Exercises You Can Do At Home To Learn Alexander Technique

Many Alexander teachers hate the question, “So can you give me some exercises to do at home to get good Alexander Technique?”

Alexander isn’t so much a set of things that you do as a letting go of needless postures.

Still, there are Alexandrian things you can do at home or in the office or as you drive down the street that will enhance your life.

* When you can, try stopping. Yes, just stop. Think about what you’re doing and then go back to the task without hurrying and without unnecessary body tension.

* Stop telling yourself to hurry. Stop rushing. Stop telling yourself there’s too much to do and not enough time to do it. Instead, tell yourself, “I’m going to do what I can in the time available.” If you refuse to rush, you’ll likely get more done with more quality and less muscle tension.

* Listen for every separate sound around you. As your ears perk up, the rest of you will likely perk up with them. You might find yourself moving up as you let go of the needless ways you hold yourself down.

* See what’s to the corner of your right eye and to your left eye and everything in between. As you notice all before you, you’ll likely start moving up.

* If you keep some awareness of the world around you, the sights and sounds and smells and textures, you’ll be less likely to compress into the task at hand (such as sitting at the computer and writing brilliant blog posts).

* Ask yourself, can I do what I’m doing more easily? With less tension and effort? Can I be more gentle with myself? Can I be a good friend to myself?

* Slowly say the word “Boston” and notice how the second syllable — when fully articulated — sends your jaw down and away. If your teeth are coming together, it’s usually a dysfunction. Most of us carry way too much tension in our jaws. Saying the word “Boston” brings your lower jaw into its physiological rest position (so that it is neither being held or pushed).

* Ask your forehead to release unnecessary tension by thinking of your face widening. Bring your attention to your eyes and see if you can let go of needless muscular holding around your eyes and around your lips. Can you let go of facial and thinking postures and instead be alive to the moment?

* Notice the thought constructs you use that increase your body tension and diminish. Typical ones include “I’ve got to be perfect” or “I’m not good enough.”

* Experiment with spending more time in awareness rather than in thinking.

* Lie down with your head gently supported and your knees up. Alexandrians call this “active rest.” It’s an exercise for letting go of needless tension.

* Read on.

* Ask yourself, what would Luke do?

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