The lying-down procedure – Step 3/3

Your Alexander teacher will have provided you with the classical directions of the Technique (along the lines of ‘neck to release, head free to go forwards and upwards’ etc., the exact phrasing depends on the teacher). Here inhibition (non-doing) and direction are closely choreographed in the activity of thinking. Every direction has to be preceded by inhibition so that the whole process is one of prevention and non-doing. The expansion and general release of the whole muscular system is first and foremost an undoing, only gradually does it become a subtle toning-up of the muscles, whereby the whole neuro-muscular system is enlivened, alive and alert, and in a state of readiness. Lying down is salutary for practising this thinking (inhibition and direction) which you can then continue as you resume your everyday activities. Ultimately the experiences of lying down inform how you go about daily life.

Many people find this simple (on paper) practice difficult, but with time and practice it becomes easy and flowing.

(Image adapted from Directed Activities by Gerard Grennell (© Mouritz, 2002).)