When I started taking Alexander Technique lessons 18 years ago I had little awareness of how subtle this tweak thing was. I spent a lot of time trying to fix myself around the technique but after awhile I understood the consequences of utilizing a thinking process as a way to enjoy a kinesthetic change.
Every day I am honored to pass this on to my students!
So here’s the definition of tweak: Tweak; to improve (a mechanism or system) by making fine adjustments to it.
So how can this tiny tweak help our posture?
Your head is heavy – around 14 pounds – your whole spine enjoys the length that a balanced head/neck invites . Muscles in the neck need to let go so the head can poise. Forget about position.
So, the fine adjustment that defines ‘tweak’ is really a letting go?
Imagine what happens when you ‘tweak’a mechanism or even a process. Take computer coding – far from ballroom dancing but appropriate for our purposes here. Programmers use the term elegance to explain the seamlessness of a well running program. And they are continually ‘tweaking’ the code to distill it down to just what is needed to operate smoothly.
Another example: Discovering that a slightly loosened screw creates just enough ‘wiggle room’ to build in better balance, and stability to that bench or other structure you are putting together.
Yes, an awareness of what you are doing and what you can give up.
Yeah, I know – this is not what you are used to. Working hard is well, working hard and universally rewarded. But what we are seeking as dancers is the impression and possession of ease, balance and grounding.
Yet, if we can manifest these qualities by giving up selectively targeted muscular tension, we can attain what we are seeking and……It involves….
…….One, Tiny, Tweak.
Here are 5 reasons why it can make a demonstrable difference in your posture:
- It is quite simple…..when you think about it.
- It involves not doing something (Read: take a break from working so hard!).
- It is kinesthetically pleasureable.
- It promotes good health, away from dis-ease.
- The tiny tweak impacts your whole body.
In lessons, I can show you through my hands what this tweak feels like.
It’s a self care tool that you can use anytime you choose.
You can apply it to any movement, stillness or an entire ballroom competition!
But habits run deep and lessons provide a continuous reminder of what new habits can be learned and taken on as the new normal.
Back and neck pain becomes the small passenger in the rear view mirror, no longer in the front seat!
If you want to find out more, book a lesson with me, either on zoom.com or if you are in the NY/NJ area at my studio in Montclair, NJ. Please use my contact form, tell me about yourself and leave your availability. I will respond within 24 hours.
Happy Dancing! If you know other dancers who may benefit from reading my blog, please forward.