Anti Gravity Effect
This is at the heart of the Alexander Technique and really requires you to experience it as it is just like riding a bike – best to get on it and have a go rather than read about it! But I will do my best, here we go …
We have a big weight at the top of our spine called our head which pivots on the first vertebra but its centre of gravity is in front of the pivot point which means it will roll forward providing we let our neck muscles free up. As it rolls forward off the top of our spine it pulls on all the muscles down our back effectively pulling everything up – this is the anti gravity effect.
For it to work we need to let go of our neck muscles so our head rolls forward enough to pull on the muscles down our back, a bit like a see-saw of different weights, we just want it to go on the side of rolling up our spine rather than down.
Where it all goes wrong is that we tighten our neck muscles effectively having to carry all the weight of our head and consequently the rest of our body. So in order to experience the anti gravity effect we need to let go. Go it? Now you can see why you need to experience it rather than read about it! Try freeing your neck and see if you can sit over your centre of gravity – or have a go in standing, or coming into standing as in the picture here.
Once you get the hang of it it can be fun, we need to regenerate the process for it to work throughout the day. This is what you practice in an Alexander Technique lesson.
Letting go in our modern world is not as easy as it sounds, which is why practicing yoga can help with this process. For classes on yoga for runners & walkers click here.
Image supplied with kind permission from Adrian Farrell – Alexander Technique Teacher