“I Am Using Myself Well”

“I am using myself well”

‘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 thinking-in-activity 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.
                              

    
Lucy nearing the steep part of the Armthorpe Ascent



“I am using myself well”

Update from yesterday.

Armthorpe Road where I live in Sheffield held a street party, socially distanced of course, with time trials of runners and cyclists going up the steep hill, and younger kids along Bramwith Road which is flat.

I had thought my bike was not available, and Rob Jackson of Revive bike repairs in Crookes, finished it early and happened to return it to me just as the first cyclist started off.  No excuses now.  Hurrah my bike was back, new brakes and cables and tyres all oiled and moving smoothly.  By rebalancing the cables, there was an appropriate amount of tone in the system making for smooth runnings.

I knew my bike needed seeing to.  I was aware of the brakes being a little thin as they needed a good squeeze to get the desired effect.  I hadn’t realised that adjusting the saddle another centimetre up would help my legs extend better and give each stroke of my pedals a little more efficient power.  

When was the last time your had a service?  

So now I had another chance to go up the hill, this time for real, with many many neighbours watching from their front gardens.  There was music playing, and I had requested Shakira’s  “I won’t Give Up, No I won’t give in, til I reach the end, then I’ll start again…” from Zootropollis.  A great track to work with!

At first I put on my sporty top, as it was warm and sunny.  I soon realised watching some of the cyclists whiz up that I might be giving the wrong impression if I wore lycra.  So I went and put on a dress.  This is the way I like to ride.  This the way the ladies ride – hobblety hoy!

I really enjoyed the occasion – people waving and cheering as I went.  I made a 9 badge for my front and put Lucy on my back, so people could cheer for me.  It works wonders to hear your name as you do something challenging and get personal encouragement.

I was riding slowly enough to chat with people – up to a point, then I needed to conserve my energy for riding.

I kept my form all the way.  I kept thinking about using myself well.

I kept wishing for my head to be lengthening away from my pelvis, wishing my pelvis to stay wide and supported on the saddle.  I invited my back to be long and wide, so my breath would have the best chance of moving freely.

Yes I was determined to get to the top, AND I was more keen to do each turn of the pedal well with all of me.

I consciously invited my heels down as my head stayed up.  This helped my legs extend without all the work being on the front of my thighs.  This encouraged my whole body to lengthen rather than scrunch, which gave me inner strength and support.

My bicycle was going like a dream.  Yes, of course, it is hard work going up a hill, or two, or even three.  And the more I work at maintaining my balance the less my body is strained and the easier I can move.

Yesterday, for about 3 hours, families of all shapes and sizes tried the big hill, walking and running and on their scooters with tassels on the handlebars too!  

My legs felt a quite wobbly after the climb, and I tested my new brakes squeakily on the hill down.  

As soon as I got home, my son said, lets go for a bike ride!!  He was too shy to ride in the race.  He wouldn’t have enjoyed all those eyes on him.

So I had a drink of water and off we went for a ride, through the park, valley and up towards Fulwood, past the church, up towards Lodge Moor and back down Graham Road and home.  The bunting was still flying, and the last scooter and parent were going up the hill.

I had forgotten to take my number and name off me!!  I certainly got a few looks as we went on our route.

Just as my bike benefited from its annual servicing, so I benefit each time I give myself conscious thoughts which direct my body towards its most natural and harmonious way of working.  I can sort of rest and work hard at the same time.

If you would like to know how to fine tune yourself – please get in touch.  I’d love to show you my unique system and get you moving more smoothly towards your personal goals.

I don’t yet know where I came in the race, though I’m told I was the most elegant and poised.

Thank you to everyone who sends me emails and messages about these daily emails and how they are inspiring and informing you.  Please keep them coming.

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