By Omid Bahramzadegan
Learning the Alexander Technique has amazing effects. During the past six sessions, I’ve become more aware of my body. This helps a lot with locating the parts that are tensed. By releasing the tension, my posture improves, and so do my inner feelings. Other senses seem to have been sharpened as well. While eating, I smell and taste the food more than I used to. All in all, it makes life more enjoyable and provides new experiences.
It’s very easy to improve posture by using the A.T. Having worked on my posture for 12 years, I have pretty much used all the tips and tricks available online. For most of them, you are required to control your posture, which leads to other problems. Furthermore, most of them aren’t sustainable. But during the past week, I have had my best and most comfortable posture without having to control it. Comparing my past and present, I sit, stand, walk, and talk using less energy and find myself not even paying attention to them.
My sixth session was different because is was more complicated and almost daunting. Instead of working on one subject, we worked on enjoying the exhale, the main part of the foot, walking, voice projection, movement of the arms and their relationship with the back, and leaning against the wall. While working on breathing, I couldn’t help myself and started to yawn. In Iranian culture, it is considered rude to yawn when someone is talking to you, because it may indicate that you’re bored. Sharing my embarrassment with Leland, he assured me that easy breathing can be a signal for sleep. I was inundated with all the valuable information and couldn’t focus on any of them. For about an hour after the session, I was just sitting by myself and thinking about the class. But Leland, being a caring and responsible teacher, sent me an email, advising me to just focus on enjoying the exhale and staying back. It helped a lot with the confusion.
Before writing this post, I waited for a day to see how the session would affect me. While working on the exhale, Leland mentioned that we speak on the exhale. I didn’t try to use it, but by just thinking about it, speaking has become somehow easier. The session has also affected my walk. Leland told me to lean against the wall with my feet a few inches in front of me. My back and butt were touching the wall, but not the head. Then he told me to pay attention to my head and feet which were in front of me. As I was walking today, I kept thinking about it and felt so much lighter than ever before, and of course, it seemed that less energy was being used.