The way people move can shine a spotlight on them. From hip hop to ballroom, to ice skating to athletics, to acting to singing, people have and always will become known, recognised and lauded for the trademark way that they ‘use’ their body. Often when we watch someone in a crowd it can be because of this too, while we might be initially be attracted by how they look, it is how they move that decides whether we keep our eyes in their direction.
There are many great though slightly mysterious words for a person who can sustain our gaze, we might say they have ‘ poise’ ‘or ‘grace’ or a noticeable ‘presence’ ‘manner’ or ‘air’. These words are the kind of descriptors that people who act and perform need to be said about them. These are the attributes that create a memorable encounter.
When I tell someone that I am an Alexander Technique teacher, the most common reaction is that people pull themselves into a more upright position and say ‘oh that’s do with posture isn’t it?’ Normally followed by something along the lines of ‘Please don’t judge me, I know mine’s not that great’. Well lets just pause here because while you think I’m judging your body I’m actually busy thinking about how I wish the word posture would go away.
The reason for this is that no sooner the word ‘posture’ is in the air, people feel obliged to ‘pull themselves’ into a shape that they absolutely can’t sustain for longer than 30 seconds. And then they relate this awkward and slightly nasty moment to learning the Alexander Technique. And you can’t really blame them as the word itself means ‘the position in which someone holds their body when standing or sitting’. Which sounds just truly boring.
So please from this point forward let it be known that while The Alexander Technique does teach you about how to carry your body with grace and poise, and in such a way that you can perform at your best, leaving your audience (whether your pals, your office or the Albert Hall) with no doubt as to you and your message, at no point does anyone make you feel or do anything like that awkward moment again. There will be no holding of any kind of physical positions; instead you are busy having a lot more fun, increasing your awareness so that you move better.
The Alexander Technique is about living – turning your body’s natural movement into a source of pleasure, strength and energy. Leaving behind tension, pain and bad habits for a more positive future. In writing this, I found out the other definition of the word posture is ‘a particular approach or attitude’. Now that I can get behind. My Alexander attitude these days tells me that movement should feel good and with that feeling comes the true road to noticeable and natural eye-grabbing posture.