A current student generously shared his experience of using Alexander Technique to minimize the suffering of having a pile of dirty dishes!
Standing at the Sink
On the counter sat a long line of dirty dishes. “Time to get started!” I said to myself, leaned over the sink and started scrubbing away. As I continued, the stack of plates, glasses, pots and pans was slowly shrinking — but I could feel tension in my shoulders, my neck and into my lower back. I wasn’t in a particularly good mood. I thought for a moment about what I could do to change the situation.
The answer to my discomfort was waiting for me. I stepped back, took a deep breath and remembered the Alexander Technique principles that I had been ignoring. I adjusted my body so my heels and ankles were working together at the base and then thought how they would work in relationship with my knees. I continued to adjust my body until I was at the top of my head. I even incorporated a soft gaze.
It look less than a minute but I could tell that this was going to work. Almost immediately I started feeling physical relief. As an additional bonus it started to change my attitude. The pile of dishes didn’t look so daunting and I proceeded to finish my task.
The next time I was standing at the sink, I found myself hunched over in my old dishwashing posture. The same tense feelings started to emerge. Fortunately, this time I thought about Alexander Technique much earlier and adjusted my body (and attitude). In the weeks since then, I keep asking myself “where can I use this technique?” and realized I could feel better while cooking, making coffee or doing anything else in the house. It’s a game and it has worked for me. I have to keep reminding myself, but that’s okay. I know that with practice and time it will become a natural part of the way I live.