By Travis McKeveny
A well-wrought first blog post, I had thought to myself. Formally sound — free of grammatical errors and awkward constructions. Clearly articulated. Of an appropriate length. Where’s my A, teach?
Except, as Leland was kind enough to remind me after our last lesson, the point of my studying the Alexander Technique is not to write glowing testimonials for him or to appear knowledgeable re: the Technique or the terminology associated with it. It is to unlearn ways of using my body that are unnatural and tension-engendering. If this sounds vague, that’s okay — what I’m learning is not always amenable to concise description, and besides, I’m not an expert, but a beginner.
In other words, unsure, tentative — one who would be wise to surrender to the discomfort inherent in learning a skill. With that in mind, here are some questions that the last couple of lessons have raised — not questions to which I have found an answer.
How can I remember to lead with the top of my head while preparing to stand up from a seated position without tilting my head forward?
How can I learn to leave my neck alone while I’m on the table? And how, if I manage to relax enough to not interfere with my in and out breaths while on the table, can I still be attentive?
How can I walk in a manner not reminiscent of Frankenstein’s Monster, as immortalized by Boris Karloff? I fear that, while trying to put a swing in my step, I appear laughably uncoordinated.
What’s with the tightness in my left hip joint when I lift the left knee in the air while standing on my right leg?
Once I manage, during the work on the table, to breathe in a natural and fluid manner, how might I successfully do the same while singing and playing (again, the thought of circus plate-spinners comes to mind)?
How can I apply what I’ve learned to each everyday movement — e.g., texting, typing, conversing with a friend, etc. Do I have enough native kinesthetic intelligence to even do that?
I write these things in the hope that revealing my lack of certainly will help me to surrender to the learning process — a necessarily disorienting one.