As my second year of Alexander Technique teacher training is winding down, I’ve entered a tranquil period…though I am pretty tired. I’m going through another step-up in sensory awareness appreciation, so I am exhausted and often sore…as formerly underused postural support muscles are getting a work out. I am concentrating hard. I am exhilarated! I am feeling better and better. I realize that only those who have gone through this process can fully understand the intense changes I am experiencing. It can be a solitary journey. But I hope that this journal of mine might be able to provide some insights as to what a trainee might experience along the way.
Recently one of my co-trainees decided to take ten days off. Therefore training was for only two of us…and it was so very intense. My trainer guided me through giving chair turns as I worked on my co-trainee. And…when I was working on him on the table I managed to take his head out really really well. He told me that his whole spine was lengthened. This is a big deal for me. I am so pleased with my progress. And I know I will regress at times. It doesn’t matter. It’s the end result that matters.
We are studying anatomy at the moment. One day we looked at the hips. And I was fascinated, thinking again about the fact that I was born with my hip bones totally out of the sockets. If my mother hadn’t insisted that something was wrong with me as she noticed that I was misaligned, I wouldn’t be able to walk today. Many doctors dismissed her worries but she kept insisting, and finally one doctor verified her thoughts by finding out that indeed something was very wrong with me. And so it was that I had to wear a big, black brace for the first two years of my life. I only have one photo of little me in that brace. I’ll have to go find it.
After the class my trainer asked me again about being born with my hips out of the sockets. So I told him the story again, and my co-trainee stayed to listen. You know, the body never forgets the traumas that it has undergone. I have been advised to be gentle to myself. I tend to “forget” my own story. And before I left that class my trainer said to me “well you are doing great.” Shy smile here…it’s kind of wonderful to hear something like this.
After that class I went to Trader Joe’s to stock up and happened to find some red tulips there. I remembered how, when I was five, my mother gave one red tulip to my grandmother to bring back to me in Brooklyn. I had been staying with my grandparents while my mother was in the hospital giving birth to my youngest sister. I remember being thrilled by the beauty of that flower. Since that moment I have always loved red tulips. Needless to say I bought myself a bunch. And once again I realized that everything is intertwined and that the psycho-physical unity is an astounding one.