Had another lesson, some things I picked up.
- I can refuse to stiffen my neck. I’ve been playing with this, but I’ve discovered as soon as I remotely think of freeing my neck, or doing anything Alexander-ish, I immediately and irresistibly tense my neck.
- When the teacher gives you an instruction, immediately think “no I shan’t”. There’s a tendency to tense as soon as a request comes in.
- Sincerely hope my neck doesn’t free. This could be a way to avoid the above.
- The neck goes up and around the head, there’s not a clear-cut different between them. This is contrary to what I’ve always thought, that the balance point between the top vertebra and the skill was very much a dividing line.
- When walking – think “I’ll just check in with my knee for a second” “Maybe I’ll see what my ankle is doing” lightly and unhurriedly
- I stood up much taller in the lesson. Taking up all that space is my birthright
- You can’t go back to where you were and continue the work. You must always start from where you are and work experimentally.
- Treat “wanting to be right” as an old friend; he’s familiar and always there, but no longer rules the roost
- When giving a direction, just because you didn’t feel anything doesn’t mean it was a wrong direction – don’t wait to feel something.
In the days since I’ve still been trying to be aware of my whole body and the surrounding environment. Combining this with trying not to change anything is leading to some interesting results.
Trying not to change anything means I’m moving more – I’m not immediately pouncing on any movement and trying to prevent it. This means I ‘follow through’ with some habitual actions I was trying to inhibit. This makes it much clearer what I’m actually doing. But there are a hell of a lot of things I’m habitually doing! There’s also the risk here of then expecting, and causing, movement which might not otherwise be there.
I’ve also been playing with the direction of ‘let the head move forward and up’ and changing this from a forward rotation of the skull to a forward translation which is reducing my tendency to pull my chin in towards my neck. But still being aware that when the neck frees the neck (and by extension the head) actually translates backwards. Don’t try and let the head move forward, rather just the thought of it moving (or even just radiating energy) forwards is enough.