Alexander Technique Active Resting

Quote

ainon sivu1Lie down on your back with the soles of the feet against the floor and head on top of a stack of books. A firm surface will help you to release the back more effectively than a soft one, as it gives more feedback for your body. You can use a yoga mat or a blanket to lie on. Use paperback books underneath your head.

Keep your eyes open. Give yourself permission to be awake, even if you do nothing. Make sure that you are warm, feeling cold makes you tense.

If the book stack is too high, the throat feels the pressure. If your head is tilting backwards, the book is too low. Check that the stack of books doesn’t touch the neck or shoulder, it’s only under the head.

Place your feet relatively close to the body, but not so close that you feel compression in the knees. If the legs are too far away, the arch in the lower back is emphasized, so that it is more difficult to release the back. Feet are approximately hip-width apart. The arms are either resting on the sides or the palms are on top of the abdomen. If your shoulders feel tight, ​​move the hands towards the chest.

If you feel uncomfortable at this point, get up and try again later. If you feel comfortable, lie down for 10 to 20 minutes. If the lower back or any other part of your body feels numb, it’s time to get up and move.

You can pay attention to how the head, shoulders, hips and the soles of the feet meet the surface. You do not have to do anything. You can let your body  start finding a better balance on its own. If you can stop trying to relax, you give yourself a chance to release as much as necessary, and not too much.

You can also remind yourself of the directions in which the different parts of the body are released. Think of allowing the neck to be free, so that the head, arms and legs can get a chance to release away from the spine.

Here you can gradually stop pulling yourself together. The body becomes more three-dimensional, it is extended, widened and deepened. Notice that the knees are pointing towards the ceiling. The feet are softened towards the floor.

If you can’t keep your thoughts together, let go for a moment, and allow yourself to just be there.

 

(c) Aino Klippel MSTAT 2012 n which

Resources:
Alexander Technique and yoga

Aside

Books Master the Art of Working out, by Malcolm Balk This book is about applying the Alexander Technique to various exercises and it includes three case studies about yoga. The Art of Changing, by Glenn Park The first half of the book offers a great introduction to the Alexander Technique, and the meditations in the other half might appeal to some yoga students. Anatomy of the moving body, Theodore Dimon, Jr Written by an Alexander Teacher, this book emphasizes the connections between anatomical parts of the body. Links to Articles

  • The yoga issue of the Direction Journal
  • Yoga and the Alexander Technique, by Clare Maxwell
  • What has the Alexander Technique to offer the student of yoga? by Anne Finlay, IYTA and Martin Finnegan 
  • Why yoga and the Alexander Technique?
  • Tradition and Authority in Yoga and AT by David Moore
  • The Alexander Technique: A Tool For Dancers and Yoga Practitioners To Reclaim Full Use of Their Postural Reflexes by Cécile Raynor
  • Yoga, posture and the Alexander Technique by Mary Albro                                         A story about an Alexander pupil searching for a yoga book that doesn’t instruct to ”to lift, pull, push, knit, or tuck anything” 
  • How does the Alexander Technique differ from yoga and Pilates by Marcia Claesson
  • Somatics: Yogas of the West by Larry Sokoloff, Yoga Journal