The Alexander Technique for life

I was on a course the other day and one of the facilitators seemed to be sitting very comfortably, in a well-balanced and poised way. On a hunch I asked her whether she had had lessons in the Alexander Technique.

“Well, many years ago,” she replied. “With a friend who trained to be an Alexander Technique teacher with Walter Carrington*.”

I hope this is encouraging to anyone either taking lessons or contemplating doing so, that the principles of the Technique, once learnt, can have life-long benefits.”

*Walter Carrington (1915–2005) was trained by F M Alexander and became a leading exponent of the Technique. He was an inspiration to generations of teachers.

October 2011