Friday, December 20, 2013

An Exercise in Moving from Our Curiosity, with the Alexander Technique

Have you ever watched a toddler toddle through her day?  Where her curiosity goes, her eyes and body follow.  Her head turns towards where her eyes are looking, and often she wants to touch what she sees.  In order to touch, her body must move, so off she goes!

When we are very young, everything in this world is fresh, just ripe for us to discover for the first time.  Curiosity is what motivates and moves us.  As we get older and things become more familiar, curiosity tends to wane, and we slow down.  We become more stagnant, relying on things such as television, conversations, and books to stimulate our curiosity and our imagination.  Gone is the constant desire to touch something new and interesting, and the fully-integrated will to move becomes dormant.

How can we rouse ourselves up out of stuck stiffness, lack of vitality, and poor coordination?

Get curious!  Do you really think you know everything about everything in your space?  Even if you've seen the same things a million times, I bet there is something about every single object near you that you don't know.  Why not get curious, and find out?

The Alexander Technique re-awakens our curiosity and improves our coordination.

  • Without turning around, are you sure you know exactly what is behind you?  The exact color? Texture? What it feels like with your eyes closed?  How it smells?  What it sounds like if you rub another object on it, or tap it gently?  Are you sure you know every possible thing it's useful for?  I bet you don't. Are you getting curious yet?  Do you want to turn around to see what's behind you?  (Wait a moment...don't do it yet....!)
  • First, remember that you're FREE.  You're free to stay put, without any curiosity at all.  You're free to stay stuck.  You're also free to get curious!  And, if you want, you're free to move!  (But wait a moment...don't do it yet....)
  • If you'd like to turn around to look, try this: first let your eyes move all the way to the right, without turning your head, as far as they'll go.  Then let your head turn, too, then your spine, then your whole body.  Keep looking and turning, and feel the urge to reach out to touch whatever it is you see.  Let your body follow that urge to bring your body close to the object.
  • You are free to just look, and free to touch.
  • Now, find something across the room that you could get curious about.  What do you think it might feel like?
  • Let your eyes lead your head to lead your body to bring you over there.
  • Practice like this:

Is the quality of your movement different than usual when you move yourself from a place of curiosity?  I would love to hear about your experience!  

Enjoy! :)

"Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici /".


  1. Many thanks for inspiring my guitar practice and my writing this evening Jennifer. Great post.

  2. And thank you, Patrick, for inspiring me right back. Your blogpost is really wonderful. Here it is, for others to find:


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