The traditional five senses, which we all study in 3rd or 4th grade Health Science classes consist of sight, hearing, smell, touch, and taste. What is missing from this list is the internal sense of our body’s dimensions, position, and movement—kinesthesia.
This 6th sense has been suppressed in western cultures, which is where we find ourselves living. Without reliable kinesthesia, we are unable to perceive potential poor use of the Self, or enjoy the sensory delights of good use.
Do this simple sequence to explore the kinesthetic sense:
- Close your eyes. Raise your right arm above your head.
- Move your arm to the right and to the left. Wiggle your fingers.
Note that you could tell where your hand was in relation to your body. You knew where it was moving without looking at it. This internal sense is kinesthesia. Receptors on the muscles and joints report your hand to you.
In the study of the Alexander Technique, you are re-educating your kinesthetic sense, and inviting its participation in your daily life and in your artistic endeavors. Mr. A. was fond of saying that we come to the Technique with ‘Debauched Kinesthesia,’ meaning our felt sense of self is faulty, mostly from lack of use. And so we enlarge our kinesthetic awareness in service to optimal Use of the Self.
Here’s to a well-lived day, fully resident in the body, and receiving the world from all six of our senses—–