Years ago, in the mid 1970s, I studied a version of the Alexander Technique, mixed in with a bit of the Feldenkrais Method. That led me to improved posture for several decades. Lately, my posture is not as great as it was. I look forward to finding an Alexander Teacher in Toronto and learning to apply the technique properly.
In my teens and early twenties my posture was abysmal. I had the appearance of a young person beaten down by life. I was barely dragging myself around. What I learned through this technique was how to stand tall – both literally and figuratively – without making an effort to do so. Standing tall in an effortful way – pumping up your chest and everything else – isn’t what I’m referring to. Instead, I learned to focus my attention, in a particular way, on what I was doing when sitting, standing, and walking.
F. Matthias Alexander
I didn’t learn the technique properly, as I wasn’t taught the original Alexander Technique as developed by F. Matthias Alexander. However, I learned enough to know that an awareness of the level of tension at the back of one’s neck is a key variable to application of principles connected with the Alexander Technique.
I learned of a teacher, who was experienced in these techniques, from Carol (Cassis) Stewart in the mid 1970s in Toronto. She had been a classmate at Malcolm Campbell High School in Montreal, which we attended in the early 1960s. Carol had found the techniques useful in addressing problems she had encountered playing the piano. She mentioned that many dancers and musicians had benefitted from such technique.
I’m really pleased she shared with me what she had learned. I began taking lessons with the same teacher that had helped her. Learning a version of the Alexander Technique made a huge difference in every aspect of my life – including in the work I’ve done over a period of many decades as a community organizer.
These thoughts came to mind when I read a May 24, 2014 article at Mashable.com that I came across on Twitter.
The article highlights the effects of good usage as compared to button-mashing and the like, when it comes to working with a laptop. The overview caught my attention and held it firmly:
A July 27, 2016 Guardian article is entitled: “One hour of activity needed to offset harmful effects of sitting at a desk: Risk of dying increases among desk-based workers who sit for eight hours and do low amounts of exercise, new research finds.”
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