Posture is to a large extent habit.
When you pay more attention to how you do what you do throughout the day, you will naturally start to be more aware of your postural habits that are not serving you.
You know, pushing your head and neck forward toward your computer screen, dropping your head and neck forward and down toward your smartphone, standing with your knees locked and your hips thrust forward…
You may also find that you are astounded at how often you are doing those postural habits you don’t want to be doing.
If you find yourself lamenting how often you catch yourself in these poor postural habits, realize that you get good at what you practice. And you have been practicing those poor postural habits a lot.
No wonder you are so good at doing them!
Why is anyone really good at anything? Because they have practiced! A lot! Being good at something doesn’t just happen.
Practice doesn’t make perfect. Practice makes you good at what you practice.
At the core of the Alexander Technique is the principle of Inhibition. To Inhibit in an Alexander sense simply means to do less of what is not helpful.
Learning to Inhibit is a skill.
In order to get good at any skill, you need opportunities to practice that skill.
When you find that you are doing that poor postural habit for the umpteenth time, instead of beating yourself up, think of it as an opportunity to practice your skill of Inhibition.
Let’s say you catch yourself at your computer (for the umpteenth time!) with your head and neck pushed forward toward the screen.
First, congratulate yourself for your awareness of what you are doing.
Second, reframe this as an opportunity, not a failure.
- An opportunity to acknowledge that you are pushing your head and neck forward. No external force is causing this to happen.
- An opportunity to acknowledge that you do not need to be doing this to yourself.
- An opportunity to practice your skill of Inhibiting the behavior – to do less of it. Allow yourself to come back and up away from your screen and put some space between you and your computer screen.
If you keep practicing this skill of Inhibition at the computer, you may find over time that when you sit down at the computer you remember to Inhibit pushing your neck and head forward before you even do it.
- Remember that you get good at what you practice.
- When you notice yourself doing what you don’t want to be doing, reframe.
- Skip the blame.
- Recognize the opportunity to practice.