In the very stressful times in which we live, so many distractions are available that we are rarely present in the moment, rarely even “in our bodies.” All our energy is in our heads. We are not grounded.
Not being grounded or present in the moment or “in our bodies’ creates stress in itself. Add on whatever is happening— or not!— in our lives, and we can be overwhelmed.
Understandably, finding ways to lessen stress has become popular, and many different ideas on the subject have been offered. The most effective ones seem to recommend some sort of “body awareness,” especially of the breath. I can think of no better way to become more aware of the body and truly honor and “inhabit” it than through the practice of the Alexander Technique, which emphasizes the unity of body and mind.
What makes the Technique especially helpful—and maybe even unique—is the fact that it is practiced in activity, as we say in Alexander circles. There is no doubt that people who meditate or practice yoga or Tai Chi or some other modality can experience a lessening of stress, among other things. But if you are “in Alexander mode” while performing any activity—including everyday tasks—you have become aware of your body and your thinking, you are in the present moment, and this has a calming effect. Even meditation, yoga, and other stress-relief activities are made easier and more effective by applying the principles of the Alexander Technique.
In my lessons and classes, I often guide students in their study of the Technique into ways they can help themselves de-stress, even in situations of particular stress such as interviews, public performance, sports and athletics, and especially using the computer for work or play. It is amazing to feel the difference between simply doing the activity our habitual way, and doing with Alexandrian thinking!
If this interests you, please contact me for further information.