The habitual can be a great comfort. I am a creature of habit and glad of it. Living an ordered life works best for me. However, fresh perception can be a delight, a surprise, an awakening, and often requires a change of habit.
In the practice of the Alexander Technique, we foster change in our habitual use of our Selves, re-activating our kinesthetic sense, which allows us to be in a state of readiness for what might happen next. A creative impulse, perhaps? A turn of phrase that has been elusive in a writing project?
Twyla Tharp, in her 2003 book, The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life, offers a series of exercises for cultivation of our creativity, and I’ll be adding one of them, The Egg,* to an OSU Alexander Technique class. Here’s her description:
‘Egg makes you move. I can’t say enough about the connection between body and mind; when you stimulate your body, your brain comes alive in ways you can’t simulate in a sedentary position.’
Yes! Body/mind Integration. It is this very habit of use we are developing as we learn the Alexander Technique.And then there’s the bonus of vignette’s from Tharp’s life and work. An invigorating read—
*The Egg: Sit on the floor, bring knees to chest, curl head down to knees and make yourself as small as you can. Having become as small as possible, you can only expand. Begin. Move. Occupy a bit more space. See what shapes your body seeks. Observe.
(With thanks to AT student, Michaela, for introducing me to Tharp’s, The Creative Habit.)