Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Moving the Qi With the Alexander Technique

An interesting and good Alexander Technique class with David Jernigan tonight. We chatted for a bit as I have not seen him in a month. Then David did some hands on work with me.  He really connected my hips with my head and I noticed a movement or space beneath my rib cage that was new to me.  A certain spaciousness in my breathing might be an apt description.  He commented on my seated repose after this work and I also noticed the calmness and relaxation that had arrived.  My back was long and wide, my shoulders and my body were somehow better.

David then suggested that we do some AT work while I did Qi Gong. I began showing him my routine and then as I did certain exercises he worked with inviting freedom into my movement as only an AT instructor can.  At first this felt weird, which for me means different.  As we continued this my energy was moving and I was experiencing where I might be partially blocking the energy.  We continued on this way going through three Qi Gong exercises.  When we were done my energy had shifted,  my awareness deepened, and my sense of myself improved.

Arriving home, I picked up my guitar, and noticed my overall generally relaxation.  When I brought my hands to the guitar, my shoulders seemed a bit wider apart, which impacted positively on my right hand positioning.  My arms felt longer and relaxed, and as David had asked me several times this evening, I then asked myself what was my intention for my hands before I moved them to the guitar.  I played trough Livin' the Dream, and then worked on a difficult section of Broken Wing.  My hands relaxed yet assured, my attention with the guitar and the space around me.  My tone was sweet. After 20 minutes of good work I took a break to write this.  Even now sitting here typing there is a ease and length to my use that is different. Now back to the guitar.

Photo by James Landry.


  1. What a beautiful evening of integrating your practices!

  2. Thanks for this clear, practical post. I'm an Alexander Technique teacher in New York City, and I work with a lot of musicians (I'm a jazz vibist myself) They report similar findings as yours: more relaxation, wider shoulders, better tone etc. Have fun studying with David!
    Thanks again,