Alexander Technique – Embodied Awareness
Guest Post by Anne Carroll
During the course of our lives we experience a wide range of challenges which shape the persons we become. Our whole being is influenced by the world as we see and experience it. Along the way we encounter multiple situations, which cause us to respond in a myriad of ways which include joy, confusion, happiness and pain. Our ideas about ourselves, our thought patterns, many of which may be deeply unconscious become embodied: in the way we walk, in the way we move, in the way we approach any task or new learning. So much so that we are easily identified by those who know us, even if we are walking in a crowd from a distant point.
For many of us there comes a point or a number of points in life which provide significant challenge and we find that the tools we have learnt no longer serve us in finding a way forward. For me, this happened about seven years ago when through a range of coinciding circumstances I found myself in a place of deep pain at every level of my being – physical, emotional and mental.
This took me on a journey which led me to a new place, the beginning of a new understanding about how my approach to life had led me to this experience. I saw many professionals in a number of traditions before finally coming across the Alexander Technique. The Alexander Technique led me to explore through the body and constructive thinking, new ways of responding to my life circumstances. More than five years on I have become an explorer. I am inspired by the wonderful new experiences I have had and the people I have met and I am about to enter the final year of Alexander Technique teacher training.
So what is this technique which provided me with a new framework for exploring my life and living more easily within the world?
The Alexander Technique is an educational process, which for many people has provided therapeutic benefits. It re-educates the brain and nervous system to:
- create easier and more efficient movement patterns
- greater flexibility of movement, and
- more balanced postural support
Using gentle touch and verbal instruction it supports the development of awareness, allowing the student to recognise habitual and often unconscious excess tension held in their system. The process supports a student to recognise the unity of mind and body – to understand that what we think affects how we experience our bodies and the way we move affects our minds.
By coming to understand our habits of movement and thought we are introduced to a wider number of choices for responding to any activity, whether that is washing the dishes, sweeping the path, singing, walking, riding a bike, using a computer, or using the tools of your trade whether you are an actor, a public speaker, a dentist, work in a cafe or teach. We learn to be more present to each experience as it arises.
If you’re interested in reading more about the Alexander Technique you can explore via these links – Alexander School and Australian Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique
If you’re interested in participating in an Introductory workshop please email Anne at firstname.lastname@example.org