A most profound and thought provoking question was asked of me yesterday,….”What single thing has been the most significant influence on your life?” Despite the enormity of the question it was easy to answer… Apart from my parental upbringing….it is without a shadow of a doubt, my coming into contact with the Alexander Technique.
Why? Because it has so profoundly affected my adult life…by increasing my overall level of joy and happiness. “Ah, so you enjoy the Alexander Technique very much then?” Well ….yes, but it goes way beyond that.
It comes down to how influential this technique can be on every aspect of one’s life. It’s what it does for you. Let’s face it…what’s the point of our life here on earth if we are not happy? When we finally hang up our clogs, can we say with honesty we’ve had a grand happy life? Well, one could respond and say, “Fine, if Alexander Technique does it for you, then great. Everyone has their ‘thing’.” But it’s not the technique that actually does it for you. It is what the technique enables you to do for yourself and experience,….. beyond what you would otherwise.
I’m talking about how learning to ‘use’ the Alexander Technique’s enables one to experience a heightened level of sensitivity and have more accurate awareness so that whatever we do, it’s more of a full-on truthful experience.
Using the technique as a self-help method enables us to make the most of ourselves, by eliminating harmful habits that undermine us, be it simply avoiding pain, maximising our internal functioning, with an increased sense of calm or an ability to perform to our best in demanding situations. We can run faster, play an instrument better, be more confident in public and outgoing, to be pain-free and avoid back pain, neck tension, sciatica, headaches instead of being plagued by one or another…or all!
I’m talking about how centred and more effective we become in everything we do; how much more in the moment, experiencing the ‘here and now’ to ever heightening levels of sensation and involvement; to know that we have the personal ability to look after ourselves in all circumstances so we’re at our best, so despite whatever is going on around us, we actually do still feel great.
This Alexander Technique as evolved by FM Alexander increases our ability to choose….to choose what we do, how we do it, how we respond to situations and to choose the best means of achieving our aims and activities with the maximum effectiveness, involvement and success, while minimising negative effects such as stress, unnecessary wear and tear, pain or discomfort. In short, we get more for less. More of the good things and less of the bad.
The more we ‘use’ the technique throughout the day we habituate a new, more effective way of being and ‘doing’ that brings heightened levels of satisfaction, joy and happiness.
I got to experience the Alexander Technique in 1972 and it’s been with me ever since through my entire adult life. And the wonderful thing about this technique is…that when your poise or posture is improved so there is no back pain or whatever and you’re also performing and functioning well,…..it can get even BETTER!
Now you see how it may be the single most influential thing to come into my life? And since I trained as a professional Alexander teacher, I get to teach it to others!! How good can it get?! 🙂