I was pretty quiet during my Alexander Technique lesson today.
My teacher asked me what I was thinking.
“I’m thinking about asking my… for a loan,” I said.
“Oh,” she said. “I’d be glum too.”
My teacher worked on my shoulders and back. I was holding my shoulders close in to my body. I was hunched as I dreaded the big ask.
As she helped me widen my back and my shoulders, to lengthen my torso, and to send my head forward (in relation to my neck) and up, I felt my glum mood lift and I started smiling for the first time all day.
I suddenly felt incredible freedom in my back. I felt light and joyous. I hopped around and laughed. I moved in and out of the chair with ease. I was a changed man.
Each emotion is only possible with a particular alignment of the body. Move out of that alignment and you’ll most likely move out of that emotion. For instance, I find that when I am tall and poised, it verges on the impossible for me to feel despair, anger, disgust, contempt or hatred. Instead, I feel tranquil.
In Alexander Technique, we don’t think of emotions causing posture or alignment causing thinking, rather we think of emotions, thinking and musculature constantly affecting each other. How we sit and stand and talk affects how we think and feel. How we feel affects how we think and move. How we think affects how we feel and use ourselves.