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The coronavirus has meant that much of the world is operating far more online and that includes many Alexander technique teachers. For some of them, online work has been their main source of income. For some, like me, the virus has meant my face to face work has had to stop and I have needed to do some training to grow my online work. Mio Morales and Jennifer Roig-Francoli generously provided this training.
In the process of exploring online work, I have been practicing giving online lessons with a fellow AT teacher. This month’s project emerged out of that.
When I use “screens” I tend to, very slowly, inexorably, get drawn into the screen. I hinge at the hips and move my throat towards the screen, lift my chin, and look down my nose. My shoulders and shoulder blades move backwards and together! It is an old habit. I have shared a very old photo of my Dad and I peering at a computer screen screen of his newly purchased BBC machine (very old computer from the 1980’s) to show you how bad it can get. So I know it’s always there if I don’t engage some other strategy. I also get visual and vestibular migraine (strange gorgeous zig zags before my eyes and feeling dizzy) if I use a screen too much.
This habit is not the only one! There are so many ways to lose sight of “good use” when looking at a screen. My version might be like yours, but it may be very different. My colleague noticed they have a similar tendency but the emphasis for them is on the upper chest moving towards the screen and tightening in the lower back.
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There’s a kind of Spiritual side to it:
the joy of moving my body that I had not noticed before
and thinking ‘that’s quite good’.
This is the 7th interview in a series of interviews I carried out with people who have had Alexander Technique lessons. Here are Seb’s answers to a simple set of questions I asked him about his experiences.
What drew you to the Alexander Technique (AT)?
I found out about the Alexander Technique via an acquaintance and following our discussion decided to try it for migraine. I have now had a year of lessons and think I am just scratching the surface of the technique.
What impact has doing AT had?
On daily activities:
Seb has begun to question and to notice things that he previously had not. Now, he says things to himself like: Why is my face is so tense? Why am I holding my shaver so tight when shaving? I can do it with less effort, I can do it differently.
Instead of standing in a queue for tea at work and distracting myself with thoughts/getting irritated that the queue is so long/looking at mobile, I notice standing. I “play around with it.”
Conference calls at work often got me irritated. I now realise I can sit back and notice other things, not just the irritation about the call but what is around me, so I don’t get sucked in.
I no longer feel, when I wake up in the night, that I have got to get up and read. I used to. Now I can enjoy just laying down and noticing things about laying down.
There is a joy in noticing.
It’s not like a huge “wow” but rather like noticing a robin in the garden.
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