Make your rest active and your activity relaxing!
Here’s a reminder or a quick summary of Alexander Technique constructive rest in case you’ve never tried it. Constructive rest is a great way to start the day, to refresh during or after a long day, to organize yourself before you play an instrument or sing, and also to help you get to sleep at night. It’s a delicious bit of self-care you can do for your self every day.
Lie down on the floor (the bed is ok if you have trouble getting to the floor, but a firm surface is best) in a quiet place. You can put a yoga mat or a blanket down if the floor is too hard or cold. Place a couple books under your head to support your head with your spine lengthening. Bend your knees and point them to the ceiling. If you rest for 5 to 15 minutes in this position, your back will begin to lengthen and widen naturally.
You might find yourself relaxing so much that you fall asleep, and it is helpful for allowing yourself much needed rest. But see if you can use this opportunity to be wakeful, paying attention to your self and the ease that slowly spreads through your body and mind. It’s important that your brain receive information about being safe and easeful so it can stop being alert to danger and inducing sensations of pain.
This is the ideal position to practice the Alexander “directions” and “non-doing” that you learned in class. Here you can let go of unnecessary tension and let your mind-body self quiet. Give your self the opportunity to stop doing activity so that you don’t continue to carry your activity around with you. You’ll find yourself more at ease, more aligned, more present and more connected.
If you find being on your back difficult, it’s possible to practice awareness of your self as you rest in a sitting position, too. I think the important thing is to give yourself time to stop, be with your self and be aware of your body.
Developing this awareness of your self gives you the possibility of choice and change. Choice in how to respond to different situations you find yourself in – with tension or with equilibrium.
If you’d like to learn more about how you can be upright and move more easily, overcome pain and reduce tension, stiffness and stress, write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a class!
Wishing you lightness and vitality!
p.s. If you’d like to share this article with someone you think might be interested, please use the link below.