There are many ways to explore movement, and the Alexander Technique offers one unique lens on this process. Regardless of the approach(es) you choose, developing clearer awareness of how you move is a fundamental skill. Here's a common example.
Hidden in Movement and Posture
You massage your over-tense back and it brings relief, but later in the week the problem returns... You have a nagging injury that always seems to ‘show up’ at the worst of times... You don’t feel your movement or posture is an issue; in fact, what does how you use yourself have to do with your performance or health?
When an underlying performance or health issue relates to how you normally use yourself in activity (e.g move or posture yourself) it can often lie below your level of awareness.
When this is the case, then downstream issues from the underlying issue can be excessively frustrating and difficult to deal with. Your everyday level of awareness may still show you the symptoms, but these symptoms often hide the underlying problem even more. One way to break this cycle is to learn your own patterns of movement and posture inside and out; so much so that you discover what is normally hidden to you.
Movement Awareness Training
Movement Awareness Training is about making a switch from unhealthy self-judgment and self-criticism, to a healthier state of non-judgment (or suspended-judgement) when observing your movement. It's about training yourself to be curious or even feel good when you observe your movement and 'mistakes' in movement, rather than beating yourself up with your observation to avoid having to do the hard work of training your movement awareness.
This is more than someone telling you that you’re out of alignment, that you should have better form, sit up straight, or be more 'present or grounded' when your perform. This well intentioned advice simply points out what we're not aware of in ourselves. It often fails to make lasting change because this external advice doesn't match up with how we internally perceive our movements and postures; leaving our issue still largely 'hidden' to us.
What's empowering is that if a performance or health issue is related to how you use yourself in your activities, then to an ever growing extent you can learn to sense how, when, and where these issues may be arising. You can build your awareness like a muscle.
In some instances you may even be able to develop your baseline level of self-awareness to the degree that it simply doesn’t feel right to move, posture yourself, or do your activities in many of the same old limiting ways. And when it no longer feels right to do things the way you always have, then you'll change how you do them; you prevent the underlying problem from happening and catch off the symptoms in the process.
Remember, if an underlying problem is hidden in your movements, postures, and way of using yourself in your daily activities then problems often seem to come out of nowhere. But by developing your self-awareness of personal habits of movement and posture you can increase your independent understanding of why these issues continue to come up.
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