Poise (pwäz), n. v., poised, poising. —n. 1. a state of balance or equilibrium, as from equality or equal distribution of weight; equipoise. 2. dignified, self-confident manner or bearing; composure; self-possession.
This one word delights, as it simultaneously addresses both body and mind. From The Use of the Self, Mr. Alexander writes:
‘I must admit that when I began my investigation, I, in common with most people, conceived of ‘body’ and ‘mind’ as separate parts of the same organism…My practical experiences, however, led me to abandon this point of view and readers of my books will be aware that the technique described in them is based on the opposite conception, namely, that it is impossible to separate ‘mental’ and ‘physical’ processes in any form of human activity.’
But how? How do we recover mind/body integration, lost by so many of us?
Observe. Inhibit. Direct. Repeat.
That’s Mr. Alexander’s ‘Technique,’ or, as Bruce Fertman writes in Teaching By Hand, Learning By Heart, ‘inquiry.’
‘The Alexander Technique is an inquiry into human integration, into what integration is, what restores it, and what disturbs it. It’s a foundational study. Integration underlies everything we do. The more integration we have, the easier it is to do what we’re doing.’
Here’s to recovering poise with body/mind integration—–