Wednesday, September 2, 2015


Dear Friends,

An accordion mechanism may help us to understand the important characteristics of good postural balance. 

http://www.urbanremainschicago.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/650x/040ec09b1e35df139433887a97daa66f/2/0/20110703-004m.jpg

The characteristics of an accordion mechanism are:

1. Movement is equally distributed at each pantograph linkage.
2. If one joint is locked the entire mechanism gets locked.

The human body is not precisely like an accordion mechanism, yet the message is clear:

1. Movement should be distributed uniformly throughout the body.
2. Locking at any joint is likely to cause unease (which we will be ill equipped to analyse).

Alexander Technique (AT) may be unique in recognising the above fact through emphasis on 'Alexander Monkey' and 'Alexander Semi Supine'. The only weakness could be in not adequately defining the movement of the feet and the head. Could toe to heel movement help to unlock the mechanism? Should head balance be movement as described in http://headbalance.blogspot.com/

If the accordion mechanism is representative of good posture (even say 40% true), it will help us understand why the postural problem is so critical and so difficult to solve.

Putting it another way, if movement is not free over the whole length of the body, locking must be taking place at one or more joints (or group of joints).

My fear is that a lot of stretching exercises that are being done, are done by locking parts of the body and then stretching contiguous parts. Should we do such exercises?

Children in general, to start with, distribute their movement quite uniformly. The challenge for parents and our educational system is how to protect this harmony at least till the age of ten, so that the idea of a healthy mind in a healthy body is not just an empty slogan. 

Regards,
Selvaraj

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 The genius of Alexander
(Posted in a forum, 29 Aug 2015)

Hi List,

It is interesting to note that put on a 'taking exercise scale' AT would score almost zero!

Taking exercise scale:

A..............Y..............................M.....
I........................................................I
o%.................................................100%

A - The Alexander Technique
Y -  Yoga?
M - Modern physical culture?

I have been quite clear in my mind that aligning the musculoskeletal system correctly must precede strengthening it. Yet, my trial and error method has depended on 'getting a feel of STRENGTH and FLEXIBILITY and BALANCE'.

My fear now is, that I could have made a mistake. Once we think in terms of STRENGTH, it is very simple to lock the system in a hundred different ways!! (I have become conscious of the fact that my spine is likely too stiff .... could people adopting the classic yoga pose be holding their spine too stiff?)

I am now keeping strength out of the picture and  focusing just on balance and flexibility (allowing the body to become relatively limp).

A balanced and flexible system will automatically be strong (become strong).

Regards,
Selvaraj
P.S. I have just started reading THE USE OF THE SELF (Reached page 26)

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