I thought I would start a series of short pieces on practical tips for past and present students. So, here are some tips for lying down in the classic “Alexander” semi-supine position. Lying down for just 15-20 minutes a day will go a long way towards lengthening the spine and releasing harmful tensions that may have built up over the day.
- Allow yourself 15 -20 minutes
- Lie with your back on a firm but comfortable surface – ie a carpeted floor or on a yoga mat. Do not lie on your bed or you’ll probably fall asleep.
- Put a couple of paperback books under your head – somewhere between 2 & 3 is usually about right. You are aiming for your head and neck to be in line with your spine so that your head is neither too far pulled back or pitched too far forward.
- Bring your knees close to your chest to allow the back to further release onto the floor and let the legs go back to lying straight. Notice the amount of tension that you used to achieve this. Now do it again and see how little muscular effort you actually need.
- Lastly bring the knees up to the chest for the third time and let your feet fall flat on the floor so that your feet are in line with your sitting bones & your knees are bent.
- Notice your arms. Lift them up and allow your hands to rest gently onto your hip bones or your ribs, wherever feels more comfortable. Again, notice the amount of tension you used to do this and do it again & see how little muscular effort you actually need.