In the spring, many people feel more energized and they get back to their exercise routines such as running, walking, working out in the gym or swimming. Many people assume that if we exercise and work out regularly, we stay physically fit and we improve our health and well-being. In many ways, this is true: Exercise helps to control our weight, to decrease cardiovascular diseases such as heart condition and diabetes, to build and maintain healthy bones and joints, to improve our mood and to boost our energy. No doubt, regular physical exercise improves our health.
However, many people find it hard to get through an exercise program. Their body feels heavy, they feel stiff after exercising or they get out of breath easily. If we come across problems when exercising, we often think we should just try harder, motivate ourselves a little more, work through some pain… and eventually, the problem will be solved. This way, we set ourselves up for failure, frustration and an unhappy body. And is this really improving our health? …
There are some people that are lucky. They have a natural talent for moving freely. Their body is energetic and balanced. It’s captivating to see these people… they move like most children do – with ease and effortlessness. If you are one of them, congratulations! If you are not – and most people aren’t – please keep reading!
Most of us compromise the free way of moving. We develop poor habits of coordination, starting in early childhood. Without noticing it, we have created movement patterns such as stiffening the neck, tensing the shoulders or performing our activities with too much muscular effort. We bring these habitual patterns to anything we do in life, whether it is standing, walking, sitting, washing the dishes, brushing the teeth or working at a computer.
The faster you move and the more complex the activity, the more your individual movement patterns will impact on you. If we want to see certain results and we become “end-gainers”, for instance, to run a marathon or do our swimming labs in a certain time, then our habits work even more on us. The underlying movement patterns of our activities often create the problems such as breathlessness, stiff joints, or tensed neck and shoulders. If trying harder doesn’t work? How can we improve our sports performance? How can we improve our health better? How can we learn to move more freely?
The Alexander Technique is an effective method that helps you developing more freedom of your movements. Through a process of kinesthetic awareness, you learn how to direct your mind to your body and to “undo” harmful habits. In an Alexander Technique lesson or class, you learn to become more attentive to movement patterns that interfere with good balance. You learn to move in an upwards-flowing manner that allows the head to be poised on the spine and the whole body to be more integrated. Moving in a more coordinated way allows the ribs to move easily adjusting to the rhythms of breath. There will be less pressure on hips and knees, shoulders and neck will be less tensed. The Alexander Technique teaches you to sit without slouching, to walk without feeling heavy, to move through the day with more energy and ease – and to make your sports activities more enjoyable. Feel free to move!