Several students have asked me variations of the same question in the past few weeks, so I wanted to take a moment to address it here.
The question: I feel great when I slow down and become more aware in my Alexander Technique lessons, but I don't know how to maintain that awareness when I have to move quickly in the rest of my life. Is the point of Alexander Technique to be aware 100% of the time?
Answer in short: Hell no! Ain't nobody got time for that!
There’s no way for us mere mortals to be mindful and aware of our mind-body-selves 100% of the time. We’re just not built for that. But how about for 10 minutes a day, or 5 minutes? How about for even just a split second check-in to stop and ask yourself, "Can I do less?" or "Can I release my neck into length and my back into expansion?"
Over the course of days, weeks, months, and years, these little check-ins add up, and they lower your baseline of tension. So though the immediate benefits of the Alexander Technique may be most apparent in your private lessons or group classes (and boy are those benefits delicious), with practice over time you will experience real long lasting change for the better. I'm talkin' social media posting worthy change -- definitely something to write home about.
I totally get it. You lead an über fast paced life with a million things to do at all times. You can slow down enough for 45 minutes a week in your Alexander lessons, but the rest of the time you have to go go go!
As a wise mentor of mine says, the point is not to stop and release your neck when your house is burning down (god forbid!), but as you begin to make little pockets of time and space for yourself to free your neck in the situations that are not so high stress/high stakes, as you repeatedly have these kinesthetic experiences of freedom and expansion in your Alexander Technique lessons, when you do find yourself in a high stakes situation, you’ll likely be able to handle it with a little more Poise, a little more Ease, and a lotta more G-g-g-grace.
Where do you find little pockets of time to stop and release excess tension? I'd love to hear from you in the comments below.