We know that thinking anxious thoughts can increase our heart rate and make our palms sweaty. Thinking about sucking a lemon can make us salivate, especially if we have a really clear image of the lemon cut into a wedge, and that moment when we bite into it – try it!
Thoughts have a powerful effect on our physical selves.
People tend to think of Alexander Technique as being about moving differently or changing posture. It is about these, however, the changes are brought about by increasing awareness, noticing and thinking differently rather than doing something differently.
In Alexander Technique, the thinking is known as directing and is the antidote to trying to correct things. It uses that powerful connection between our thinking selves and our physical selves.
The key to directing is having in mind what you want to happen and simultaneously stopping yourself from trying to make that happen. If your neck is tense, you may want the tension to be less. Instead of stretching or moving your head around, directing is thinking what you would like, and sending an internal message to ask for that, i.e. in invitation to your neck to do less.
Sadly, this is not as simple as it sounds, our desire to do, to make things happen, to solve things is strong. Simply thinking an invitation and waiting for it to happen is a challenge. But it is possible and as with all things you have to start somewhere.
Why not notice what is going on in you, have you got some tension somewhere? Be clear about what you want to be different and invite it to happen. You may need to send the invitation a few times. See it as an exploration, what happens if I invite my neck to do less?