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Contents:


  1. Books by Ethan Kind
  2. By Robert Rickover
  3. Body Learning: The Alexander Technique by Robert Rickover on Apple Podcasts
  4. Body Learning: The Alexander Technique

Maria Furriol, an Alexander Technique teacher in Buenos Aires, Argentina, talks with Robert Rickover about ways in which The Alexander Technique can help you exercise more effectively and improve your general health. Clean Living with Ease at the Center of the Universe. Jennifer Roig-Francoli, an Alexander Technique teacher in Cincinnati, Ohio talks with Robert Rickover about a process that she has been using - "Center of the Universe" - that has helped her students in very simple and practical ways and whic Clean Lean In to the Alexander Technique.

Robert Rickover, an Alexander Technique teacher in Lincoln, Nebraska and Toronto Canada, talks with Imogen Ragone about ways we can effectively utilize the external forces of nature that operate on us - gravity, support, and atmospheric pressure - usin. Robert Rickover, an Alexander Technique teacher in Lincoln, Nebraska and Toronto Canada, talks with Imogen Ragone about the way we are supported by whatever surface we are on at the moment - and about the upward force exerted by the surface which opera.

Robert Rickover, an Alexander Technique teacher in Lincoln, Nebraska and Toronto Canada, talks with Imogen Ragone about the ways the gravitational force affects our posture, our movement, and our breathing, and how an understanding of those effects rel. Robert Rickover, an Alexander Technique teacher in Lincoln, Nebraska and Toronto Canada, talks with Imogen Ragone about the history of gravity, and about what we know, and do not know about it, and how it compares with the other fundamental forces of. Emily Jeffers, an Alexander Technique teacher and Chakra Therapist in London, England, talks with Robert Rickover about the ways in which these two methods can complement each other.

This podcast is primarily for Alexander Technique teachers and students, although others may find it useful. Ariel Weiss, an Alexander Technique teacher in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, speaks with Imogen Ragone about her approach to teaching a first. Rachel Bernsen, an Alexander Technique teacher in New Haven, Connecticut and Rye, New York, talks with Robert Rickover about how Technique can help you get the benefits of stretching without working against yourself by creating excess tension in..

Mastaneh Nazarian, an Alexander Technique teacher in Melbourne, Australia provides a guided talk-through of this useful process. Tommy Thompson, an Alexander Technique teacher in Cambridge, Massachusetts, speaks with Imogen Ragone about his approach to teaching a first. Clean How to imrove your overall coordination by using your arms and hands more efficiently. Robert Rickover, an Alexander Technique teacher in Lincoln, Nebraska and Toronto, Canada, talks with Imogen Ragone about a simple way you can use your arms and hands in a manner that promotes an overal improvement in your coordination.

Clean Alexander Technique for people with low energy or muscle pain. Clean Marjorie Barstow's Teaching - 8. Served with a Twist. John Macy, an Alexander Technique teacher, physical therapist and Certified Pilates Trainer in Omaha, Nebraska, talks with Robert Rickover about the implications of the asymmetrical pulls exerted on us by our viscera and what we can prevent them fr..

This podcast is primarily for Alexander Technique teachers and students Mastaneh Nazarian, an Alexander Technique teacher in Melbourne, Australia talks with Robert Rickover about how our uncounscious attlitudes can be offputting to our students.. Clean The teaching of Frank Pierce Jones. This interview is primarily for Alexander Technique teachers and students. Clean Alexander Technique jargon This podcast is primarily for Alexander Technique teachers and students Mastaneh Nazarian, an Alexander Technique teacher in Melbourne, Australia talks with Robert Rickover about some of the terminology used by Alexander Technique teachers.

Clean Using Skype to help to help people with little or no in-person access to an Alexander Technique teacher. Clean Let's raise the roof - lifting the soft palate. This podcast is primarily for Alexander Technique students and teachers. Richard Brennan, an Alexander Technique teacher in Galway, Ireland, and a driving force behind the School Chair's Campaign in Europe, talks with Robert Rickover about the reasons commonly-used backward sloping chairs are so harmufl to school children a.

Clean Crawling for grown-ups. Clean Mind, Movement and Music: Sitting and Standing as the Musician's First Technique. Evangeline Benedetti, a longtime cellist with the New York Philharmonic and teacher of the Alexander Technique in New York City, talks with Robert Rickover about the importance for musicians of learning how to sit and stand well.

Clean Six sided shape: Directing your arms and fingers. Clean Flexion without tears: Monkey with your hands on the wall. Mark Josefsberg, an Alexander Technique teacher in New York City, on the general topic of financial support for his websites. Andrea Dow of Teach Piano Today talks with Robert Rickover, an Alexander Technique teacher in Lincoln, Nebraska and Toronto, Canada about ways in which the Technique can help piano students play with greater ease and less harmful tensi Clean Power Poses and the Alexander Technique.

Robert Rickover talks with Imogen Ragone, an Alexander Technique teacher in Wilmington, Delaware, about Power Poses, a powerful concept developed by social psychologist Amy Cuddy, and about how Alexander Technique principles can enhance them. Emily Clark, an Alexander Technique teacher in Portland, Oregon, talks with Robert Rickover about ways in which the Technique can help riders relieve pain, ease the effects of head injuries and improve their posture. Clean Personal Account of lessons, and some of the many ways in which the Alexander Technique can be Useful.

Ellen Stafford, an Alexander Technique teache, dancer and choreographer in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania talks with Robert Rickover about ways in which the Alexander Technique and the developmental movement work of Raymond Dart and the Dart Procedures, ca. Cecile Raynor, an Alexander Technique teacher in Boston, Massachusetts, talks with Robert Rickover about the ways in which the Technique can help your yoga practice and reduce the chance of injury. Clean Ergonomics and the Alexander Technique.

Robin Simmons, an Alexander Technique teacher in Zurich and Brig, Switzerland talkswith Robert Rickover about the parallels and differences between the two systems. Clean 30 Second Alexander Technique - 1. The Alexander Technique is often seen as a way of letting go of harmful habits. Catlin Freeman, an Alexander Technique teacher in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, talks with Robert Rickover about ways in which Alexander Technique lessons can be useful for people on the autism spectrum.

Robert Rickover talks with Amy Ward Brimmer, an Alexander Technique teacher in the Philadelphia area, about a remarkable quote on this topic by John Dewey, the American educational reformer, philosopher, and longtime student of F. Caitlin Freeman, an Alexander Technique teacher in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, talks with Robert Rickover about ways in which Alexander Technique teachrs can best work with stu.

Ellen Stafford, an Alexander Technique teacher in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania talks with Robert Rickover about developmental movement, the work of Raymond Dart, and the history of the Dart Procedures, and the connections between them and Alexander Techniq. Nancy Romita, an Alexander Technique teacher in Baltimore, Maryland, talks with Robert Rickover about Functional Awareness, a somatic model she has developed, which incorporates principles of the Alexander Technique and experiential anatomy.

Mastaneh Nazarian, an Alexander Technique teacher in Melbourne, Australia talks with Robert Rickover about five principles of "In-Tune Parenting" she developed and uses, based on the principles of the Alexander Technique. Evangeline Benedetti, a cellist and teacher of the Alexander Technique in New York City, talks with Robert Rickover about how she discovered the Technique and how it has influenced her playing. Clean Working with Seniors.

This podcast is primarily for Alexander Technique teachers and students Alexander Technique teacher Mary Derbyshire talks with Robert Rickover about how she works with seniors. Mary lives in Little Compton - not far from Mastaneh Nazarian, an Alexander Technique teacher in Melbourne, Australia talks with Robert Rickover about the role the Alexander Technique in helping with childbirth and parenting. This podcast is primarily for Alexander Technique teachers and students Mark Josefsberg, an Alexander Technique teacher in New York City, talks with Robert Rickover about one reason Alexander teachers are not always as popular as we might be.

This podcast is primarily for Alexander Technique teachers and students Mark Josefsberg, an Alexander Technique teacher in New York City, talks with Robert Rickover about some important considerations Alexander teachers should consider before embardi. Dan Cayer, an Alexander Technique teacher in New York City, talks with Robert Rickover about his own experience with chronic pain and how the Techniquie can help those who suffer from it.

Clean The Actor's Secret: The Alexander Technique and how we can all Benefit from It. Betsy Polatin, an Alexander Technique teacher in the Boston area talks about her new book, The Actor's Secret, and about her work with actors and other performers and with students who are not performers. Teaching the Alexander Technique to Orchestra Musicians. This podcast is primarily for Alexander Technique teachers and students Alexander Technique teacher and musician Evangeline Benedetti talks with Robert Rickover about the unique challenges faced by orchestral musicians that Alexander teachers wou..

Mastaneh Nazarian, an Alexander Technique teacher in Melbourne, Australia talks with Robert Rickover about the role the Alexander Technique in helping adults learn a new skill. John Macy, an Alexander Technique teacher and physical therapist in Omaha, Nebreaska, talks with Robert Rickover about his work with horses, using Alexander Technique teaching skills.

Clean Was ist Psychotherapie? Der Vorteil, in beiden Bereichen geschult zu sein, erlaubt ihr, Mastaneh Nazarian, an Alexander Technique teacher in Melbourne, Australia talks with Robert Rickover about some interesting parallels between the process F. Dan Cayer, an Alexander Technique teacher in New York City, talks with Robert Rickover about the ways he uses the Alexander Technique to help his students overcome fear of water and limitations in their swimming ability.

Mastaneh Nazarian, an Alexander Technique teacher in Melbourne, Australia talks with Robert Rickover about the role the Alexander Technique in helping people with anxiety disorders release the physical tensions that are a part of this condition. Monika Gross, an Alexander Technique teacher in Asheville, North Carolina, talks with Robert Rickover about ways in which Skype can sometimes can actually be more effective that traditional Alexander teaching.

Selhub talks with Robert Rickover about her experience at an Alexander Technique workshop. Robert Rickover talks with Carolyn Nicholls, an Alexander Technique teacher in Brighton, England, talks with Robert Rickover about ways in which the Alexander Technique can help you breathe more easily. Clean What do Alexander Technique teachers do when they teach? Mary Padilla, a teacher in Armonk, New York, talks with Robert Rickover about her study that, in part, was designed to answer the question: Clean Effective ways to use Alexander Technique Directions.

Nancy Romita, an Alexander Technique teacher in Baltimore, Maryland, provides a guided Constructive Rest lesson that will allow you to make the most use of the process. Clean The Simplified Skeleton. Pedro de Alcantara, an Alexander Technique teacher in Paris, France, talks with Robert Rickover about his concept, the "Simplified Skeleton", the basis of what have come to be called "Neutral Directions".

Clean Riders, Horses and the Alexander Technique. Karen Evans, an Alexander Technique teacher near Birmingham, England, talks about her experience of working with horseback riders and their horses. Clean How the Alexander Technique can help cyclists. Joe Searby, an Alexander Technique teacher in Oxfordshire, England, talks about ways in which the Alexander Technique can help cyclists improve their performance and cycle with less strain. Carolyn Nicholls, an Alexander Technique teacher in Brighton, England, talks with Robert Rickover about ways in which the Technique can help people deal effectively with chronic pain.

Clean An interesting new development in Alexander Technique directing - Part 2. Clean The origins and use of Neutral Directions. Mastaneh Nazarian, an Alexander Technique teacher in Melbourne, Australia talks with Robert Rickover about her experiences using "Neutral Directions" which are based o Imogen Ragone, an Alexander Technique teacher in Wilmington, Delaware, talks with Robert Robert Rickover about the usefulness of Alexander Technique freedom directions for teachers and students.

Freedom Directions were developed by Jennifer Roig Franco. Clean Using the web to promote and teach the Alexander Technique. Clean The value of reading all four of F. John Macy, a physical therapist and Alexander Technique teacher in Omaha, Nebraska talks with Robert Rickover about what he learned from re-reading Alexander's books. Clean A new approach to Alexander Technique direction and inhibition. John Macy, a physical therapist and Alexander Technique teacher in Omaha, Nebraska talks with Robert Rickover about an interesting new discovery relating to directing and in.. Melody Schaper, an Alexander Technique teacher, Laban Movement Analyst and Gestalt Practitioner in the Valley Forge area of Pennsylvania talks with Robert Rickover about ways in which the Technique informs her work helping her clients fully embody thei.

Clean Alexander Technique teachers and their approach to thinking and talking about posture. This podcast is primarily for Alexander Technique teachers and students Mark Josefsberg, an Alexander Technique teacher in New York City, talks with Robert Rickover about Alexander Technique teachers' approach to posture, and how it impacts the lik. Clean Imagining an alternate reality for the life and times of F.

This podcast is primarily for Alexander Technique teachers and students Mark Josefsberg, an Alexander Technique teacher in New York City, talks with Robert Rickover about what Alexander's work might look like if Alexander had been born in inst. Clean How important are a teacher's hands for effective Alexander Technique teaching? This podcast is primarily for Alexander Technique teachers and students Mark Josefsberg, an Alexander Technique teacher in New York City, talks with Robert Rickover about whether a teacher's hands are crucial for teaching the Alexander Technique.

Clean A student talks about her experiences learning the Alexander Technique through Skype coaching sessions. Clean An interesting new development in Alexander Technique directing. Clean The Alexander Technique and stress reduction. Carolyn Nicholls, an Alexander Technique teacher in Brighton, England, talks about ways in which the Technique can help people deal effectively with stress. Clean A former attorney talks about her experiences as a student of the Alexander Technique. Karen Krueger, now an Alexander Technique teacher, talks about her experiences taking lessons in Alexander Technique with Robert Rickover.

Karen was a partner in a large New York City law firm and new teaches in mid-town Manhattan. Clean Conscious Eating and the Alexander Technique. Clean One teacher's experiences with developing her practice and what other teachers can learn from them. Karen's website, on which y. Clean How the Alexander Technique can help with vision improvement - Part 2. Peter Grunwald, an Alexander Technique and vision improvement teacher in New Zealand, talks with Robert Rickover about his work, and how it is informed by the Alexander Technique, in more detail.

Clean Strategies for effective use of Alexander Technique directions. Clean Alexander Technique teaching and learning traps. Robert Rickover, an Alexander Technique teacher in Lincoln, Nebraska and Toronto, Canada talks with Mark Josefsberg about some common obstacles faced by students and teacher. Clean How the Alexander Technique can help with vision improvement - Part 1. Peter Grunwald, an Alexander Technique and vision improvement teacher in New Zealand, talks with Robert Rickover about his work, and how it is informed by the Alexander Technique.

Clean How the Alexander Technique and Chiropractic can complement each other. Philip Schalow, an Alexander Technique tacher and chiropractor in Rockford, Illinois, talks with Robert Rickover about these two approaches to improved functioning. Clean Surprising new Uses for Alexander Technique negative directions.

Clean How the Alexander Technique can help with pregnancy and childbirth. Clean Marjorie Barstow's Teaching - 7. This podcast is primarily for teachers and students of the Alexander Technique Conversation with Robert Rickover and Jeremy Chance, both students of the late Marjorie Barstow. Clean Effective marketing of your Alexander Technique teaching practice. This podcast is primarily for Alexander Technique teachers and teacher-trainees Jeremy Chance, an Alexander Technique teacher in Japan and Australia, talks with Robert Rickover about his point marketing process for Alexander teachers.

Clean Taking a fresh look at posture with the Alexander Technique. Lindsay Newitter, an Alexander Technique teacher in New York City, talks with Robert Rickover about some common mis-percesptions about posture and how the Technique can help you improve your own posture. Clean Alexander Technique teaching procedure: Clean How the Alexander Technique can help with depression.

Daska Hatton, now an Alexander Technique teacher in London, England, talks with Robert Rickover about her initial experiences with the Technique and how it helped alleviate her depression symptoms. Clean An Alexander Technique student talks about how the Alexander Technique helped her alleviate her long-standing backpain.

Wendy Coblentz talks with Robert Rickover about the many mainstream and alternative healing methods she explored before finding the Alexander Technique. She has written a book about about her experiences. Wendy's Alexander teacher is John Baron, a teac. Kristen Fryer, an Alexander Techique teacher and Fletcher Pilates instructor in Cincinnati, Ohio talks about the similarities and differences between the two methods of self improvement. Philip Schalow, an Alexander Technique teacher and chiropractor in Rockford, Illinois talks with Robert Rickover about chiropractic and what Alexander teachers and students may find useful to understand about it's approach to wellbeing.

Clean How the Alexander Technique can be a useful antidote for boredom. Clean How the Alexander Technique can help you deal with stress. Clean What horses can teach us about balance and coordination.

Books by Ethan Kind

Jo Ann Widner, an Alexander Technique teacher in Richmond, Virginia, talks with Robert Rickover about ways in which horses can be enlisted to teach you how to improve your balance and coordination. Alexander Technique teachers Robert Rickover and Imogen Ragone discuss ways to make your blog posts effective in reaching your target audience - including being usefully listed at AlexanderTechniqueBlogs. Clean A student of talks about her experiences with the Alexander Technique.

Robert teaches in Lincoln, Nebraska and Toront Clean The growing importance of having a mobile version of your Alexander Technique website. This podcast is primarily for Alexander Technique teachers - but is of interest also to anyone with a website Alexander Technique teachers Robert Rickover and Imogen Ragone discuss the options for creating a smart phone version of your website using. Clean How to use the Alexander Technique Constructive Rest position as a laboratory for experimenting with ways to improve your functioning - Part 3.

Clean How to use the Alexander Technique Constructive Rest position as a laboratory for experimenting with ways to improve your functioning - Part 2. Imogen Ragone, an Alexander Technique teacher in Wilmington, Delaware, talks with Robert Rickover about how the constructive rest position an be used as a platform for experimenting with the Clean The teaching of Walter Carrington, and it's role in the development of the Alexander Technique after Alexander's death.

Robert Rickover and John Nicholls talk about their experiences with Walter Carrington and about his influence on the developlment of the Alexander Technique. Clean How to use the Alexander Technique Constructive Rest position as a laboratory for experimenting with ways to improve your functioning - Part 1.

Introductory notes

Clean A professional flutist and singer talks about her experiences with the Alexander Technique. Lindsey Goodman, a professional flutist and singer in Columbus, Ohio talks with Robert Rickover about ways in the Alexander Technique has helped her with her singing career.

Correct Elliptical Form - Workout Training Videos

Clean How the Alexander Technique can help with Parenting. Cecile Raynor, an Alexander Technique teacher in Boston, Massachusetts, talks with Robert Rickover about the ways in which the Technique can help you be a less-stressed, and better, parent. Clean An Alexander Technique teacher talks about her experience using With Gravity while walking on a windy day.

Clean The Alexander Technique approach to achieving good posture. Clean The Alexander Technique and Rolfing. Rebecca Lisak, an Alexander Technique teacher and Certified Advanced Rolfer in Philadelphia talks with Robert Rickover about the relationships she's found between these two methods. Clean How the Alexander Technique can help Photographers.

Jano Cohen, an Alexander Technique teacher in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania talk with Robert Rickover about ways in which the Technique can help a photographer work more effectively and with less tension. Robert Rickover and Carolyn Nicholls talk about their experiences with these two master teachers. Clean How the Alexander Technique can help with recovery from addiction. Becca Ferguson, an Alexander Technique teacher in Urbana, Illinois talks with Robert Rickover about her experience with addiction and ways in which the Alexander Technique can help the recovery process.

Imogen Ragone, an Alexander Technique teacher in Wilmington, Delaware, provides a guided talk-through which you can listen to as you lie down in Constructive Rest. Clean How the Alexander Technique can support your spiritual practice. Joanie Mercer, an Alexander Technique teacher in Austin, Texas, talks with Robert Rickover about the usefulness of the Alexander Technique for people on a spiritual path.

Clean How the Alexander Technique can help special needs Children. Gal Ben-or, an Alexander Technique teacher in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, talks about the usefulness of the Technique for special needs children. Clean The Alexander Technique and Parenting. Sally Kirk, an Alexander Technique teacher and a teacher of the Bates Method of vision re-education, talks with Robert Rickover about these two processes.

Sally works in Bath and Bristol, UK. Diana Rumrill, an Alexander Technique teacher and physical therapist in Washington, DC, talks about this process, and it's usefuness. Clean How the Alexander Technique can help you stand comfortably at work. Thea Tupelo, an Alexander Technique teacher in Charlottesville, Virginia, talks with Robert Rickover about the the dangers of sitting at work, and how the Technique can help you stand with ease while working.

Cecile Raynor, an Alexander Technique teacher in Boston, Massachusetts, talks with Robert Rickover about the ways in which the Technique can help you go through pregancy and childbirth with greater ease and comfort. Clean The Alexander Technique and mindfulness practices. Robert Rickover talks with Cecile Raynor, an Alexander Technique teacher in Boston, Massachusetts, about the ways in which the Technique can support and enhance mindfulness practices. Clean The Alexander Technique and the "stiff necked" people of the Bible.

Robert Rickover, an Alexander Technique teacher in Lincoln, Nebraska and Toronto, Canada, talks with Amy Ward Brimmer about the phrase "stiff necked people" that appears many times in the Bible and how it relates to Alexander Technique teachi Clean Some thoughts about F. Matthias Alexander and Gravity. Clean Some thoughts about Gravity. Margaret Almon, a glass mosaic artist in Lansdale, Pennsylvania, and student of Alexander Technique teacher Ted Hallman, talks about her experience with the Alexander Technique and how it helps her work with less strain and pain.

Clean A woodworker and desginer of woodworking tools talks about the Alexander Technique's influence on how he works. Joel Moskowitz, the owner of Tools for Working Wood in Brooklyn, New York, talks with Robert Rickover about the ways in which his Alexander Technique lessons have helped him with his work and with his approach to the design of woodworking tools. Eileen Troberman, an Alexander Technique teacher in San Diego, California, talks with Robert Rickover about some things for potential students to consider when choosing a traini.

Clean Marjorie Barstow's teaching - 6. This podcast is mainly for Alexander Technique teachers and students. Clean How the Alexander Technique can help performers function at their best. Amira Glaser, an Alexander Technique teacher in New York City, talks about ways in which the Alexander Technique can help performers function at their best. Diana Rumrill, an Alexander Technique teacher in Washington, DC, talks with Robert Rickover about some things for potential students to consider when choosing a training course..

Clean The Sociology of the Alexander Technique. Dr Jen Tarr, the author of Educating with the hands: Cecile Raynor, an Alexander Technique teacher in Boston, Massachusetts, talks about the ways constructive rest can help you release harmful tension. Clean Marjorie Barstow's teaching - 5. Some will explain things constantly, others will concentrate more on giving lots of tips appropriate to gaining release from your particular misuse patterns, and others will tell you little at all and rely on your gaining body awareness and a sense of lightness from manipulation during the lessons, which, they believe, would be enough in itself to lead you on in applying the AT in your everyday life.

Others may bring in concepts that are not generally regarded as basic to the AT, such as the non-physical aspects, the aura , 'energy flow' and chakras. It should be noted, though, that a significant proportion of teachers do present serious distortions of the AT. A common one of these will described later under 'teacher problems'. The best way to choose an AT teacher is undoubtedly by use of energy testing NOT dowsing or channelling! Generally speaking, the very best AT teachers would be no-soul people i. Otherwise, an AT teacher who is in their first incarnation of their particular soul would probably do, but there would be liable to be subtle distortions in their understanding of the AT, which would make it less effective even though they seem to be doing and saying all the 'right' things.

Anyone who has reincarnated more times than just once would almost certainly be teaching a significant distortion of the AT notwithstanding any professional AT teaching qualification , tending to concentrate on following rules and 'getting things right' rather than working on the basis of a flexible deep understanding. Such information about particular AT teachers can be found out by means of very careful and rigorous energy testing. It would be pointless to ask an AT teacher about their incarnational status, for few or indeed virtually none of them would really know what you were on about, and virtually any of them would be liable to hold wildly incorrect beliefs about reincarnation, probably believing that s he is an 'old soul' which actually none of them would be - as far as I can tell, the 'received wisdom' about supposed 'old souls' among healers, psychics and mystics being hopelessly wrong.

There are many people who waste money on going for AT lessons, regarding it as a therapy that is done to them.

By Robert Rickover

In general they get little lasting benefit, and indeed conscientious AT teachers will recognise when this sort of thing is happening and gently ask the particular clients to discontinue their sessions with them. True, the release you get during a lesson with a good teacher can be dramatic and extremely beneficial, but, whether or not the teacher tells you to, you then need to take the improved functioning back into your everyday life, allowing yourself to keep getting in touch with and extending those releases and other improvements in body use that you gained in your lesson.

Part of that process involves committing yourself to taking daily lie-downs, as explained below. If you do this consistently, you will eventually get to the point where you readily allow your state of release and balance to return, no matter where you are - even, for example, while standing in a bus queue. You can become completely self-sufficient, with the AT completely assimilated into your lifestyle so that it no longer seems to be a special technique, but is simply a better and continually improving way of living.

In practice most people would benefit from the occasional 'top-up' lesson after their initial series of perhaps 12 to 20 weekly lessons, just to keep them going in the right direction. Apart from gradually retraining yourself in your body use generally, to carry out all tasks and body movements with a minimum of physical effort and a maximum sense of lightness and balance, it is the lying down as done on the teacher's table or couch that is the most important thing to set time aside for.

Probably you would have to lie down on the floor - preferably on really soft carpet or a firm closed-cell camping mat - for a bed is very unlikely to be sufficiently flat and firm. A really firm couch might do, if long enough. The need is for a flat, firm surface upon which your back can be let down into an undistorted, fully lengthened state.

Get your teacher to advise you as to what would be a suitable thickness of books for you to support your head when lying like this; this depends very much on the individual, and will probably reduce somewhat as you progress - particularly if you have a forwardly hunched or drooping upper back to start with. Once your optimal head height from the floor has stabilized and remains the same quite small distance, you may find it best to use a soft foam pad that raises your head sufficiently having the pad covered with something to keep it clean and free from skin and hair oils.

I myself use such a foam pad, protected simply by a suitably folded old cotton handkerchief. There are arguments for and against different ways of getting down into that lying position. Some people including me normally get down into a sitting position on the floor, with legs out in front, then allow the back to unfurl onto the floor, using the hands to support the head as it approaches the support.

This method of 'going down' is good for building and maintaining strength and a supple co-ordination of the back muscles. On the other hand it can mean that you come to rest with a tensed-up neck. Some people therefore prefer to go down in a gentler way that is more or less a reverse of the preferred method of getting up see below , seeking to give minimum work and tension to the back and neck muscles. Whichever method you use to lie down, your overall aim needs to be to arrive on the floor in as released a state as possible, with maximum length in your spine.

Thus while unfurling backwards onto the floor you need to be imagining your back releasing, lengthening and broadening, so encouraging it to do so. Also, as part of that freeing up, set aside any habitual urge to hold or catch your breath - even for just an instant. Allow yourself to continue breathing as though you were doing absolutely nothing. With your legs loosely straight but moderately apart, wait perhaps for a minute or two, to get in touch with your body in the lying state and allow release to occur as you feel the force of gravity on all the different parts of your body allow each to feel heavy and as if no longer under your control.

Then decide to raise one of your knees, so allowing the foot to come closer - but do not actually do it yet! Think of it and how you will achieve that end with the minimum of effort. If you just went ahead and 'did' it you would once again operate on a habitual level and probably use all manner of muscles and parts of your body that do not need to be involved at all. The only muscles that you would need to use are those to raise the one upper leg; the lower leg should be allowed to hang or drag along limply, for the mere raising of the knee will then cause the foot to be drawn towards you.

Think of the knee being drawn upwards by a levitational force. When the movement occurs with no interference it feels deliciously light and effortless. In practice you would probably find that all sorts of interferences still occur when you actually give your consent for the knee to be raised. For example various movements and passing tensions may occur in the other leg, and your lower back may well tighten. Most likely your neck would tighten too.

Although you need to eliminate these habitual responses, it is important not to allow a sense of failure because at the moment you cannot stop particular interferences. The truth is that you are firmly on the path of improvement, and that is what counts. Therefore simply make a mental note of all the unnecessary muscular involvement that has occurred in spite of your best endeavours, and rejoice in the fact that you are already aware of so many things that are going to get better. By remembering all these interferences, and even noting them down, you will have yardsticks against which to recognise the magnitude of your progress later on.

Having raised one knee, go through a similar procedure with the other leg. Some books suggest you should bring your feet as close as possible to your bottom, but I find it better not to be so bunched up because my leg muscles release more fully when the legs are bent at a slightly easier angle.

Before you attend to any fine adjustment of leg positioning, the next thing you need to attend to is allowing your spine to lengthen as much as it can at this moment. By drawing your legs up you have now made it possible for the whole of your back to lower onto the floor if it is able to release sufficiently yet. To assist this process you need to ease your pelvis forwards i. At this stage you will find that significant lengthening of the spine occurs, unless you happen to be one of the people whose back happens to be already fixed in a straight shape that lies flat against the floor without any change of shape.

In general, until you have some experience, it is best to stick with easing the pelvis forward. Do this with your hands underneath, seeking to minimize any involvement of your shoulders in the movement. I found that, after some nine months' quite concentrated progress, I got additional spine lengthening by following the pelvis adjustment by gently hauling the top of my torso in the other direction, and I still use both methods each time I lie down. Having allowed what spine lengthening is available at this point, you now attend to your legs.

Your legs need to be so positioned that they are delicately balanced, your knees not falling over one way or the other despite not being held up by any muscular tension at all. Ideally you would have arrived at your present position with the legs already beautifully free and balanced and not held upright at all, but in practice you would probably have to make adjustments to get the legs into their respective most balanced positions. Check how free a leg is by very gently pushing it sideways with a finger, one way and then the other. If it really is in a state of freedom and balance, the moment the knee is moved from the point of balance it would start falling over and you would then have to restore it to its balanced position.

The freer your legs are, the more difficult it would seem to find that point of balance where no muscular effort is required to stop your knees falling over; it is nonetheless important to achieve this balanced state and indeed periodically to recheck that you have not started holding the legs in that position. Meanwhile, direct your attention to your neck, the different parts of your back, your shoulders, your chest and breathing, your jaws, face, abdomen and successively each part of each limb, and in fact each other part of your body that happens to come to mind.

In every case you both observe as far as you can what is the state of the part you have focused on, and think of it releasing, softening, letting go, or whatever is the most appropriate form of words or image for you just then - be creative! Attend also to your breathing. See the note on breathing. After, say, your first round of your body, attend again to your lower back. Unless that area is already very free and always settles immediately onto the floor, you can probably now obtain a little further release and lengthening by running your fingers up and down underneath both sides of the lower back - even if there is no obvious free space there.

This is worth repeating at intervals during the lie-down until you are sure that it is initiating no further release.


  • Appendix 1.1: Detailed description of the Alexander technique and lessons.
  • Books by Ethan Kind (Author of Yoga and the Alexander Technique Principles of Good Body Use).
  • The Alexander Technique - An Experience-Based Guide to the Basics?
  • What I Wish I Knew at 18: Life Lessons for the Road Ahead - Student Guide!
  • Seven Variations on Kind, willst du in F Major, WoO 75.

Each time you sense any release, assist the lengthening by easing your pelvis a little forwards or gently hauling your upper torso away from the pelvis. You can encourage still further release, especially of back and shoulders, by a spell of very slow deep breathing. If you are one of those with a back already fixed in a straight shape that hugs the floor, then a more extensive and forceful running of your fingers up and down under your back should gradually encourage release to occur.

Meanwhile ensure that your neck is not getting at all bunched up and that your head moves outward to take up any lengthening in that region. Let me be clear that what we are aiming for really is not a flat back as such but a free and flexible back, lengthened as far as it will go of its own accord through removal of all excess tensions that are habitually shortening it.

The healthy upright human spine has a very slight curvature, so your back in a well released and fully lengthened state will likewise settle into that residual slight curvature when you become upright. That is true even if your back started off fixed in an absolutely straight shape. Remember not to try to make release happen. The need is to simply imagine it occurring with the intent that it be so, and allow that part of your body to take the hint.

On any one occasion you would probably find that noticeable release occurs only in certain parts of your body. Rest assured, that is normal, and whatever little seems to be happening will be paving the way for releases in other parts of your body in due course. In your earliest stages of learning the AT you may not be aware of anything particular happening at all.

That is no cause for concern, for each lie-down is still serving its important purpose in that it is preparing the ground for more tangible releases that will occur later. Books on the AT may give you the impression that you must first of all gain release in the neck before anything else much can happen.

That is highly misleading, even though it no doubt works that way for some people. True, release in the neck is of fundamental importance, but no two people are the same and there is no telling which parts of your body will undergo major release first. In my case, despite considerable neck trouble, which was my initial primary concern, it was my lower back that started really noticeably releasing first, closely followed by upper back and a first stage of release in my shoulders.

Although I quickly learnt better use of my neck, really noticeable release of the tense muscles there did not start occurring till 9 months later. Having said that, though, I would concur with the books in that once you can allow good release in your neck, that is about the first thing you want to check for release and balance when you are returning yourself into a better state. During your lie-down, repeatedly make mental rounds of your body, concentrating on each part, letting yourself become aware of its state and giving it consent to release. Give special attention to those parts where you can feel release occurring, and to parts that you notice have become 'held' again; old habits will keep trying to creep in.

Particularly if you cough or yawn or swallow or speak, or think a tense thought, immediately check the state of your neck again and as necessary direct it to let go of any tightening-up. Once you seem to be getting no further release, remain lying for the allotted time, occasionally checking that nothing is surreptitiously becoming held and tensed up again.

Apart from those little checks, your mind can wander far and wide then, though it is good policy to take your attention away from compulsive worry thoughts. Or you can even doze off. In general keep your eyes open and keep in touch with your surroundings and especially with anything - sounds, light, etc - from outside. By keeping your eyes closed you would limit the usefulness of your releases by making them a cosy experience isolated from the rest of the world. You would also very likely be operating within a pattern of progressively weakening your grounding - very harmful long-term.

Your arms and hands are best placed in a position that is not habitual for you. In nearly all cases the best position is for the hands to be resting lightly somewhere on the upper abdomen, not quite meeting each other. Any tendency for your hands to grip, clench or fidget needs to be set aside. Also beware any sneaky tendency for one or both thumbs to become stuck out, for that can have a major interfering effect on muscular balance in far-removed parts of the body. Check for this quirk particularly if you are speaking. As a general rule, yes, for you need time and space to be undistracted in the attention you give yourself.

However, no complete ban on such communication is necessary, provided you think carefully about what is going on for you. If anyone else is present while you are lying down, feel free to continue conversation, provided that you keep part of your awareness to continue monitoring your state and allowing release, and you do not try to continue talking in your old familiar probably tense manner.

You would need to pay special attention to not allowing habitual neck-tightening head-wagging responses to accompany your talking, and to check for and interrupt any tendency to stick a thumb out or do any other sympathetic tightening up. If you attend well to yourself in this way, disallowing your habitual responses while talking with somebody, you may well initially find it quite difficult to speak.

Your voice will probably seem strange and somewhat lower than you are used to, and absurdly devoid of your habitual expressive variations. Stay with it like that, however, for that is your real voice that you are beginning to reclaim. You can eventually take that new, less tense, mode of speaking into your everyday life. Of course you would learn to modify it with subtle expressive nuances, but these would probably be very different from what you had been accustomed to before. That is not a good idea as a regular thing. It can certainly be very pleasant indeed listening to music that you enjoy while you are lying and maybe feeling beautifully spaced out.

The problem is that listening to music can work a bit like keeping your eyes closed: In any case the aim here is not to get spaced out ungrounded but to cultivate a certain alert awareness. You need to develop strong mental associations between your improved body state and the actual here-and-now if you are to sustain and build upon the gains made while lying down. But best to be flexible and creative about this. I myself do occasionally have music playing while I am lying, though as a matter of policy I never actually put on music specifically for the lie-down, and, apart from the exception mentioned below, I would advise against your doing so.

Body Learning: The Alexander Technique by Robert Rickover on Apple Podcasts

An occasional musical background - perhaps because you just happened to have music playing on the radio anyway - can increase the variety and enjoyment of the experience without significant compromise of the purpose of the lie-downs. However, that is not the end of the story, because it is possible to make important gains sometimes by having your lie-down while listening to music that has a strong emotional effect on you. There are two ways of looking at this. Such music will probably trigger excess tension, particularly in the neck, upper back and shoulders, and therefore it could be considered to be an undesirable hindrance to your release process.

However, you can treat such a musical experience in a positive and extremely constructive way - to use it as a constructive challenge, and concentrate carefully on keeping in a released state those very parts of you that normally tense up while the music plays. While I have not read or heard this point made by anyone else, I am convinced that keeping yourself in such a released state while listening to music that otherwise causes you to tense up would bring about very important gains, not only in the way you listen to music, but also in your improved, more thought-out responses to all manner of everyday situations.

Instead, first decide that you are going to get up in a moment, and, while still giving all your inner directions for release, think about how this is going to happen. The normal best way subject to minor variations is, when you give consent for it to happen, to let your eyes look round towards the side onto which you are about to turn. Let your head gently follow your eyes round, leading the rest of the body and also allowing your legs to gently fall over in that direction, thus assisting your rolling over to that particular side.

Maintaining the freedom of your neck, and maintaining the improved head-neck relationship, continue the rolling-over movement to bring you into a half-kneeling position from which you rise up to standing. Remain standing there at least a moment or two, and allow yourself to get into a good state of balance and poise. Repeatedly check the state of release in your neck and state of poise of your head upon it. I have to keep pointing out that while their neck is, say, parallel to the floor, then their gaze should be at the floor, not 'ahead', unless there is something specific they have to look at which is ahead.

It does take real concentration on that alignment to forestall that auto-pilot 'look ahead' response that pulls the head back in relation to the neck. It really is okay to be looking at the floor briefly while you are getting up - even if at that point you do notice that you haven't vacuumed the carpet lately However, my own experience is suggestive that the above is not the whole story and contains a bit of one of the rigid aspects of AT 'received wisdom'.

The point is, there is another healthy way of getting up, which can sometimes be handy if you need to get up very quickly indeed - but it would be very unhelpful unless carried out with all due awareness. I would use this method ONLY if I had gone down by means of a direct 'unfurling' of my back, so that I know that my back is strong enough to handle this particular means of rising without gaining strain or undue stress.

For this method, you pivot your head forwards as far as it will easily go, preferably also initially supporting it in that position by both hands on the back of your head. With the clear intent that you are avoiding as far as possible any tensing of the neck, you then reverse your unfurling motion of going down - so, in a smooth motion you somewhat curl up your back and allow it to straighten again as your torso comes into an upright sitting position. Your hands would have almost immediately come away from the head-supporting position as you started to rise, and would have gone to the floor to support you in the rising of your torso.

Not that quickly, or you are just stepping back into automatic end-gaining and destroying most of the careful letting-go work that you have just been doing. This may feel difficult at first, but the procedure has to be immediately to set aside the impulse to jump up, and to pause just long enough just a few seconds to allow release of suddenly tensed muscles, especially in the neck, and then to direct yourself through your established getting-up procedure.

This can be carried out more quickly than usual, so that the total delay as compared with springing directly forwards off the floor would be no more than about five to ten seconds. By setting aside a habitual response to a startle stimulus you actually make a much more fundamental gain than just the standard gains of a lie-down. That little delay is sure worth making, even if it is a couple of Jehovah's Witnesses at the door or a heavy breathing person of the opposite sex offering double glazing on the phone.

Anything from a very few minutes to 20 minutes or even longer. Books and most teachers urge you to aim for a good 20 minutes each time. Personally, I often get too uncomfortable lying so long on the floor even with my very soft carpet, and my usual main lie-down duration is 15 minutes. However, a quick lie of even three minutes is much better than no lie.

As for how often, within reason the more you do it the more you would gain - with the proviso that you also need to continue your everyday activities, in which to learn to integrate the better and freer modes of functioning. Undoubtedly I was a bit exceptional in my dedication. For the first few months I was taking at least 12 of these lie-downs per day, though some of those were very short.

Body Learning: The Alexander Technique

I did not specifically decide to take that many but scheduled them between my normal daily activities, e. Nowadays this has reduced to normally four: An additional lie-down can be taken - and is recommended - when you become aware of a tension that you cannot simply let go of otherwise, or if you get the recurrence of a back or neck pain for example.

Of course even one lie-down per day will do a lot of good, but it would then be more important to make it more like the normally recommended 20 minutes if you can possibly manage it. Ah, well that is part of your problem, and you do have to tackle it to make good progress. It is very common for people to feel trapped by their everyday routine because it seems to them that they have so much to do.

Note that hideous last word, 'do'. Quite apart from the beneficial physical releases that occur during lying down, a very important effect of the regular lie-downs is that you knock holes in your habit of compulsive routine; you are starting to take charge of your life and say 'Hey, wait a minute, what is all the rush about? I'm taking nn minutes now for myself, and the world can wait for me for a change! The very fact of scheduling chunks of time just for yourself is the beginning of a glorious un-doing. You are then beginning to show true respect towards yourself, and are beginning to exert the wonderful force of your reasoning power over the oppressive force of habitual feelings and routine.

Yes, in an important sense the AT could be said to be subversive - deliciously so! That is no worthwhile 'reason' at all. If your time is so committed that it apparently leaves you no time for a lie-down most days, then part of your un-doing process needs to be to cut down on that excessive commitment. If you do not, the latter may well kill you - reason enough for some pretty radical rethinking of what you are doing with your life.

In fact you would achieve more - not less - that was worthwhile through taking whatever time you required to enable you to function better. If you are working silly long hours for an employer, for example, stop saying you can't change anything and instead consider actually what action you will take to improve your life, even if it may involve a decision to tell the employer that in future you will only work more sensible hours, or you even give up the particular job altogether and choose to work for an employer who does respect your needs for a sensibly healthy life.

The world does not depend on your running around compulsively like a scalded cat, and there is nothing virtuous in doing so, never mind what many an advocate of the so-called ' Christian work ethic ' will say. Once you have scheduled them around your activities, then treat them as some sort of fixture in their own right, to stop them getting crowded out by your old habitual routine. If you are out at work all day and genuinely have no lie-down opportunity at work, take a lie-down as soon as you arrive home. Perhaps another one after your evening meal, a shortie before going to bed, and another before setting out to work.

The most important of those would be the one immediately you arrive home. Absurd when you stop to think about it, but nonetheless it is a very common excuse that people make. The feeling , of course is very real, but feelings are not a good guide as to what is reality. If you allow upsets or exhausted, drained feelings to stop you taking lie-downs or indeed attending lessons you would get nowhere fast. It is true that you may seem too preoccupied to pay proper attention to yourself, but it is important still to take your lie-downs and allow as much release as you can at that point - even if you find yourself dozing off when you are lying there.

As with the pattern of feeling to be in too much of a hurry, the mere fact of taking the lie-downs will be knocking holes in the habitual tendency to be driven totally by your hurt or otherwise tense feelings. Also keep in mind the wonderful reassurance that however bad the upset feelings are at the moment, your continuing to apply the AT will make you less and less vulnerable to upsets or feelings of exhaustion - and as you appear more and more self-confident to other people they will become less and less inclined to try upsetting or stressful things upon you in the first place.

No, it is not like that. Because of the interlocking nature of our tensions and other misuses, only so much can be let go of at a time. As we progress with the AT, we find ourselves going through phases of major release in some particular part of the body, followed by possibly a long spell of nothing very obvious happening there while major release occurs in various other parts.

It is often said that tension has been laid on - and is removed - in progressive layers like the layers of an onion. Another comparison is with a huge tangle of string. At any one position you can undo only so much at a time, and then you have to undo other parts before returning to that particular bit, and so on. It is a lifelong process. Also, a very important aspect of the purpose or benefits of taking the lie-downs in an ongoing daily fashion is that they are repeatedly serving to bring you back to your 'home position' of 'dynamic balanced rest', in which you can release tensions and distortions that you had been accumulating since your last lie-down.

Thus, if you discontinue your ongoing daily lie-downs you would almost certainly be steadily taking yourself 'downhill' in your overall condition, because you would be allowing tensions and distortions to be progressively accumulating again in your system. So, just suppose you really had cleared all your tensions and distortions accumulated from earlier times, even then you would still need to be having your lie-downs albeit shorter as part of maintaining yourself in good condition and not going accumulating problems again.

Pay especial attention to your sitting - not only a balanced state with free and lengthened spine but also what your legs are doing. Position your feet so that your knees remain lightly poised directly above them without being held there at all. That involves training yourself to desist from any habit of tucking your lower legs under the chair or sticking them out in front. If knees tend to move inwards or outwards, reposition your feet so that the knees remain over them.

I am talking of your regular, 'home' position here, for you would need to vary your leg positions from time to time. It is therefore NOT a matter of "you mustn't ever have your feet stuck out in front or tucked away under you"; that would be just following rules rather than applying the real AT principle. Never sit with your upper legs crossed, however, for that is always harmful. On the other hand, at least one book on the AT says it is okay to cross your lower legs, more or less at the ankles.

I take a somewhat different view of that, however. Even though it is not grossly harmful like a full crossing of the legs, it still interferes considerably with your state of muscular balance. By all means cross your lower legs briefly just for a change, but it is best not to regard that as a workable regular rest position. Frequently check with small forward and backward tilting movements of your whole torso that you are free and not fixed in the hips, from where you should be hinging in these movements.

In tilting forward there should be no bending over or back of any part of the spine, and the head's relationship to the spine should remain unchanged, so that as you tilt forwards your gaze correspondingly lowers you can use upward eye movement to compensate if necessary. Check particularly carefully, using a mirror sometimes, that when you tilt forward or backwards you really are hinging only at the hips, and that the torso is moving as a complete unit, as otherwise the lower back can easily get involved in the movement without your noticing.

A lower back that is hinging is not a happy one! Practise rising up and sitting down again in the improved way that your teacher will have demonstrated with you. Check your state in a mirror. Use upright chairs - not low 'easy' chairs. I cannot really overstate the importance of learning and always using that improved method of rising from the sitting position.

Indeed, as already noted, in early that method, as well as the AT generally, was the prime factor that enabled me to manage at home albeit having a fairly rough time for the first two weeks instead of being laid up in hospital for several weeks, after I had slipped on ice and sustained a muscle injury in my back. Take short pauses of standing in a free and balanced state. Once in a while check your state in a mirror.

Your feet should be a little apart, not pointing inwards and indeed probably pointing a little outwards - the latter especially if your feet habitually tend to turn over towards each other, collapsing the arches. Check that you are letting your shoulders sit naturally and you are not holding them up or down.

As a general rule the shoulders are at about the right height when the collar bones run in a roughly horizontal straight line. The following few paragraphs explain further how to achieve a balanced standing state. Repeatedly check your state of overall balance by allowing yourself to tilt forwards and then backwards very slightly , hinging at the ankles only, stopping as soon as you feel the slightest tensing up at the front or the back of the ankles. The mid-point between those two limits of travel will be your approximate centre of balance.

As in all body positions, you assist release greatly by allowing yourself to feel as fully as possible the force of gravity. Allow yourself to feel this in the way that a well-functioning body does - that is, not as a force pulling you down, but as 'anti-gravity', an upward force pushing on your body. Let yourself feel to the full the pressure of the floor against the underneath of your feet, and this force being constantly transmitted up through your leg bones to the pelvis and then up your spine, gently thrusting your head upwards in a good relationship with the neck.

As you feel this, let everything else just fall away. My own visualization here is of my muscles all falling off like a grossly overcooked chicken being lifted out of the casserole! That is actually an image lifted from a strange dream in one of my novels. Entertain yourself with your own mental images; life with the AT well applied is fun! As your legs and the rest of your body become more released in this way you neither crumple nor fall to the floor but would experience a new, initially very strange-feeling, wobbly state.

Attend not only to maintaining a released condition but also, by allowing the very slightest forward and backward tiltings, keep in touch with the best possible balance at your ankles. You should be aware of a multitude of little movements of virtually every bone in your body, as minor adjustments of balance occur virtually continuously. Move an arm about and you will feel wobbly compensations in many other parts of your body.

It should be clear that the state of balance we are talking about here is not static balance, but dynamic balance. What feels so strange when you start getting into this balanced standing state is that this dynamic balance is not simply of the whole body being balanced on the feet, hinging at the ankles, but a similar dynamic balance existing at most other skeletal joints throughout your body. You feel parts of yourself moving independently as they make compensating wobbles, where you'd always imagined you were just one fairly solid lump. It was not till I had achieved this delightfully wobbly standing state that I understood that talk of achieving a 'balanced' state with the AT actually meant that and was not just figurative talk.

Naturally, like so many of the better modes of functioning, this balanced standing state will feel very strange and maybe rather scary at first. But you would find it very restful and exhilarating too, and, some months later, would no doubt be looking back in horror to the stiff, fatiguing way you used to stand. Sometime in I read somewhere about the findings of a survey that had been carried out on people's swaying when standing.

You might fondly imagine that, as your balanced standing seems to set you constantly on the wobble, people using the AT should have come out high in the swaying stakes. What made the survey result news was that the AT people all had a much lesser degree of swaying. When you are in a released, balanced standing state your senses have become very much more acute than they were with all the muscles locking you up, and what seem like very large movements of yours are actually minute.

To an outside observer your seemingly wobbly state would appear to be one of remarkable stillness and repose. With the benefits of this dynamically balanced state you can start putting into use every occasion when you are standing in a queue or otherwise waiting for something. For myself, quite apart from queues, I make constructive use of my roadside waits while hitch-hiking to or from major hiking routes.

After a hard day's walk I actually become to a certain extent rested and refreshed while standing thus while awaiting a lift, allowing many of the muscular tensions to fall away as I regain that sense of effortless balance. Most of us move our heads too much and too harshly when looking around at things, and grossly overuse the neck.

A good guideline is always to let your eyes move first. Can you see what you want in fact without moving your head at all? Only if you still cannot see what you want would you allow your neck and your back to become involved in the movement. Indeed, if you are on your feet it would be better to turn on your legs to keep to a sensible level any need to twist your spine some degree of transient twisting, however, would be part of a good state, maintaining flexibility.

As always, you need to keep all movements to the furthest parts of your body that can achieve the required task; involvement of any part of your torso including neck is lower priority. However, I would remind here that I do not mean that the spine should be held in a stiff, immobile state, for a certain amount of twisting around of the spine would be part of normal healthy and indeed necessary movement in order to help maintain physical and indeed mental flexibility.

Many books and AT teachers seem to have little to say about one's state in bed, apparently having written the bed off as a useful situation to gain improved functioning. Yet you spend a considerable proportion of your life in bed, so it makes sense to improve your body state while you are in it. If you do not, you would probably be allowing a wide range of misuses to retain their hold over you longer than necessary, lessening the effectiveness of gains made during the day.

For one thing, see that you have good pillow support. Most pillows are best chucked out, including the specially shaped ones that are supposed to be good for you through giving neck support even the much-vaunted Pro-Pilo. In general, what is needed is not neck support but correct head support, with nothing pressing on the neck. Indeed, there is an element of risk about pillows that 'support' the neck, for if you are sleeping on your side, consequently with pressure against the side of your neck, you may suffer some degree of restriction of your head's blood supply.

The head needs to be resting at a height and orientation that maintains good alignment between head, neck and the rest of the spine. Ordinary feather or polyester pillows develop a dent that prevents the head from keeping a good relationship with the neck. Of course, if you are not suffering neck trouble you may not wish to be so exacting, but it would still be wise to have a better pillow arrangement than the standard highly dentable pillows.

Only trial and error will show what is the optimum height for you. A further complication of the pillow height issue is that at least for broad-shouldered people like myself, optimum pillow height for lying on one's back is less than that for lying on one's side. Yet a pillow shaped to attempt the two tasks such as the Pro-Pilo leads to dreadful head positions because you are hardly likely to place your head exactly on the appropriate part of the pillow for your current lying position when you are asleep; usually your head gets into an unedifying and harmful half-and-half position.

There are limits to what you can do for your back while you are lying on it, for the bed is unlikely to be sufficiently firm and supportive. However, when you are on your side you can encourage lengthening of your spine. With your legs drawn up a little, ease your pelvis down towards the foot end of the bed, and thrust your head a little further towards the head of the bed. Check that you are maintaining the notional 'forward and up' relationship of head to spine albeit now on a horizontal plane which you would be maintaining if standing.

If you wake up in the night, recheck this and correct the alignment if necessary. If you keep doing this it should not be long before you find that any bad head position ceases to recur for me it stopped in the first few weeks. Also readjust your torso as necessary to eliminate as far as reasonably possible any twisting that has developed. I find that, particularly while lying on my side, I can release a lot of neck and shoulder tension through simply allowing myself to feel the pull of gravity as fully as possible. Being a light sleeper who wakes up several times every night, I find this a very constructive and pleasant way of using those wakeful spells.

Further, I note that as soon as I gain a more released state in neck and shoulders I become much more sleepy again, and it may well be that by allowing that release I am actually somewhat shortening the wakeful spells. Give thought also to how you get out of bed. As with getting up from a lie-down on the floor, aim to arrive at the standing position in as released a state as possible.

My own particular sequence, when I hear my bedside alarm and immediately reach out to press the button to silence it, starts with a moment's pause to yawn and stretch the various parts of my body taking probably no more than five seconds. To some extent this often actually tenses and shortens my spine, so the next step is about another five seconds of encouraging release and lengthening.

Then with a single arm movement I pull the duvet half-off the bed and allow a feet-first sideways roll out of bed and onto the floor, keeping attention on maintaining a released state in the neck and maintaining a good head-neck alignment. I pause for a couple of seconds in the standing position to check my state before moving round to start dressing. A very good example of improvement in everyday usage is in brushing your teeth. Most people indulge in dreadful distortions and excessive effort in this activity. You can learn to stop interfering with your neck and your head's upright poised condition while you brush; you can check yourself in a mirror.

You learn to use minimum movement to achieve the brushing, with virtually no head involvement in the brushing movements at all. The work can be done mostly with wrist movement and a small degree of oscillation of the lower arm. Little or no upper arm movement should be necessary, at least most of the time, and the shoulder should not need to be moved at all. You may well need to hold your toothbrush in a new way to achieve this lighter and more efficient method of operation; do experiment. It is also worth bearing in mind that most people brush their teeth in a skimpy and inefficient manner and with too much force, so it is worth putting some thought to how you might make your brushing more effective while keeping the brushing action light and gentle.

It would be worthwhile to review carefully how clean and healthy you want your teeth and gums to be, and work out from scratch how you might achieve that. I find that I cannot maintain what I regard as good dental and oral hygiene without the use each evening of interdental sticks, standard dental floss, a little bit of dental 'tape' for cleaning under a bridge, when the available standard floss is not stiff enough to thread under the bridge , thumb and forefinger for gum massage to help squeeze gunge from under the gum line and a handkerchief and length of narrow cotton tape for removing plaque still remaining after everything else has been done, all in addition to the most efficient brushing possible with fluoride anti-plaque formula toothpaste.

The somewhat blunt-ended interdental sticks Boots own brand are used not only between teeth, but are also used for gently scraping away hardened plaque from my lower front teeth, and in addition are carefully and gently run around in pockets that have formed between gums and teeth at certain sites. No doubt decomposing food left in such pockets is a major cause of many people's bad breath, and even in my case, with twice-daily clearance from those pockets, the gunge that I retrieve can sometimes be quite stinky close-up.

Use the oral hygiene review as an example of the principle you need to apply to all your everyday activities, and, bit by bit, apply the principle. Ultimately it is your choice how thoroughgoing you are about this - I know I am extremely unusual in the lengths I go to for oral hygiene, for example - but the more you move away from habit and towards thinking through in carrying out regular 'chores', the better will be your overall progress in assimilating the AT, and the greater will be the improvements in your life.

Most people involve the neck and torso by sticking the neck out and bending the shoulders and upper back forwards. Remember always to use the so-called monkey position , which your teacher should demonstrate for you at some stage, instead of leaning or bending over. This applies to all leaning or bending forward or down, however trivial. Check frequently that you are hinging correctly at the hip joints, not in the lower back.