I have been taking lessons for a few years now. Right from the first lesson my chronic back pain improved and I was moving more smoothly. After a lesson I always feel lighter, more positive and more confident. The Alexander Technique has helped me to realise that I have a choice about how I use my body. This awareness has spread to other areas of my life and I now feel more in control of myself and my life.
The regular practice of lying down in the semi-supine position will help in encouraging the changes sought with the Alexander Technique, and is invaluable for maintaining a healthy spine. It is a way of giving yourself a ‘little Alexander lesson’.
- Lie down on a fairly firm surface, like a mat or rug on the floor, with a couple of paperback books under your head to raise it slightly.
- Bend your knees with your feet flat on the floor about shoulder-width apart.
- Take some time to allow yourself to ‘arrive’ and settle in this new position
- Notice how you are in contact with the floor and your head with the books; notice the main weight-transmitting areas – the back of your head, the two shoulder blades, the back of the hips and the feet
- Quietly notice what is around you, what noises can you hear inside and outside the room, what can you see? Notice those shapes, forms and colours to the sides, above and below (it doesn’t matter that they’re not in focus)
- Each time your mind starts to wander, gently bring your attention back to where you are here and now, simply noticing what you can see, hear and feel
- Try these thoughts (remember they are just ideas never actions to do):
- be aware of the direction of the crown of your head towards the wall and of your feet towards the opposite wall; also, of your right side out to the right, the left out to the left, and of where up and where down is
- think of the whole of your back, starting at your tailbone and gradually working all the way up to the top of your spine, with the idea of a gentle unfurling all the way up, together with an expansion or widening of your torso
- since your hips and feet are fully supported by the ground you can imagine your knees being so free that they could just float up away from your hips towards the ceiling.
This position gives the best support and rest for your back and is the perfect way to de-stress, refresh and feel energised.
How long and how often
Ideally, 15 to 20 minutes each day to lie down, is enough time to help restore suppleness and realignment of the spine, and to reconnect the relationship between your mind and body.
As well as the physical benefits, the semi-supine practice will give you that all important time to be aware of yourself, to quieten your mind and just stop.