11.06.19: AT Lesson: More Monkey Stance

We had another Alexander Technique lesson today. I am really coming to look forward to our lessons to be able to work on reinforcing new habits and patterns to develop better balance and posture to be pain free. She went over the same things again rebuilding posture into a position that was really comfortable and easy to maintain. She went through the same rolling down exercise, starting with the head and rolling each vertebrae downward to release the muscles of the back, then hanging down for a bit breathing deep before unrolling in reverse to realign each vertebrae again. It felt really good, and once I had been through that she worked on standing up and sitting down. Except that in order to actually accomplish these tasks in a way that is balanced, one can't think of doing the same thing that one has always done. One has to think of a new thought to accomplish the same task. So instead of thinking of sitting down, one must think of lengthening upward in such a way that the spine stays long, and the hips swing back and the head comes forward to counter balance the hips, and everything stays nice and balanced over the knees, which come slightly forward, so that the body is able to simply come to rest in the chair. The reverse is true to rise out of the chair, keeping the spine aligned, and thinking rising upward and lengthening through the spine, and, rocking slightly back and then forward to simply lift out of the chair. Both of these movements have a foundation in the same monkey stance that she went over in our last lesson. Having the head resting atop the spine which continues as one unit all the way down to the hips, which act as a counter balance over the knees for any motion that involves bending downward (or the reverse). The action actually requires counter balancing with the hips a lot further back than what I am used to, but it feels very balanced, even if it felt awkward.
She also went over an exercise to lay on the floor with my knees bent, and a few books under my head to create the correct alignment of the spine. Laying on the floor like that helps to release all the muscles of the back and reset the discs of the spine. It felt good, and she recommended doing that one or twice a day if possible, for a minimum of 10 minutes, though 20 would be best if possible. It felt good, and I look forward to being able to take some time to relax each day.
She worked with Jim to help him find a better stance, to correct his habit of leaning backwards bracing in his hip and legs to hold himself up. She used the 'monkey stance' concept from our previous lesson to help him find a more forward/vertical posture. He looks taller and larger when he really gets into the correct posture! As if he wasn't tall enough!
It was a great lesson, and I'm a little bummed we're not going to get back to it for a while because of the schedule coming up. So much to do and not enough time to do it in!
11.06.27: AT Lesson: Lengthening the Bones
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