Finding calm – mind and body by Kathy Ponter Saffron Walden Alexander Technique

Daily Recalibration for mind and body with semi supine

Our present reality of daily unfolding and changing circumstances, affecting our personal, financial and professional lives is taking its toll on our nervous system. I’d like to share with you a very simple 15min activity (your mind will be active but your body is resting) to help restore a little mental, emotional and physical balance.

For more info please check my website out by clicking here.

Please email me to request a 15 min audio guide to semi supine.

The alexander technique is widely known for helping people with physical pain, most commonly back pain. That was why I went for lessons many years ago. I was active and fit but nothing I tried had any long term effect on my back pain until I went for Alexander Technique lessons. The lessons quickly solved my back pain but what I wasn’t expecting were the wonderful side effects learning the Alexander Technique can bring. I was happier, calmer, less stressed and more confident at work and just generally felt much better!

My clients tell me things like….’I feel lighter’….’I sleep better’…….’I’ve got my evenings back as I have more energy’…….’I’m more at ease’……’I’ve taken up a new activity I’ve wanted to do for ages but never got round to’………’I’ve more confidence to get back to the gym’.

What is it about the technique that helps not only with pain management but with stress, energy and mental clarity? The practice of the Alexander Technique calms the whole nervous system through realigning the musculoskeletal system and releasing excess muscles tension we’re not even aware we have. Doing this helps all the systems of the body to work at their best, especially breathing. Without knowing it we hold muscles tense in our torso which can adversely affect our breathing.

So I’d like to share this very simple practice that I use everyday – semi supine. Supine means lying on your back and semi means ½ so it’s lying on your back with your knees up. The thoughts you have whilst you’re lying directly talk to your muscles (they do all day, everyday) and encourage the body to release tension.

The benefits

Semi supine:

• promotes and reinforces a good relationship between the head neck and back (primary control)

•allows the head neck and back to completely rest giving an opportunity for muscles to release.

• gives an opportunity for the cushioning discs of the spine to plump up by releasing any compression on the spine.

• acts as an instant destress

• it’s a great way to re energise quickly

• over time it will help developed self-awareness of unhelpful muscle tension

Lying in semi supine every day for 10 to 20 mins is a great tool to assess your progress; it’s a daily learning process building up awareness of your body.

What to do:

Please email me to request a 15 min audio guide to semi supine.

In a quiet warm room, on a carpeted floor or on a yoga mat, lie with a book under your head with the knees bent, feet flat on the floor and hands on your ribs. If your head feels like it’s tipping back keep adding height to books supporting your head until it doesn’t. If the small of your back is arched away from the floor try resting your feet/lower legs up on a chair.

With your eyes open, think through the following directions:

allow the neck to be free – our neck muscles are often very tight pulling our head back and down which results in the foreword head problem and can cause the whole body to be out of alignment as it tries to compensate.

so that the head can go forward and away –opposite from being pulled back and down as in the startle pattern further releasing the neck muscles.

so that the back can lengthen– the opposite of compression of the spine that can be the result of having tight neck muscles.

•and the back can widen– to prevent holding across the shoulders around the ribs and across the hip joints.

knees go up, away from the hips and each other– think of the knees going away from the hips and slightly away from each other like rays of sunshine. This thought prevents us ‘holding’ our knees together allowing muscular release in the hips.

The directions are gentle thoughts to instigate release of held muscle tensions. Like anything, the more you do it the better you get!

Please email me to request a 15 min audio guide to semi supine.

The first 5 mins are general mindful awareness and relaxation, the last 10 mins are based on the Alexander Technique.

Eye palming is part of the audio guide. It’s simple. To do it place the palms of your hands over your eyes; the heal of each hand rests on the cheek bone, top of the palm rests on your brow bone whilst your fingers cross over the top of each other and rest on your forehead as in the picture below. Get your self comfortably in the semi supine position as per instructions above. For tight hips and lower back pain, putting your feet up on a chair is good.

I’d love to hear how you get on with semi supine and any benefits you notice or questions you may have.

For more info please check my website out by clicking here.