Sunday, June 23, 2013

Sailing the Alexander Technique

I was practicing in a room last night that is new to me.  My guitar sounds different and as I notice this I take in more of the space about me.  A slight release in my spine ensues and I continue to gently scan the wood paneled walls circa 1950's USA as I play.  For the first time since arriving here earlier in the day I notice the two paintings of sail boats, perhaps in a race.

As I see their forward motion & the uprightness of their sails, I shift forward over my sitz bones.  Smiling at the gentle but clear Alexander Technique directions being administered to me by the environment I am in.  As I review pieces of music, I work to keep the directions of forward & up alive within, smiling at the paintings that began this particular piece of AT work.

This morning while practicing in the same room, I notice that the water in the one painting is rough & choppy, yet the boats maintain that dynamic of forward and up.  Much like me navigating the piece I am playing, while the earth was relatively calm beneath me I am in motion. Though sitting in an asymmetric position, both of my arms are extended in different directions with my palms holding my fingers in various positions as the move about the guitar.  Directions remain alive for glimpses of playing, as I come back to them during breaks between what I am practicing.  My awareness spreads gently during these moments of being alive to and with what I am doing.  I notice that I am tired, so I take a break.

On the beach I am once again engulfed by the sheer immensity of the Ocean.  Pondering how wide the Atlantic is, I release my shoulders to approach their width.  Allowing my spine to soar into the delicate floating clouds above me.  Enjoying this snack AT practice as I begin walking in the surf.  Later while swimming and playing in the surf I pause to absorb the Qi of the Ocean, of the Planet, of Life.  Swaying & undulating with the waves, allowing forward & up, wide & free I dive into another wave.  Might one day I navigate music with such freedom and joy.  The aphorism - establish the possible and move gradually to the impossible arrives on time once again.  Finding myself and how I am using myself with the AT directions is one way to establish the possible. I continue to find the technique practical & applicable to any situation.  Examples within life abound to remind me.  What I do with these opportunities to remember or when I intentionally pause to invite these principles into my being continues to invite ease and freedom in.

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