Explore Your Beliefs Through Alexander Technique

I notice that the more I free my neck, the less I think. Instead, I am in the moment. Once I start thinking and reminiscing and believing, my neck and back tighten up. I find it impossible to have a belief without tightening up. Conversely, when I free my neck, all my beliefs disappear and all of my intense emotions soften.

There’s a concept in the Alexander Technique that all beliefs are just unnecessary muscle tension.

Think about something you believe in strongly, say, that capital punishment is immoral. Feel the belief strongly as you sit at your computer reading this blog post. Then slowly stand up and then slowly sit down again and notice how sitting and standing affect the quality of your belief. As you fold and unfold your limbs, does your mind stray from your belief? Does your belief seem less important to you once you have to think about sitting and standing? Does the stimulus of sitting and standing distract you from your belief or lessen the intensity of your belief? Now lean forward and let your head rest in your hands. How does that affect your belief? Take your hands away and roll your torso forward so that it is resting on your knees and your head and shoulders are rolled over your knees. How does this affect your belief?

Now stand up and bring your hands to your head and hold your face. How does this affect your belief? Now bring your hands to your hips and let them rest on your hips. How does this affect your belief? Now try on various customary positions, either sitting or standing or lying down. How do these changes in position affect your belief? How do these changes in position affect your ability to hear opposing beliefs? Are you better able or less able to listen to opposing points of view in different positions. Not only does every belief and every emotion carry with it varying levels of body tension, the amount of tension you hold in your body and the way you arrange your musculature will affect the quality of your thinking and emotions.

Performance is generally hurt by strongly-held beliefs. When you are strongly in your beliefs, you are less open to the present moment. You have increased body tension. Fluid movement through life and the graceful performance of your tasks generally requires releasing most if not all of your beliefs. Thinking creates greater body tension than observing, which in turn creates greater body tension that participating. There are certainly times when we need to think and to observe, but generally speaking, we are better served by participating in life rather than trying to impose our beliefs upon it. Life generally does not go better when we live in a top down world where we are constantly seeking to fit reality into our belief system.

I have many strong beliefs, but throughout the day, I am consciously trying to let go of them when I don’t need them. I like to walk, at times, without holding any beliefs.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
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