A collection of articles, by Laurie, to better educate and inform.
This may sound silly, but I'm glad Punxsutawney Phil has predicted an early spring this year. I am so looking forward to the end of winter! One reason is so I can garden again. I'm sure many of you can relate to this.
Gardening is not an easy task. It requires bending, digging, squatting, raking, kneeling, reaching, pushing and pulling. I'll bet you could add more to that list that I didn't think of. All those activities can become more and more challenging as time goes on, and sometimes gardening ends up becoming a casualty because the physical toll is too much. The pleasure and satisfaction that comes from gardening becomes a casualty then, too. For those who love to garden, being able to do it is a gift.
What's more, winter has kept most of us cooped up inside, not using our bodies in the ways gardening requires. When we do get outside we may not be prepared for the physical demands of it, and strain or injury can all too easily result.
The Alexander Technique is a wonderful way to look after yourself as you garden. It teaches you how to move safely to protect your neck and back. It helps you learn to pause and organize your body efficiently before you move. It gives you constructive ways to prepare your body before you garden, and to restore balance to your body when you're finished. As an Alexander teacher for many years, I know the technique has played a huge role in the fact that I can still meet the physical challenges of gardening with ease and enjoyment as I grow older. It's a gift I'm very grateful for.
Do you see how easily this little boy is squatting down to the dirt? His back is lengthening and he has folded quite nicely in his hips, knees, and ankles. The Alexander Technique puts us back in touch with more of the balance, ease, and poise that we had when we were children, and that this boy demonstrates.
This is a picture of F.M. Alexander, the man who invented the Alexander Technique. He discovered that there are principles for good use of the body, and he is using those principles here. Although he is much, much older than the boy, do you see how easily he is squatting down? Do you see the similarity between Alexander and the boy? He may not be gardening here, but he could be! One thing that can't be seen in the picture is that when Alexander stood back up again, he would have been able to do that with great ease as well, without that moaning and groaning some of you just might be familiar with.
More ease and mobility is available to all of us than we realize. Are you taking full advantage of what you've got? The Alexander Technique is a beautiful key for unlocking more of your potential to function with balance, ease, and safety. It will help you get ready and stay ready to garden!