Tip: Don’t sit for extended periods of time. Get up and move after every hour of sitting.
To do: Get up and go for a walk. Go outside for twenty minutes and let your arms and legs swing underneath you. Feel your feet rolling on the earth and your head rising up off your feet. Notice the environment you are walking in. FInd beauty in it. Breath deeply. Notice the sensations arising from your body. See if you can notice both simultaneously. Give both your body and mind a stretch.

Alexander Technique (AT) teachers seem to not only live long lives but look sprightly and continue to move with ease into their elder years. I turn 60 this week so I have been thinking about what it means to be old. Many people say to me that I don’t “look” sixty. What does “sixty”, “seventy”, “eighty” look like anyway? What does it mean to be old? Is there a distinction between being a big number of years old and one of the frail elderly?

AT teachers rarely “look their numerical age” when compared with the average population. I am sure that this is not a coincidence. We bring an attitude that is open to change, practice what we preach, and in general are present in the bodies we live in. The Alexander Technique has been a major contributor to my ability to stay active. I know how to judge when I can be vigorous, when to back off, how to interpret a yoga teachers direction in a way that is healthful for my body. I am in touch with my body and like to explore new challenges. The challenges may change as I age but I hope to always be up for a new challenge. I signed up for a “groupon” to zip line for the first time. I ended up going with a group of young adults because none of my friends were interested. Recently, I climbed up a ladder to the peak of our antique ice house to attach a wind vane. It was exhilarating and scary to be up that high laying flat on my stomach pounding in those nails. I had good ladders and spotters and I did it! I tap dance with a performance troupe and garden (which means digging holes, building walls, weeding for hours and hauling wheel barrels filled with soil) for hours at a time. The work I do teaching the Alexander Technique also means that I am on my feet, thinking and demonstrating good use of the body. Bodies are made to move and be used and active.

Learning and applying the Alexander Technique takes paying attention to ourselves and learning about how to be productive but not harsh. We learn to quiet the negative voices inside our heads and replace them with thoughts that organize and support us to move and do things we most want to do in our lives at any age.

Alexander Technique

The Alexander Technique (AT) is a method for getting rid of unwanted postural habits and movement patterns that interfere with smooth performance—not just performance on stage, but also in living our lives. Whether you tend to get a stiff neck when you play the violin or paint a ceiling or look into a microscope, or lower back pain from working long hours at a desk, the Alexander Technique can help you to improve your overall functioning, move with greater ease, and breathe more deeply.


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