Saturday, March 31, 2007

All you need to know about: The Alexander Technique

What's it all about?The Alexander technique is a gentle approach that aims to re-educate the mind and the body through a series of movements so the body uses muscles more efficiently. The relationship between head and spine is key. When the neck muscles work well, the head should balance lightly at the top of the spine.
What the expert says ...
Brita Forsstrom has been an Alexander technique teacher since 1984. She now runs teacher training courses as well as classes in London. 'The Alexander technique is really about telling a client what not to do - that is, helping them to unlearn poor postural habits,' says Forsstrom. 'People don't often appreciate that, if you change the way your head, neck and back move, then all other movements in your body can improve. Thus it can help every area of sport technique, from running style to golf swing or tennis serve.'Try to be constantly aware of the way you're sitting, standing and moving; the tension that is causing the postural problems lies within your own body. It is about developing an awareness of where that tension is and then addressing it.
'There is no one correct position for your body - it's about adjusting your position to suit different situations. For example, when working at your desk, rest against the back of the chair. When you're having a phone conversation, sit up near the front of the seat rather than leaning back, so you're not engaged in forward lean, which can put strain on the spine.
'Every day, take time to lie down on a firm but comfortable surface. Recline for about 20 minutes with your knees bent, pointing up to the ceiling with a few paperback books to support your head. This classic Alexander position offers important rest both for your mind and body, allowing tension to be released and the back to lengthen in a coordinated way with the rest of body.
'While standing, keep the balance even between the front and back of the feet and avoid slumping down on one hip. An open-eyed attitude to your surroundings helps to keep you poised and balanced in any situation.
'The Alexander technique is suitable for everyone,' she says. 'It can help actors and professional athletes, but is just as good for pregnant women, new mothers, individuals with long-suffering back problems and patients with chronic diseases.'

Source - Guardian

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