When a student books an appointment with me, I ask them to fill out a form indicating what they want to get our of their lessons. Often, the answer is “I want to work on my posture”. Over the years teaching the principles of the Alexander Technique, I have realized that without question our culturally conditioned answer to change is to ‘work’ at it. Even if that is not consciously the thought.
Immediately, I encourage the deletion of the word ‘work’ from their image of improving their posture.
Quite the opposite of work. If I’m going to preach about anything (sorry, I can do that!), it is this: Improving your posture is NOT about ‘working’ at it. AT LEAST NOT IN THE WAY WE ARE CONDITIONED, in other words, work as muscular effort, tension, strain and the rest.
Forget about exercises for adjusting the position of your head on your spine. You are just making it worse. You may be successful in momentarily modifying the stacking element of your head on your spine, but it is reapportioning one holding pattern (your habit) in place of another.
So, what is this concept of changing your posture without re-positioning something/applying work? How do you do that?
Let’s replace the words, work, do, implement, re-position, with the word THINK.
Or another way of looking at it; pause and think and then proceed.
My ballet conditioned body was starved for another option besides working hard. I discovered it by practicing the new principles that I learned from my years of training in the Alexander Technique.
In our Ballroom dancing, like ballet – we want it to look easy, but we need to know how to BE easy by changing our thinking. This is what I have focused on in my ballroom dancing – definitely not 100% successful, but imagine what it would mean to knock your unnecessary work load down 50, 60, 70 per cent? Wouldn’t that feel great?
I can help you to know WHAT to think!
If you find this intriguing, 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.