Sunday, July 17, 2011

Investigating Short Lie Downs

 Even the Sculptures are in the lying Down Game!

At my AT lesson this week David Jernigan, told me that he was working with doing the AT lie down procedure more frequently but for very short durations.  This came about from reading he has done on the work of Philip Pawley.  I've been doing AT lie downs, properly referred to as semi-supine, for over 20 years.  Generally for a period of 10-20 minutes as suggested to me by a variety of AT teachers, not the least of whom is Frank Sheldon.  The reasons to undertake this practice is allow the body to stretch and to sort itself out.  And also to rest tired muscles.  From the little I've read so far of Pawley's work it is the rest aspect that he feels is most important.

Today I choose to rest more than is my nature, and to reflect and have additional time for meditation.  I did two lie downs in the morning part of my practice.  In the afternoon when I picked up my guitar, I decided to begin with a lie down, and then to incorporate Pawley's idea of doing a lie down every ten minutes for just one minute. For the next 50 minutes I did do four short lie downs as part of my practice.  I noticed that this did assist not only my use with the guitar, but that during the third short lie down I found that the middle portion of my back/spine had begun to tighten.  After this tightness released, I practiced for 10 more minutes and then took a longer break.

Returning for 30 more minutes of guitar practice, I again began with a short lie down and incorporated two more during the practice and completed my session with a longer lie down.  There was a sense of a greater freedom and awareness, and my head and neck seemed to find a release.   Of course this last piece of noticing could also be what Alexander referred to as "faulty sensory appreciation."  Yet my ease of use was palpable.  I suspect I'll continue this investigation further.

You can receive a free download of Philip Pawley's article here.

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