Many people come to the Alexander Technique because they have concerns about their posture. Posture means the way we hold our bodies when sitting and standing.
Normally we are not aware of our posture. Sometimes we might notice that our posture is not how we want it to be – by seeing ourselves in the mirror or a photo, getting pain, or noticing that we cannot do the things that we want to with ease. Other people might make comments about our posture and offer advice about how to fix it. Often we try to correct our posture by doing something: pulling our shoulders back or down, stiffening muscles in our abdomen or back to try to make our spines straight, moving our heads around on our necks. Generally these efforts feel like hard work and cannot be maintained. We quickly return to our usual posture once our awareness turns to something else.
Why worry about posture?
If we have a slumped posture when we are working at a computer or looking at our phones, over time our spines will take on that slumped shape, even when we are doing other activities. ‘Bad posture’ can lead to pain, as well as changes in our physical structure which make it hard to look after our spines. Having a slumped spine also impacts on the way our arms and legs can function, leading to other problems like neck pain, RSI, injuries and weakness. Also, many people find that ‘bad posture’ doesn’t look good.
How does the Alexander Technique help with posture?
With the guidance of an Alexander Technique teacher we become more aware of our postural habits – how we normally hold ourselves when sitting, standing and doing other activities. We learn to improve our overall coordination and to become more balanced in our bodies – releasing unnecessary tension and activating muscles which support our spine and limbs to function well. These changes naturally lead to improvements in posture, as well as better overall functioning.
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If you have concerns or questions about your posture, contact our Alexander Technique teachers to find out how we can help.
Photo: Aaron Burden – Unsplash.