Constructive Use

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UN-constructive use—

Poise and Presence is three years old. With the exception of a hiatus in 2018, weekly posts have been the norm.  Readers appreciate knowing there will be a little something from Poise and Presence on a regular basis, and the routine of getting a post ready each week provides me with an on-going opportunity to practice Constructive Use. Three Alexander Technique principles are required: Awareness, Inhibition, Direction.

First, I cultivate an awareness of my physical self, a kinesthetic sense of what it is like at any given moment to be living in a body. Secondly, having noted I am more than a mind, I practice Inhibition, which requires me to pause, observe a habit of use, and see what might emerge if I just quit doing what I habitually do to write a post, (i.e.—pull legs back and under the chair, applying undue pressure to my toe joints, contract my arms in toward my torso, thereby reducing my width and diminishing breathing capacity.)

Having activated my kinesthetic sense, pausing/stopping to note a habit of use, I can then give my Self what Mr. Alexander termed Directions. His: ‘I allow my head to move forward and up, that my spine may lengthen and my torso widen.’ Mine: ‘long spine,’ or ‘length and width.’

This is Constructive Use of the Self, a way of thinking in activity which benefits our well-being. And when you find yourself with a few unscheduled minutes, I recommend Constructive Rest. It’s the practice of resting thoughtfully, altering our relationship to gravity by lying down in semi-supine, lengthening and widening.

Constructive Use AND Constructive Rest are essential components of an Alexander Technique practice. Take your pick!

2 thoughts on “Constructive Use

  1. Jamie Massa May 14, 2019 / 5:22 pm

    This was interesting information. Alexander Technique has more to it than I thought. Thanks for sharing it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Amanda M. April 11, 2021 / 6:28 pm

      Looking at the way I sit on a bench with no back, like I sat on yesterday for lunch, I noticed myself using Awareness, Inhibition, Direction to correct my spine. This worked for me as a reminder of how to adjust my spine to be better in supporting myself. I would say I do enjoy constructive rest a bit more than constructive use because I love to give my mind and body a break after it has been working so hard to keep me alive and well!

      Liked by 1 person

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