A natural breath, freedom in movement and lightness of being are a hair's breadth away.
F.M Alexander (1869 to 1955) made some key discoveries about the human condition. His principles of inhibition and direction put us in touch with our own nature, give us awareness of how we're reacting to the stimuli of life and help prevent us from making things worse.
A good starting point is wishing your neck to be free, but not doing anything.
"I have been practising 'neck free' this morning at work, it would seem to be helping as it’s got to this time without me rubbing my neck once or having to stretch out to relieve tension in my shoulders, I normally get to that stage by about 10 am!" Donna
The aim of Alexander work is to find our flow, to move and breathe more easily, like we did as infants.
Alexander was known as The Breathing Man. In Alexander work we don't separate breathing from overall coordination of the body. But we're always monitoring the breathing. If we're using ourselves well, breathing just happens and keeps on happening, with air moving softly and lightly through the nose. If we're not managing to let it happen, we need to stop gripping our spine, fixing our ribs and, as first generation teacher Walter Carrington described, 'squeezing the life out of ourselves'.
To get back in touch with our own nature, we use conscious thought. We're not learning to get anything right, we're learning to get out of our own way so our body can breathe. But for this to happen we have to learn how to ask for it and allow it.