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The Alexander Technique

Posted by on Sunday, February 9, 2014 in Academics, College Life, General Information, Student Life.

This semester, I am enrolled in a class through the Blair School of Music. Blair is in the back corner of campus, so before this semester, I had really only been inside the building once or twice. I figured there was no time like my last semester to explore a new facet of campus.

The course in which I am enrolled is called the Alexander Technique. I originally thought that this class was a breathing class, but I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Alexander actually teaches movement and alignment. The goal is to change the way that we think in order to release muscular tension. It is really interesting!

We only meet for one hour each week. We are mapping the body region by region, and we are learning corresponding movements that will enable us to realign. Already, I feel like my head is lighter and my neck feels stronger. We are encouraged to journal our experiences and practice the new movements every day. I have noticed that my posture has improved too. Especially in ceramics, where I sit on a backless stool for about three hours. The trick is to find the space between your sit bones and the floor. You also have consider that your head balances on the AO joint, which is actually much higher than you would think.

The professor is awesome! Professor Ahner is a singer and a pianist. She went to the Alexander School in Boston for three years and has been teaching at Vanderbilt for over 10 years. She actually uploaded an entire album to iTunes U for us, so that we can practice the exercises outside of class. She talks us through each exercise, including my favorite- constructive rest. It is like nap time, but better. You don’t actually sleep, but somehow, you come out of it feeling rejuvenated.

I love all of my classes this semester, but I can’t help but especially look forward to my hour of Alexander every Tuesday afternoon.

The entrance to Blair. Quiet but beautiful.

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