Yesterday I had my first Alexander Technique session. My friend Jess is becoming certified in Alexander and though she’s been studying it for a while now, I’ve never really understood what it is. In wikipedia, it is defined as:
“an alternative medicine and educational discipline focusing on bodily coordination, including psychological principles of awareness. It is applied for purposes of recovering freedom of movement, in the mastery of performing arts, and for general self-improvement affecting poise, impulse control and attention.”
I am a pretty open-minded person, and I’m always interested in learning techniques for making me healthier, happier, more aware, more relaxed/centered, etc – so I was totally game to have Jess lead me in a session to see for myself what it is all about. We started with me lying on the floor and doing some breathing work – bringing awareness to my body, breathing through the “top of my head and into, but not through my pelvis”… this was confusing at first, but then I sort of just let go and started to feel it. After the first ten minutes doing this, Jess had me stand up and asked me how I felt. I felt sort of high – and also very grounded. I felt flushed in my face and my fingers felt all tingly (apparently b/c this exercise had improved my circulation). We did a bunch of other exercises, mainly to create space in my body, to release tension and achieve proper alignment through my spine and to properly balance my skull on top of my spine in order to minimize strain. At one point, after we had worked on releasing the muscle tension in the back of my neck, Jess again asked me how I felt. I felt like my head was tilted forward toward the floor. She had me look in the mirror and surprise… my head was perfectly straight and my posture looked wonderful.
Overall, the session was extremely relaxing – sort of like a guided meditation. After just one hour, I could see & feel a difference in the way my body was moving and the way I was carrying myself. Of course, It takes lots of practice to be able to achieve these results on your own and to maintain the benefits and I am definitely interested in a second session.
I am really proud and excited for Jess! She will be certified by this summer and she is focusing now on starting her own business. This is the start of a new career for her and, as I personally understand quite well, she is going through the roller coaster of ups and downs that goes along with such a life-altering change. Props to her for following her passion and if anyone knows anyone who might be interested in Alexander lessons, let me know! She needs clients for her new business!!