Standing is an incredible feat of balancing that most of us do every day without thinking twice about it.

What People Say

…my lessons in AT allowed me to recognize subtle but sure tightness. Sharda Agarwal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s All About Balance

Young man balancing on top of a fence

This Is What We’re Doing When We Stand

 

 

This is what you do every time you stand up on your feet.

Standing is an incredible feat of balancing that most of us do every day without thinking twice about it.

 

 

 

 

Observe a toddler just learning to stand upright and walk. Do you see how tentative and precarious her balance is? And how often does she just lose it and sit down with a bump on her bottom?

 

young man walking forward, looking back not losing balance

Keeping Your Balance

Looking Back and Walking Forward

You’ve got it figured out to the point where you don’t need to consciously think about it anymore.

You can think about, and do things totally unconnected with balancing, as you stand. You can look up, look down, talk to someone, read a book, answer your phone, even look back and walk forward, all without losing your balance and falling over.

Amazing!

Look at your toddler again and just remind yourself – that’s the same process that’s going on in you right now – and you don’t even feel it!

 

Getting a Sense of Balance

It is possible to get a sense of what balancing on your feet really means.

 Stand on the tips of your toes. Though this is not the same as finding your balance for the very first time, it’s a good substitute.

pair of legs on tip toes, balancing

Becoming Aware of Balance in Standing

Standing on Tiptoes

  1. You’re teetering on your toes in an effort to keep upright.
  2. You can’t take your mind off your balance as completely as you can when you’re standing in the usual way.
  3. Whatever you’re doing, a part of your mind has to be engaged with the problem of keeping you upright on your toes.

 

 

 

 

Standing, and Enjoying It

Standing well is simple. You have to be aware of

  1.  your feet.  
  2.  the rest of you.

Read through the instructions for this activity, and then use the talk through to guide yourself through this procedure.

 What You’ll Need

  1. A quiet place where you can stand for about 15 minutes. Whatever you used when you tried Standing Well  should be just fine.
  2. 15 – 20 minutes of time when you won’t be disturbed.

What You Do: Stage 1

  1. Stand as comfortably as you can.
  2. Ask your neck muscles to free up.
  3. Notice the way your feet are in contact with the ground.
  4. Gently ask for them to release, and
  5. Think up off them.

You might notice an easing up in them, and as a result, in your standing.

Stage 2 

Since you’re standing, you’re paying attention more to your feet and legs. But any activity is done with the whole body, not with bits of you.

Think of

  1. your shoulders releasing and expanding
  2. your arms hanging freely at your side
  3. Your eyes softening.

Even though you may not think it, tension in the eyes contributes to a huge amount of tension in the rest of you. Letting them remain soft and calm really helps to keep you calm and relaxed as well.

How to Use This

You can use these ideas to make your day go better. It’s easy!

How many times do you stand in your day? Just remind yourself of any one of the things we have talked about.

  1. Ask your neck muscles to let go of tension
  2. Be aware of your feet
  3. Think of your feet releasing on to the floor
  4. Think up off the floor.
  5. Ask your shoulders and arms to release
  6. Think of your eyes softening

Even if you only think of a couple of these things two or three times during the day, it will still make a difference to the way you stand, and in time the new way of standing will become more natural to you than the old.

Go on to Walking Well if you’d like to explore further.

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 get a sense of how strongly our thinking influences our muscles.
  •  You can also opt for lessons.  Courses gives you an overview of your options so you can figure out what works for you. You can go to  Individual Group or Online courses if you want to check them out directly.
  • Prefer an introductory lesson straightaway? Contact me to book a lesson.  

Have fun exploring all these ordinary movements that can trigger extraordinary changes in you! 

It’s not your shoulders that give you trouble, it’s you who give them trouble. (Pedro de Alcantara)