Lengthening and widening is our innate way of being, no matter what age. If it is not true for you at this time, it is within you, part of you, it is your natural way of functioning and accessible to you always, no matter what age or state of health you are in.

What does that mean ?

Lengthening & widening is a term used in the Alexander Technique and refers to the functioning of your musculature in connection with your skeletal structure and it's reference to gravity.  It is our inborn way of being at home in our body, at ease, moving freely, balanced and stable.  This balance & stability is not dependent on our age, or limited to our condition, but it is dependent on our state of functioning within that condition and age. We sometimes believe that it is a given to be losing balance, freedom of movement, range of movement and flexibility as a natural part of the aging process.  And that exercise can assist us in maintaining more of our functioning, fitness and balance. While that is true, there is an essential distinction that underlies all of it. This distinction, as demonstrated by F.M. Alexander in the discovery of the innate principles that govern human movement & functioning, has profound and important meaning.

Lengthening and widening is not a matter of positive thinking or a new type of exercise.  It is what you are DOING right now and the ESSENTIAL distinctions that are underlying all your movements, and whether or not they are brought to bear on how you are doing what you are doing.  They are the determining factor of the HOW of your movement - namely, how, free, secure, able, at ease, or how insecure, lacking balance, feeling challenged or afraid, not trusting that the knees, legs, hips or you back will support you in your movements, and thusly you move through your day.‍‍‍

How to teach an old dog new tricks

What makes the Alexander Technique different from other forms of mind body awareness training, exercise yoga, massage etc. ?

Being human includes being a creature of habit, and what is often our comfort is also our habit, which is not a bad thing.  Only it can be a limiting factor, a cause and effect juncture of our engagement with what is right in front of us, our ability to freely respond OR, as the case may be, re-act out of a habitual pattern.  These patterns are neither just mind or just body, neither good or bad.  They are always body/mind, the totality of our functioning. What does that have to do with freedom of movement and balance ?

That is precisely where Alexander's Discoveries come in.  The head & neck balance of your whole person is a fundamental factor influencing and determining the quality of your body/mind functioning.  Most often as we stiffen at this fine head & neck balance point, we limit our ability to some extent: the ability to move and respond with ease and conduct our task at hand freely and skillfully.  The more we contract, the more our movement, or thoughts, as well as our ability to be open and present are limited, along with a tendency to exert more effort than necessary, hold on, grasp, try harder or push. Our balance has been compromised by our 'use' (of the musculature/head neck balance).  Over time these patterns become our familiar ways of moving, doing things, being in our body(mind). We become accustomed to them in some ways, and often suffer from their consequences, the cause and effect that is simply at work in our human condition, accumulating and solidifying over time through repetition.

Spaciousness - the ability 'to be lengthening & widening'

What can we do to support ourselves more fully ?  Alexanders principles are the means to a broader, more stable way of being that offer us more choices, which in turn promote greater freedom. These choices are simple in that, they are a very basic and well grounded reality - not a novelty or new fad - namely the freedom of our neck at the base of our skull and how it relates to the whole of our body's movement moment by moment, is our inborn state.  It is where we start as humans in our movement evolution. And this, we can always return to, no matter how stressed, awkward, unable or old we feel.  There is always room for movement and subtle changes to promote gentle openings and over time more spaciousness and balance. The learning of recognizing this reality and taking the steps to cultivate and incorporate this awareness - the freedom of the head & neck relationship in anything we do - into our daily living, is a practice and ongoing discovery. The rewards are numerous and usually far beyond our expectations.  And specifically in terms of movement, they are deeply transformative and will assist you in regaining and deepening your confidence in your ability to stand firmly, move with ease and engage fully in the activities you love.

I hope you find these words useful.  I am always open to deepening a conversation around the questions you might have.

The Art of Ag‍‍‍ing Gracefully

‍‍‍Balance, Stability, Flexibility & Ease of Movement

The Art of maintaining what we have and  skillfully working with Change

is not just dependent on Exercise

but on the Freedom of your Head & Neck Balance

determining the Quality of your overall Coordination & Gravity Support Function


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Loba Chudak

Soulful Balance, Life & Business

Living Poise Coaching‍‍‍


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