If you can’t stand comfortably for any length of time, chances are that you’re standing with more effort than necessary.
The Perils of Standing
You enter a museum and begin to walk around, looking at the exhibits. In 5 minutes, your feet are aching and all you want to do is to sit down somewhere.
Can we stand, easily and comfortably, for long periods of time?
Our muscles are designed to work, and thrive on it.
Why Standing Seems Difficult
- You’re standing with more effort than necessary,
- Your weight is pushing down onto your joints and your feet.
- You might also be standing with your weight falling unevenly through your feet.
Once your feet start aching, it’s not long before your back follows. If you’re not standing well, you’re putting a strain not just on your legs and feet, but on your whole back – and you can soon be in excruciating pain!
Try these very simple tips to better standing. Read through the instructions on standing well first, and then use the talk through to guide yourself through the procedure.
Do not do this activity if you have a back problem or any other problem that prevents you from standing for any length of time.
What You’ll Need:
- A quiet place where you can stand for about 15 minutes. Standing by a window overlooking a nice view is good provided you don’t allow the view to distract you!
- 15 – 20 minutes of time when you won’t be disturbed.
What You Do: Stage 1
- Start by standing as comfortably as you can.
- Allow yourself to quieten down.
- Gently bring your attention to the way you are standing.
- Ask your neck to free up. Ideally, this should start every activity that you do.
- Notice your feet. Take the time to really be aware of how you’re standing on them and how your weight drops through them into the ground.
- Ask your feet to release onto the floor. Think of them releasing and spreading out on the floor so that the little muscles in your feet can have some space to work.
- Think up from your feet. You have to be very watchful with this one. Before you know it you’ll be trying to stretch yourself up, and that’s not what we want at all. Just stay with the thought of gently lengthening up from the floor, and let your muscles respond as they will.
Think of this as Restful Standing. Once you’ve learnt to do this, you’ll find yourself standing easily and comfortably for longer than you would have thought possible.
And you’ll look poised and elegant doing it, too!
Use This to Make Your Day Easier
Explore these ideas when you’re engaged in doing other things.
You’re waiting in line at the supermarket, wishing the teller would hurry up and get on with it.
Instead of getting all grumpy (which just makes you pull down and tighten) relax. Notice your feet on the floor, supporting your weight. Allow them to let go of tension, and think up so that you’re standing lightly and easily.
Learn to spot these little intervals, and soon you’ll welcome these little bubbles of quiet in your day, when you can catch your breath, rest and allow your muscles to work beautifully.
In the beginning this may feel odd, and you may not notice any difference. You might find yourself getting a little irritated, even, the way you do when something you’re trying is not working out to your satisfaction.
Keep at it for short spells at a time, until your muscles get used to all these new instructions suddenly coming their way.
Other Activities You Can Try
- Go through What the Alexander Technique Is Not. This will give you a clear idea of how exactly the Alexander Technique can help you.
- Check out Thinking Well to give you a sense of how strongly our thinking influences our muscles.
- You can also opt for lessons. I am offering only online lessons at the moment in the interests of safety from infection. Do check out Online Learning to see which option would suit you,
- Prefer an introductory lesson straightaway? Contact me to book a lesson – online, of course!
In the Technique tension is not treated as something bad to be got rid of, but as a form of energy to be redirected and redistributed. (Frank Pierce Jones)