Alexander Technique Head Exercise

Position of your head

According to Alexander, it helps to imagine your head floating on top of your spine. It should be gently placed, resting in balance.

Try this exercise:

As you walk along the street, or as you sit at the computer, become aware of the position of your head. Make sure your head sits in line with your shoulders, not in front of them. In other words, your neck should not jut forwards (making you look like a turtle!).

Now imagine your body to be a fountain of water with your head being held up by water gushing upwards from the fountain. Your head is balancing on the water streaming upwards. Your head goes up and up, but always in balance.

At the same time, relax the other main muscles in your body. Take the tension out of your shoulders, knees, ankles and hips whilst continuing to focus on your head. In particular, the front of your ankles and the back of your knees should be relaxed.

Alexander Technique teachers often mention the phrase 'up and forward' when referring to the position of your head. Keep repeating these to yourself.

Perhaps 'up' is the key word here since it encourages the spine to lengthen, the head to become disjoint from shoulders, which should remain down.

The term 'forward' has to be treated with caution. It is not your neck which should go forward, instead your head, so that, balancing on its axis, your chin goes down slightly towards your neck. The difficulty is that many people put their chin up to much and this causes unwanted tension in the neck muscles.

Trust the technique

You have to trust this exercise as in many Alexander technique exercises. You may think it will have no effect on you but, believe me, it will. Try to do this for 5 or 10 minutes a day, particularly if you suffer from back or neck problems. Gradually, your problems should dissipate.

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