Leland Vall
Certified Instructor
Alexander Technique in New York City
Manhattan - Downtown and Midtown
Great Neck - Middle Neck Rd
leland@freeyourneck.com
917-239-6313

Alexander
Technique

A Tool For Transformation
Sitting Posture - Alexander Technique

Leland Vall
Certified Instructor
Alexander Technique in New York City
Manhattan - Multiple Locations
Great Neck - Middle Neck Rd
leland@freeyourneck.com
917-239-6313

Alexander
Technique

A Tool For Transformation
Sitting Posture - Alexander Technique

A Troubadour’s Tension, Demystified: Walking the Walk

By Travis McKeveny

You’ve got to learn how to fall
Before you learn to fly
Mama, mama, it ain’t no lie
Before you learn to fly
Learn how to fall
— Paul Simon, “Learn How to Fall”

The connection between the post-title and the above stanza may seem rather tenuous. But I’ve thought about Pauly’s words a number of times since my last Alexander session, and not just because in the midst of the final exercise Leland and I happened to have a brief discussion re: Mr. Simon’s illustrious career. Lemme explain why I found the lyric resonant.

Just as you have to learn how to fall before you learn to fly, so too, during an Alexander session, must you learn to observe yourself walking awkwardly and unnaturally before you can learn to walk naturally and with a minimum of strain. And walking was just what my last lesson centered around.

The lyric enjoins us to a) understand the necessity of failure (or, perhaps, reframing failure as a prerequisite to success) and b) not skip steps. Similarly, Leland advised me to have my forward-moving foot scout out the next step before my body followed and shifted its weight to the stepping leg before bringing the other leg around.

I was quite disoriented and at times embarrassed. How, as a nearly 30-year-old biped, was I failing to even register what he was telling me (that is connecting my cognition to my body-sense)? I felt at sea and hapless.

Part of my problem was that I was waiting to get a sense in muscle memory of what it felt like to step correctly. But my mind was so fixated on that correction that I didn’t allow myself to glean how I was in fact stepping in the first place. Therefore that gap wasn’t to be bridged.

During my next session, I vow to open myself up in mind and body to learn how to watch myself walking as I habitually do, that I might alter that habit via application of the Technique.

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A Troubadour’s Tension, Demystified: Axe of the (Alexandrian) Apostle

1 Comment

  1. Julie Holtzman

    very meaningful…. Trying to shed a cane!
    TY
    Julie

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