New Year's Slow Change Challenge / by Ariel Carson

This January ditch the tired rhetoric of "New Year New You." 

Are personal growth, change, and renewal worthy goals? Of course!

However, the instantaneous results we have come to expect from our self improvement efforts are often not achieved by sustainable means. 

While two weeks spent doing daily bootcamp workouts, sleeping overnight in a sauna, and subsisting strictly on green juice will certainly leave you thinner than when you began, the backlash from this extreme push will land you watching Caribbean Life reruns on HGTV with a quart of General Tso's chicken and a pint of New York Super Fudge Chunk faster than you can say January 15th.

New York Super Fudge Chunk - Alexander Technique

What I'm trying to say is really truly actually good change takes time. Instead of focusing all of your energy on your end goal, paying attention to how you achieve that goal is equally as important for your health in the long run. 

By dreaming big but starting small, you can break down your approach into manageable steps that will keep you on the steady up and up while everybody else will be burned out soon after they begin. 

So I invite you to join the New Year's Slow Change Alexander Technique Challenge

Only through the unique experiential learning process of the Alexander Technique do we slow down to recognize and release habitual tension, in order to uncover a cleaner foundation, upon which newer more efficient practices can be built. How you do what you do becomes easier than ever before. This means less strain, less pain, and less anxiety. 

Instead of aiming for a balls to the wall total overhaul, start by changing your relationship to one tiny thing.  If you want to lose weight for instance, start by setting aside 5-10 minutes during breakfast (or lunch or dinner), and notice any excess tension you may be holding on to while you eat. Is your neck tight? Are your shoulders tense? Is your jaw working more than it needs to be? 

Tortoise and the Hare - Alexander Technique

Set your fork down. Release that tension. Then, using what you're learning in your Alexander Technique lessons, let your neck and back release and expand into length and width, so your head is freely balanced on top of your spine, and your sit bones are in a widening supported contact with your chair. Maintaining that new coordination, pick your fork up again and resume eating. 

Altering your relationship to how you eat your food can indirectly affect all of your choices surrounding food, i.e. what you eat, and how much. This is the embodied mindfulness we know as the Alexander Technique. 

This process can be applied to any activity in your life, but the key is to start small. There's a saying that goes, "Dripping water hollows a stone." Your gentle, persistent, bite-sized efforts when applied with informed awareness and care will bring about great changes over time. 

The process again is:

1. Slooooooow down to stop what you're doing. 

2. Notice and Release excess tension. 

3. Grow into your freely expanding framework up your spine, out your head, and out through your fingers and toes. 

And remember, every moment is an opportunity for self-renewal and change because every moment is new. So take your time and enjoy the ride.

Happy New Year from Redefining Posture!!  

How are you applying the New Year's Slow Change Alexander Technique Challenge to something you want to change in your life this 2015? Leave your comments below. I'd absolutely love to hear from you. 

Happy New Year 2015