“I Am Free to Notice Support From Under Me”

“I am free to notice support from under me”

Say this thought to yourself little and often throughout the day.  Write it, draw it, meditate on it.  Stick a Post It on a mirror.  Set yourself a reminder on your phone.  

Practicing this thought throughout the day will help you notice this sequence and support you to navigate daily life in many ways.

As many of you know, one of Alexander’s major discoveries about us mammals, is that the relationship of 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.

Many people are now working from home, or taking classes and attending meetings on Skype or Zoom and spending much more time in their make-shift home office.  If you are using a laptop there is always a bit of a compromise to how you sit well for the keyboard, or have the screen at a good height.

Here are some practical suggestions for setting up your desk and chair well and will give you a little advantage.  Here are some ideas to try:

  1. Choose a firm dining chair or upright chair to sit on.
  2. Let it have a flat surface, rather than a padded one.  When your bones know they are supported, the muscles don’t have to try and manufacture this support with tension.
  3. Say to yourself “I am free to notice support from under me” recognise that the ground comes up to meet the chair and support you.
  4. Set the chair directly in front of your screen.  Take a moment to check there isn’t anything getting in the way – an awkward table leg or rucked up rug.  Invest a few minutes getting this working for you now, and your body will thank you later.
  5. Try not to work in bed or on the sofa – these curve your back and you end up with a ‘C’ shaped spine which puts pressure on your lower back and pelvis – and neck!  This is a slow but sure way to injure yourself.
  6. Choose a chair which allows you to have your hips a little higher than your knees.
  7. If you are above average height you could even sit on a book, the old telephone directories were perfect – wide enough and soft-backed.  See if there is anything on your bookshelf similar.
  8. If you are less than average height you may wish to sit near the front of the chair and put the book under your feet to raise the support up to meet the soles of your feet.
  9. Can you get the monitor or screen at roughly eye height?  Again use books or boxes – be creative and see what you already have lying around to make the screen safe and secure and a better height.
  10. Set an alarm for 30 minutes and listen to it, stop when it rings and get up and move about.
  11. Put some music on and dance for a couple of tracks, then get back to work.
  12. Get a drink of water – its especially important when in front of a screen a lot to stay well hydrated – it helps your brain work better too.  And remember, look after your spine whilst you actually drink the water – refer back to Day 5.
  13. Drinking plenty has the added advantage of needing to visit the bathroom more regularly, which will get you up out of the chair and moving.
  14. Move – Our brains and bodies hate being stuck in one position doing one thing repetitively for ages.  Give yourself some variety.  Mix up 10 minutes of gentle weeding, or preparing some veg, or putting a load of washing out on the line.
  15. Your back may not be strong enough to sit in an upright chair with ease for any length of time, so let yourself sit back – with your bottom back into the right angle of the chair and gently rest the whole length of your back onto the chair for a while.
  16. Can you let your wrists be free, not fixed on the table – think about being more like a pianist than a typist.  Pianists have free wrists where the hand and forearm are in one line without kinks.  
  17. Its not so much the position or posture you have, but using the least amount of effort in your muscles of the activity you are doing, that counts.  Any extra effort = tension.  And tension tends to fix and restrict our movements, structures, muscles and fluids.  (Everything!)
  18. Be gentle if you stretch – take it easy, listen to your body’s wisdom and be kind to yourself as you move.


Thank you to those who have written to let me know you are enjoying these and how they are benefitting you.  Even a little bit of thinking can set you up a bit better for the rest of the day.  Even a little bit of stopping, noticing, and redirecting your energy in a more useful way is an improvement.  Don’t aim for perfection, just attend to yourself with kindness.   

Please email me on lucyascham@hotmail.com  if there are any topics you would like me to cover.

Have fun with this.  Take yourself out of automatic, and get thinking consciously and constructively.

“I am free to notice support from under me”

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