Freedom to Be
The Alexander Technique (AT) affords us the opportunity to live and move from “a place of possibility” - to inhabit a way of being in the world which is not attached to the person we learnt to be while growing up. It teaches us to become aware of ourselves in movement, to see where habitual tightening and over-tensioning in our body-mind is reducing our capacity to live and respond to life with ease and flexibility.
In a workshop last year using the Neutral Mask (from the world of actors) and the mirror, long-experienced AT Teachers enabled me to become aware of the reality of one of my deeply embodied habits. As I stood in front of the mirror with the mask on what I saw in myself was a deep sadness, which I saw created a slight dropping along my front body and tightening into my centre. I cannot say exactly where or what this sadness relates to but rather that as soon as I saw the masks lying on the table at the beginning of the session this is what I saw. With the mask on myself, here it was embodied within me in a subtle but noticeable way. As an Alexander Teacher myself my more compressive habits of thinking and moving have largely been overcome such that the daily, deep pain I was living with 8 years ago has to a large extent gone.
As I silently observed myself my mentor and teacher asked a simple, rhetorical question, “Is this what you want?” This simple question elicited an immediate new experience – the word “power” came to me and I saw my body and self opening out into a more expansive and supported structure. I felt clearer and fuller. I was then asked to turn to be with my fellow workshop participants and just to see them seeing me. I felt calm and present – nothing to do, no-one to be but me. I later stood barefaced again in front of my fellow AT teachers and trainees, centred, expansive and supported by the earth, by my ‘self’ and by the community I am part of.
The journey of the Alexander Technique as with my experience with the mask allows each person to see postural patterns, to find the still point within, to calm fear reflexes and discover a state where insight, new responses and freedom are possible.
 Eveleigh, J: https://federation.edu.au/faculties-and-schools/faculty-of-education-and-arts/staff-profiles/arts-academy/administrative-staff/julianne-eveleigh