By Omid Bahramzadegan
Before talking about the session, I’d like to use boxing as an example. In boxing, for a powerful punch to be delivered, the integration of all muscles is needed. Power originates from the ground, travels through the body, and is delivered with the fist. If one muscle or joint works against the flow of the energy, the punch won’t be strong. The same thing happens when you want to sit down or stand up. In the Alexander Technique, I’m getting familiar with the function of my joints and the direction they move. If it is done naturally, you will feel lighter and will move more easily and comfortably.
I think most of us are born with this knowledge about posture and movement, but somehow we misuse our bodies in the modern life and develop harmful habits. I realized this since starting lessons by watching children, and I think they would be perfect models to learn from. However, you need to know what to look for and it is only possible through taking an Alexander Technique class. It is so elusive that most people won’t even notice it.
This session, after watching me sit or stand, Leland would repeat the action and showed me how I made it more difficult for myself to perform the task. He told me to put one hand on the back of my neck, and I felt how my neck muscles tensed up during sitting and standing. It became crystal clear how unnecessarily I pull myself down. Under no circumstance should the spine shorten while bending. Of course it’s a privilege to have professional eyes watch me carefully and point out my mistakes, but by checking my neck, I can practice more on my own.
It’s not quite clear what has change during the past month, but my neck and lower back pain, which were my usual companions, are barely felt. I think it has improved my confidence as well. Posture and confidence positively correlate. When you feel more confident, your posture improves and vice versa. In my opinion, the Alexander Technique works on both simultaneously. It’s very obvious that people notice me more than before. I have developed an insatiable thirst for learning more and find it sort of difficult to wait one week for the next session.