Sitting with Ease

Most of us spend many hours sitting each day. We may not be able to change the amount of time we are sitting, if we have a sedentary job, or if we cannot move as much as we get older… But what we can change is the way we are sitting!

Do you ever put attention to your body as you are sitting at your desk or dinner table? Are you aware of your habits? Do you cross your legs? Do you have your heels off the floor? Do you round your shoulders or jut your head forward? You may not know… and the truth is many people have a lot of those habits.

Habitual movement patterns in our body often interfere with ease and freedom of movement. When you observe young children you see that they move freely without much tension. Over a life time, many people have lost that quality of movement. The Alexander Technique is a method to recover this ease.

You can start to recover this ease right now as you are reading this blog:

Notice your sitting bones on your chair. You may need to scooch to the front of the seat to get a sense of these bones. They are large swellings on the bottom part of the ischium, a part of the pelvis. If you don’t know where they are you can palpate them with your fingers. Are you sitting more on the right one or the left? Shift your weight to the right one, then the left and then try to distribute your weight evenly between the two.

Then place your feet flat on the floor. Notice the heels, the balls and the toes of your feet easing into the floor. Allow the weight to travel down the lower legs through the feet into the floor.

Please note, that these are mental directions. We ask our body to respond to our thinking. No physical activity is needed for this change to happen – only the activity in the mind.

Where are your arms? Well, you may hold a device right now… Or you may hold your arms at your side which is very common. Now allow them to hang on each side of your body without holding them. Be aware of the length of your arms all the way from the shoulder down to your fingertips. Then let the hands be resting on your thighs. Let the weight of your arms travel down into your hands. Let the hands be fully supported by the thighs. Do you notice how your shoulders are dropping?

Notice your breathing for a moment. Just observe the movement of breath in your body as you are inhaling and exhaling. Observing the breath may deepen it. Stay with your breathing just for a little moment.

Now think up along your spine. How far up does the spine go? Your spine ends on the height of your ears. Yes, that’s right that far up! Just for a moment, place your index fingers in front of your ears. Just imagine a line between those two spots. Half way is where we find the head joint, the so-called sub-occipital joint. Just nod your head a little tiny bit, and you have a sense where the head is connected to the spine.

Allowing the head to easily balance on the spine is important for the balance in your whole body. For now, just think of the space above the head, and allow your head to float towards the ceiling line in the room. We call this direction “forward and up” in the Alexander Technique. It is a tricky one… and it is the key in this work.

Are you curious now? – Don’t hesitate to contact us to find out more about this method!