Practice tip: Imagine yourself into length

Think upAlexander Technique uses the power of the mind to guide physical change. Where our thought goes, our body tends to follow. You can relax into effortless spinal length by using your imagination. You don’t need to do anything muscularly.

1. Imagine the head delicately nodding yes to clear the space at the back of the neck and lift the crown towards the sky.

2. Imagine the upward direction of the spine and head.

3. Imagine the outward direction of the collarbones. Sometimes it helps to picture a glowing jewel on your sternum, so that the space in the front of the chest expands. Avoid arching the spine or lifting the ribs.

4. Imagine the arms gently spiraling open. This will help free and clear the shoulders.

The directional thought should be so light that it causes no strain. If you try too hard, you will experience tension. When this happens, stop. Take a break to calm and quiet yourself. Then practice with a lighter attitude.

Usually, it takes a teacher’s touch to understand direction on a sensation level. For now, you can imagine your body as free flowing water. Prioritize a sense of upward flow through the central axis of the head and spine.

Body Project Blog: Where Thought is the Active Ingredient.