A Student of "UP"

Going UP is a nickname for the coordination or ‘whole body response to gravity’ that we cultivate in the Alexander Technique.  When you learn the Alexander Technique you become a Student of UP.

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As a student of UP your practice is to continually: Re-find UP for you; learn to cultivate more of it in movement, actions, and life; use it to bring dynamic postural tone and readiness to your postures, actions, and way of being; and learn to deal with unconscious habits that bring you down.

As a student of UP your growth in posture, movement, structure, awareness, well-being etc.. all occur as a by-product of integrating UP into the framework of your movements and activities.

The more advanced a student of Up, the better you can:

  • Cultivate going UP on your own

  • Recognize and prevent unnecessary compression or constriction in activity

  • Cultivate Up in ever more challenging movements and activities

  • Get back UP on your own after you’ve lost it


A few things a Student of Up develops:

  • Learns to open UP with gravity rather than pulling up against it

  • Learns to work with balance as an ongoing process (balancing) - rather than as a fixed position

  • Grows the skill to move and act more centred over one's base of support in stillness and dynamic movement

  • Catch themselves in an old posture and uses the opportunity to learn what they are doing vs. Catches themselves and tries to fix themselves with perfect posture - thus missing the moment to cultivate UP

  • Practices the ability to work with ongoing direction vs. an end position or fixed final destination/posture you attain

  • Develops the ability to undo habits they’ve found themselves in

  • Learns to include both what to do and what not to do in their movements

  • Learns to use a dynamic state of postural tension in life - a calm, yet readiness for movement - instead of a state of over relaxation

  • Works to the idea that movement and stillness are never ending - there is only continuous direction to go/move in

  • Learns to use a growing awareness of the relationship between the neck, head, and back as both an assessment tool and as a place to influence whole body UP

  • Uses thinking in activity to positively shape their coordination, actions, and responses

  • Learns to cultivate the conditions for the expression of a new movement or mobility to show up instead of trying to force it

  • Learns to use the ground and a downwards direction as an oppositional force (you have to come UP from somewhere)

  • Learns to stop doing the old habit while simultaneously allowing for a new expression of balance, movement, and tension vs. tries to do something new while still doing the old habit

  • Refines their ability to see and influence the connections between the brain, body, and environment in action vs. seeing themselves as located only in their brain/head

  • Learns to see and integrate internal and external sensory feedback as a unified experience

Awareness:

  • Builds skill in self-awareness (as a prerequisite to make new choices)

  • Learns to recognize the internal and external cues that start habits which lead to unnecessary tension or collapse

  • Consciously opens expands their field of attention - instead of getting stuck in a narrowed field of attention

  • Brings evermore directed awareness of themselves in a evermore challenging (physical and mental) activities

  • Sees how the parts (i.e limb movements etc..) integrate into the larger whole pattern of coordination vs. isolating the parts from the larger whole

  • Sees the mind as embodied in action (brain, body, environment all influence each other)

  • Develops the mindset of being conscious but not self-conscious - practices suspending judgment and criticism

  • Builds (or re-discovers) self awareness of themselves vs. ignores awareness of themselves until something hurts or nags at them

Uses any activity or movement as a fresh opportunity to cultivate more UP and grow towards their fullest potential