Five Alternatives

Ok, so you read my last blog, and you’re convinced that “trying harder” is not such a good idea.   Brilliant.   But maybe it’s left you wondering “What do I do instead?”

A wonderful question with loads of answers.  Here are my five favourite alternatives:-

1.   Look at what you need to do.
Think it through logically, and step by step.  What is the actual purpose of the task or exercise?  Is it speed, accuracy, force, delicacy?  Which bits of you are best suited to that task?  Fingers are good for precision movements.  The length of your arms is good for reach.  Feet and legs are good for changing position.  The back is good for support.

2.  Check you are doing what you think you are doing.
You’d be amazed at how many people are blissfully unaware of what they are doing.  Lifting their shoulders when they take a step.  Clenching their jaw when they wiggle a finger.  Leaning backwards instead of forwards.  Even when they know better, they do it without realising.

3.  Ask around.
If the answers to the questions generated by 1 & 2 are “I don’t know”, then ask someone who does. Use the resources around you.  Family, friends, neighbours, YouTube, Google, books, and especially your teachers.  Don’t be afraid to sound daft; don’t be shy of learning from every source.

4.  Don’t just blindly repeat – experiment.
Try out an idea.  Analyse the results.  Work out which bit is going wrong.  Come up with a way to improve that bit.  Start the process again.

5.  Pay attention to the relationship of your head to your body.
This is one my students will recognize.  So often, this relationship unlocks a whole series of other relationships within your body.  It allows you to stop getting in your own way.  Pay attention, and keep paying attention, right the way through the movement.

Any one of these alternatives will help you out.  But don’t be niggardly – use them all!  All five of them, together, consistently.  See just how much you improve.

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CNHC and ITM registered Alexander Technique teacher.

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