I'm amazed that William learned so many useful points about such a difficult subject as how to influence habitual posture with just one with me. I think that the principles of my work go really well with many of Bohm's observations about proprioception. Unfortunately, even though Bohm was in London and there were many Alexander teachers in London, at that time AT teachers didn't talk much about their work.
I've written a very complete encyclopedia type explanation of Alexander Technique - how and why it works, it's history, etc. at wikipedia.org http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Technique
However, all the theories you can read won't tell you much about yourself without some "hands-on" work from an Alexander teacher. If possible, I recommend you join a class. Seeing other people in the act of changing themselves gives you quite a bit more information about how perception
works than a private lesson, IMHO.
The main advantage of AT over other disciplines that say they address the same questions is, aside from the time spent learning, the time to practice it can occur while you're doing anything else...so no special practice hours are required- only extra thought to how you're doing whatever you want to make easier. Also, AT specializes in the strange paradoxes involved when you try changing your posture - because it involves changing perception.
> > ...
> > For some reason I developed habits of slouching since
> > i was very young. People (boyfriend, volunteer lady
> > who comes into the office to help out, etc) always try
> > to poke me in the back or yank on my shoulders thinking
> > that helps, chiding "stand up straight"....yet that is just
> > causing tension i feel. Every since i learned about being
> > aware of the breath a couple years ago I have been more
> > aware of tension and body posture, etc. Now I am in
> > general more aware more of the time than every,
> > constantly relaxing and aligning. It feels like a process -
> > i cant simply stand up straight once and for all it seems.
> Hi K,
> Have you talked to Franis about this posture thing? I also had this tendency of "sloughing", as you call it. She is on this list and I once met her in Woodstock, NY a few years ago. She has this what i call "magic touch". I don't know how she did it but she just touched me at the shoulder and that did it. She may or may not have explained it to me, I don't remember, but somehow I became aware that I was using energy pulling myself down.
> Any attempt to straighten up was trying to overcome the tension that was pulling me down. In effect, this situation amounted to two currents of energy; one pulling me down, and the other trying to straighten up. The two currents just canceled each other and the result is exhaustion. As I said, I don't know how she did it, but she made me feel that this is what I was doing. Her
point was not to try to straighten up but simply to stop pulling yourself down. When you stop pulling yourself down then you automatically relax into an upright posture. No energy is needed to walk upright; on the contrary it feels good and relaxed to walk upright. Pulling yourself down [may have been] an instinctive response to feeling humiliated but you may have forgotten what the humiliation was about. In any case, it [why you have bad posture] is probably no longer relevant...