“I Am Free to Be Balance-ing”

“I am free to be balance-ing”

‘People do not decide their futures, they decide their habits and their habits decide their futures’, said FM Alexander.  

Information and knowledge are useful.  Putting these into action is even more useful.  Committing to doing this action one, three, or ten times a day – then you’ll really start to notice the benefits.

As many of you know, one of Alexander’s major discoveries about us mammals is that the relationship between the head and spine govern the coordination of the rest of us.  Yes – all of us!  Physical, mental, emotional, spiritual – we don’t separate – its all one thing – our Self.


                              

    
Balance-ing on a log on my daily walk
 

“I am free to be balance-ing”

During a recent online lesson I was talking with a client about pain in the back, neck and shoulder regions.

To me, our body speaks in a pain-pleasure language.  So when I’m in pain, it is a message saying to me that I am not working according to my natural design.

I’m talking about niggling back pain, or on-going pains in the neck muscles and sharp pains along the tops of the shoulder area.  Some of these are due to excess tension, and unhelpful beliefs in how our body-mind work.

These kind of pains can be a sign of being out of balance.  Where we may be using our structure and limbs with too much effort, using the wrong sort of muscles for the job.  

  • We have deep postural muscles close to the bones of our spine which help us be upright and to co-ordinate our selves.
  • We have moving muscles more on the skin side of our body which assist in us moving our limbs and for locomotion.

When we confuse the roles of these types of muscles, we can end up not being able to sit on a stool for any length of time as our postural muscles are not used to stabilising us and keeping us balancing.  We have lost tone and fine-tuning.

Or we can try and lift things, or move things with our postural muscles, and recruit too many neighbouring muscles when we only need a more local connection to do the task.

During a lesson I devise ‘games’ and awareness exercises which help us first with a coordination plan, then with a movement plan.  These help us choose where to prioritise our attention so we can retrain our brain, and then reorganise our muscles.

Are you able to sit upright for hours on a stool or does your back tire after a few moments and long for some external support, like the back of a chair?  Retraining of our muscles groups isn[‘t something we ‘do’ during a lesson – no weight lifting here.  Instead we learn to stop over ‘doing’ the unhelpful ways and re-task our brain-muscles to work from the structure to the movement.

If you are looking to BE balanced, or BE still, or BE in the right position – I cannot help you.

My two decades of working with Alexander’s discoveries show me that when we are upright, we are in a constant state of flow and teeny tiny movements.  

We move through the point of balance as we go too far left, and oscillate as we notice this over-steering and redirect ourselves right towards balance – once again passing through the balance point.  Unless we hold ourselves stiff, we cannot be exactly ‘balance-d’.

Let yourself be free to un-grip any ideas (especially unconscious ones!) of being fixed, right or held.  Allow yourself to permit the micro-movements of breath to move through you.  Allow yourself, if you will, to refrain from trying to do the ‘right’ thing.

Learning to trust your body’s natural wisdom is part of this process.

Take the brakes off your head-neck joint with a gentle wish, and let yourself be balance-ing.


Habits can be changed, and first we start with changing our thinking.  First through education and understanding, then through a guided practice to a better overall systemic thinking, then practising the principles, not the movements.

Written by Lucy Ascham, Body & Soul Energy Expert

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What My Clients Say

“No pain in the night, no pain when I got up, no pain when I went for a run and no pain now! It’s much more than I expected, thank you! "

Steve

"It is as though I have been gifted an entirely new lens through which to view human behaviour, and it is a lens of compassion and empathy like no other. Due to this, I have been able to come to terms with the way my family operates, which has proven to be a great relief. I would definitely recommend working with Lucy. She held such a safe space for me and my vulnerability with great compassion and authenticity."

Elena

"Using these techniques has helped me reduce the day-to-day tension I’ve developed over a lifetime of anxious habits and hypersensitivity. It’s been amazing to re-learn how my body works, and how to swap out the survival mechanisms that got me so far, for habits more in keeping with how my body is happier to work."

Alex Booer

“I’ve been doing the Alexander Technique with Lucy over the past few months and my posture has improved enormously. I have a greater awareness of how my body functions and can recognise the signs of when I’m falling into bad habits."

Paul Tolton, Actor

"I feel present. Nice to feel here, not racing ahead. I have a more measured, calm approach. I’m less reactive and am learning to look after myself and choose my responses.”

Rosie

"I had a traumatic accident a few years ago. After you ‘wriggled’ my head it felt weird – and really good. I could walk evenly for the first time in years!! I’m making friends with my body.”

Zoe, Singer

"I have been happily surprised and have learned a lot about how my muscles and spine behave when I let them. I rapidly realised that AT is not in the least pseudoscience, rather it teaches one to be aware of how the body is holding itself."

Julian Davis, Retired Professor of Medicine & Pianist

"I've just had two enjoyable and useful sessions with Lucy on Zoom. I had been doubtful about how it would work but I was pleased with how it went. Of course, nothing is as good as face-to-face but we are where we are and this was great and has helped me to progress as I had hoped. Thank you. Looking forward to the next ones!"

Bev

"Lucy's sessions are amazing. Her unique blend of skills helped me have good posture without effort. Before this, I had seen many physiotherapists and osteopaths, but the pain kept coming back within a few weeks. Even after my first session with Lucy, the difference was so clear that my friends commented on it. After several months, the effects are being maintained with her support."

Julia