Blog for the Abergavenny Natural Therapy Centre

When I tell people that I teach the Alexander Technique, they usually immediately stand to attention!  I think with the idea that the Technique is about good posture, and good posture is about standing up straight. For me though, standing straight always looks rigid – not good posture. What might good posture look like? Think of small children for example, who move with spontaneity, ease and lightness; and Roger Federer, a joy to watch as he plays tennis in a seemingly effortless way.

As we get older, the pressures of life literally ‘get us down’. We develop habitual patterns of movement that can cause us tension and discomfort, but because they are familiar, these habits are hard to change – think of anything you have tried to give up or change…..

Help is at hand though! The Alexander Technique can help you rediscover the ease of movement that you too had when you were young: it is a skill for self development, helping you to move with less effort and tension, and find balance in your life, physically, mentally and emotionally.

The Technique is taught one to one where the teacher uses and gentle hands on and verbal guidance to help you become more aware of how you move, and how you might move more effortlessly. A course of lessons is recommended to really help you incorporate the changes into your life.

It is also taught in groups, and I run small group courses at the Abergavenny Natural Therapy Centre. Participants on the recent introductory courses commented:

‘a really good opportunity to consider and reflect on movement, stillness and body awareness in a calm space. Jenny is a thoughtful and positive facilitator. Have found the sessions helpful physically and emotionally. Would recommend’. AM

My posture has improved……my weight and balance are in equilibrium……I have also learned how to ‘stop’….. To treat my body properly. The benefits of this are considerable. As well as the physical improvements to my body, sharing the experiences in the class have been helpful and enjoyable.’ Pauline

The next opportunity to explore the benefits of the Alexander Technique will be in September: a 3 week course at the Abergavenny Natural Therapy Centre starting on Wednesday 18th 6pm-7.15 For those who have completed an introductory course, there will be follow on course starting on September 18th 7.30pm-8.45pm. Both courses will be looking at how to move with more ease, improve your posture, feel more calm and balanced, and relieve pain and tension.

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Coming soon – a Christmas gift for you!

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……. a short recording of a guided lying down, helping you to relax, giving your body and mind a ‘constructive rest’. If you would like to experience the benefits of the Alexander Technique thinking,  please Contact me, and I will send you the recording.

 

 

‘These feet were made for walking’

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Out walking with my son, and discussing the benefits of vertebrate beings, I gave him some tips that made him feel ‘lighter’ and ‘more springy’. Here they are:

  1.  feet parallel
  2.  knees pointed towards toes
  3.  notice the change in weight distribution through your feet as your arches lift – this leads to more effective contact with the earth, and allows the anti-gravity reflex* to work to your advantage

Why not try it for yourself?

* more on that next time!

The way forward

 

After an Alexander Technique introductory course, or a few 1 to 1 lessons, the question is how to keep what you have learned alive? and enjoy the benefits – maybe freedom from pain, walking more gracefully, speaking with more ease.

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The exercise of doing a simple movement and then attempting to do it in a different way (like crossing your arms) makes plain how difficult it is change the habits of a lifetime. Even though that habit may be causing you tension, physical or mental, doing something in a different way invariably feels ‘wrong’.

Fortunately learning the Alexander Technique can help you change, and you can build on what you have learned so far by doing any, or all! , of the following:

  • making time to lie down in semi-supine
  • having a 1 to 1 session with a teacher
  • taking part in a follow-up course
  • reading these blogs that will give you useful tips and reminders