Whatever you play
Play can be a serious matter. If you are a professional musician or sportsperson, you literally depend upon playing your best. But even if you are a devoted amateur, your instrument or sport means a lot to you, and you want to do it well. Pressure to perform, even if you yourself are the source of that pressure, can negatively impact motor coordination and breathing. Which can spoil your performance. AT can help.
"Just do it" is really bad advice
Acting, without thinking first, can have bad consequences, from fumbles to actual injury. If you have a clear strategy for approaching activity with poise, you can think clearly and act without hesitation - that's the approach AT provides. AT can improve your artistry or up your game. And it can help you do this without pain. Because with AT, you will think about it, decide on the best way to do it, then do it while continuing to think about it. And you'll do it better.
Alexander Technique and better performance
Sports or performance injuries bring many people to AT. The Technique was invented by a "player." F.M. Alexander, a Victorian-era actor, was driven to discover what was causing him to become hoarse and breathless on stage. Doctors couldn't help.
From observing himself intently for months, Alexander learned that whenever he went to speak, he was doing certain things that stopped him. Pulling his head back and down. Pulling his chest up and stiffening his back. Then, when he saw what he was doing, he did the truly hard part. He found a way to change his habits.
Alexander's discovery brought him acclaim, as well as clients, from among the the great singers and actors of his time. The medical community soon followed.
Alexander had closed the loop between pressure to perform and the tension it provokes. And he'd found a way to deter that tension. And choose freedom.
Today, instrumentalists and sportspeople, who want to develop their best motor coordination, seek out AT. They find their AT skills improve their balance, breathing and agility. And, most importantly, AT helps them to recover from performance-related injuries, and avoid future injury.
The things we do for love
What about the hobbies and domestic tasks you care about? Your favorite occupation may be cooking a superb meal at home. But if your back is aching or your hands are stiff, food preparation can be a drag. AT can help. Making your home beautiful may give you satisfaction. But what if your usual chores or do-it-yourself projects feel like they're doing you in? AT may make all the difference.
Or perhaps the morning run or gym routine that keeps you fit and upbeat is beginning to have unpleasant effects on your joints. AT could be the answer. The simple things that give us pride and pleasure deserve our best efforts. But they shouldn't leave us feeling wrecked. That's where AT comes in.
Do and feel your best
The bottom line is that serious play should be challenging, but not self-destructive.
What's the solution? You want to excel. And just giving up the hurtful activity isn’t an acceptable option. You love it. It's a way of bonding to people you love, colleagues, team mates or family members. Or, if you play professionally, essential to making your living.
Feeling that you must put up with pain to keep doing the thing you love can add emotional stress to your physical discomfort.
Whatever you love to do, Alexander Technique can offer strategic alternatives for doing it better.