By Coach KB (and I apologize for the image... it was too good not to use)
(If you are new to the POINT Gym and Kitchen blog and want to learn what the Movement Minute Challenge is all about, check out the introductory post here.)
I spent a brief few years of my early adult life as a dancer and our artistic director was trained in the Alexander Technique. I was so busy doing-doing-doing at that time in my life I didn’t understand it - when she talked about her practice it just didn’t seem like it was doing anything. I was so caught up in doing all the time I was oblivious to the most important foundational component of our humanity - BEING.
I will piece together a brief explanation about the Alexander Technique from Constance Clare-Newman, an Alexander Technique Teacher: It’s a practice of mindfulness that begins with the body. It’s a practice of neuroplasticity applied to everyday life that includes movement, posture, sensation, gesture, breath, voice, expression, energy, thought, emotion… Ultimately, the Alexander work is about undoing your habits, whether those patterns are movement or postural habits, or habits of thinking or reacting, to what works better for you in your life.
I, of course, was not alone in my doing… We are a nation of doers. So much so that most of us just fall apart when we stop doing - we do all day long and then collapse, totally drained at the end of the day. The part of this that I have been most interested in lately is with posture. Most of us are doing posture - we have been told to stand up straight, shoulders back, chest proud, head held high. The problem is that we are doing this rather than being this. Everyone is trying so hard to do it right - we HOLD this posture until it is too uncomfortable and then we just collapse into slouching because it is unsustainable. So we go through the day vacillating between this “good” posture and “bad” posture - What if “good” posture was simply about being in balance while being upright?
LET’S PRACTICE! In order to be in good posture we have to UN-do a lot of what we have taught our bodies over the years. The Movement Minute this week is an exercise about how to stand into balance and length, rather than holding ourselves there. Check out the one-minute exercise Constance developed and practice each day this week.
*This Movement Minute was inspired by Episode 19 of the Liberated Body podcast.