We now have a week off in training. I guess it’s supposed to be a spring break. Ha! No sign of spring here in NYC yet except, maybe, for a pot of lovely purple heather that I purchased for my apartment. In fact, there is rumor of another snow storm coming our way soon. Can you believe it? Well, anyway…I have a pause from “guided” getting in and out of a chair, monkey, hands on back of chair, etcetera. I guess it’s a good time as any to reflect on what’s been going on with me. Below is a photo of the chair I use in training. The blue tape signifies that it is a short chair…so…this is my chair. I have been noticing that I have been pulling down, especially when getting up from this chair. I do tend to grip as a balancing mechanism. I suppose it is a good thing that I am noticing this stuff as I never have before.
My trainer has taken to guiding me in and out of the chair very, very slowly. Breaking it down, as it were. This helps a lot! I think it translates into me coming down less when I go into monkey, as well as, of course, getting up from the chair. In the last “hands on” before our break, my self-organization seemed to have improved a bit. I think “spine going up and back lengthening,” “head balancing…” I especially think of the front of my thoracic spine lengthening. My cervical spine is all fused and therefore cannot lengthen much. I feel that my cervical spine is the “achilles heel” part of my spine. So I must work around it, so to speak.
In the week before our break, we have worked on breathing…regular breathing, exhaling on a silent la la la, and breathing out doing whispered ahs. Very fascinating stuff. I get dizzy doing this, as it extends my breathing and I am not used to the different levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide inside of me provoked by this extension. Anyway, I do a whispered ah while smiling a bit…kind of like the “stifled smile” I use for my flute embouchure.
We have finished reading FM’s The Use of the Self, and the Bedford Physical Training College Lecture. We are now starting to read, in tandem, Constructive Conscious Control of the Individual, and Walter Carrington‘s Personally Speaking, which I am finding to be a page turner. During this upcoming week off I must try to get in lots of reading. Lately, we have been watching a DVD of Walter Carrington teaching. I realized when watching him do a whispered ah, that his mouth was way more open than my own when doing so. I need to think of an Italian ah sound. Walter’s explanations were so precise and clear! I must see all of this DVD! Check out Walter’s definition of the Alexander Technique here.
I think that this week-long pause in training will provide a welcomed and refreshing break. I’ll be able to re-set. Onward and upward!