This is my equation for life. I truly believe that this is the secret to growing ‘young’ gracefully. Whether it be flexibility of mind or body it does not matter, both are equally important. I find those who are inflexible in the one area are usually lack flexibility in the other. Many of the more mature students I teach have the problem of stiff joints, often the hips and shoulder joints stiffen. The upper back becomes a solid mass of tension. Often these folk do exercise, they say to me that they love to walk, and I applaud them for it. However, they are still not stretching out enough and releasing so much of the built up tension. I often go for walks on the beachfront in Kohimarama and I watch passionate walkers doing their thing. Many of them never use their arms, so many of them are stiff as boards, other are leaning backwards as they attempt to walk forward, others still are using their lower back to walk instead of their legs. The tricky thing about this is that, many of you reading this are saying to yourselves, ‘this is not me’ ‘I don’t do that’. The thing is that you may well not be aware that you are doing these things. Your great intention is all very well but without any guidance from someone who has a trained eye to appreciate the finer nuances of movement, you may in fact not be doing what you have set out to do.
Stretching before and after a walk is very important, and doing it properly will be more effective. And what is properly? Ah there is the rub….
The Alexander technique is an education process whereby a student is taught how to use the body with less tension and stress. Therefore having an Alexander technique lesson will guide the student to greater awareness of what they are currently doing. Creating awareness is always the first step towards any change. We look at the biomechanics of the body, that is, how the body is designed and from that, freer movement can be established. We really are addressing the route cause of poor posture, instead of treating it. Emotional factors influence the way in which we use our bodies. We acquire habits of contraction which create rigidity and imbalance. Therefore the Alexander is a way of teaching us how to undo these fixed patterns, regaining our balance and freedom of movement.
Noeline qualified as an Alexander Technique teacher in 1990. She has been in private practice ever since. Why not call and ask what she can do for you?