I am aware that I am telling people to slow down, stop, calm down and to give themselves time a lot. That’s because we tense up too much in order to do normals tasks. We tense up because we get into habits and those habits form beliefs. I’m not talking about the religious type, but belief in contracted muscle. Or rather, overly contracted muscle. Giving yourself time is a rather excellent way to prevent or at least engage with this tightening up.
Bearing that in mind, it’s also important to consider timing. If you break the timing of something then you really will end up in a lot of trouble. You can’t just stop when you are crossing a potentially busy road. If you are queuing at a shop and you decide to stop for too long, so as to hamper the momentum of the queue, then you will encourage outrage from your fellow shoppers.
But if you have the time why not take it, if the moment allows you to? Of course you need to stop reacting in habitual ways, but that doesn’t mean it has to take a long time. It’s the recognition of the habit that is so important. Because without the recognition of what is happening nothing will really change. Delaying is a poor substitute for leaving yourself alone, or giving yourself time. When you say to yourself (hint: you don’t have to say it out loud) “pause, stop, no, I give myself time or I decide to leave myself alone” ; if all you did was delay then nothing will really change. But if you observe and wait for the change, for it to take over, then you are on the right path.
Of course these moments of stillness that you are giving yourself is time for you to acknowledge what is going on with yourself physically, mentally and spiritually. It’s not meant as a way for you to repress yourself. To resolutely say no to everything! It’s so you can consider what you are responding to in that moment. Is it making you tighten, is it sending you up, is it calming you down or is it stimulating and exciting you to do something?
So with this time that you give yourself you are exerting a control or power over yourself. You get to choose how you respond to life. Be they mental, physical or spiritual or all of them at the same time. There is no right answer. Sorry if you wanted one, but there isn't any. However, there are more accurate ones and if you don’t take the time to consider your own responses then everything will just happen to you. You will be a victim of your own, or other’s subconscious. Give yourself a moment to think and time to listen to yourself and you can change the habits of a lifetime.
It’s not hard to get a sense of gravity in your body. Very simply it’s the weight you can feel running through your body. Some people have the attitude that gravity is something that we must fight. If you really take that attitude the only thing you are going to fight against is yourself. Gravity or weight is experienced in yourself all the time. There is no moment in life where gravity is not taking effect on how your body works.
Even in your sleep. Astronauts returning from space really do need a great deal of time to recover. The muscles they normally use, to counter balance themselves against the downward force of gravity, are simply not being used. They are forgotten about, they atrophy. When they experience this force again, every part of them is put under a lot of pressure as they try to workout how to do everything again.
Most of the time we experience gravity in our feet if we are standing, or weight in our sitting bones if we are sitting. It’s not very difficult to get that sense of weight in our bodies and take it for granted. Stress makes us aware of gravity. We get relief by taking the weight off our backs. Otherwise we forget to remember.
When our startle pattern becomes exaggerated, although we may not realise it, we are actually fighting gravity. Stress or body misuse can cause this. We have places in our backs where we like to keep that weight, it’s part of how we hold ourselves. And as the other areas in the body compensate for that we learn to cope with the body working that way even though we work against ourselves. If the weight is distributed evenly throughout the body and in particular the spine, a great deal of this pressure can be taken off. It can be taken off anytime you like.
We basically need the head to go upwards and the hips to go down. You might think this is already happening, but this is rarely the case. Our necks are usually pulling on our head. And our butt, belly and leg muscles are squashing the hips. The hips generally need to be about ten times heavier than we think they do! The same is true for just about every joint in the body. Each joint must be released away from the other joint.
So your head and your hips go in opposite directions, shoulders and elbows, elbows and wrists, hips and knees, knees and ankles etc. The more this stretch takes effect the more evenly gravity or weight runs through the body. Your back needs gravity to load the back with more even distribution. This makes the back more efficient and takes the pressure off. This makes you feel lighter and freer to move or more mobile. Its how many people like myself recover from injury.
The funny thing is that we are born with these stretches in the body and for various reasons we interfere with them. So in a way you are not stretching everything out, you’re just letting go of a lot of holding on, tensing and tightening up. The more you do this the more you can use gravity. Our heads can go up to meet gravity.
If you imagine a large cube just light enough for you to balance on your head but heavy enough for you to know its there, like a big hat just hovering there. Now the cube drops on to your head, but instead of just letting your head become heavy you allow the neck to release and think of the top or crown of the head just meeting the cube and the cube bending around the top of your head. Keep your attention on the crown of your head. Just use your attention, don’t throw the head about.
Hi, I'm Edward Fisher and I believe that everyone can have a life free from back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain and many other musculoskeletal pain related conditions. I recovered from slipped discs and sciatica. I spent 10 months being unable to walk. After 3 months of Alexander Technique I was walking again. Now I show others how to overcome their own pain related conditions for themselves.
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