We started talking about what happens in an Alexander lesson. One part of the lesson is often done standing, or sitting in a chair. Another part is done lying on a table, or a “table turn.” We also call this Constructive Rest.
Generally speaking, it’s the second part of the Alexander lesson. However, there’s no hard and fast rule; you could begin the lesson with a table turn.
How does this happen?
I’ll have you lie on your back on a padded table, with your knees bent and feet placed flat on the table. Your head will rest on a couple of paperback books. This is to keep your head from falling back and compressing your neck. Generally, you’ll put your hands on your stomach, so your elbows will be slightly away from your body. This work is done fully clothed. I do ask that you remove your shoes, so you might like to wear warm socks.
I will very gently put hands on your head and neck and lightly move your arms and legs to help you learn to release patterns of tension. Most of the time we don’t even feel the tension in our bodies, unless it is so extreme that it is disturbing us. This work on the table helps you notice and release excess tension.
You will very likely find that it is very helpful for relieving pain and stress. When we’re in pain, there is an automatic response to tighten. Constructive Rest helps undo this tightening. It creates a sense of expansion and ease and can be helpful in many specific conditions and situations.
Table turns are the treat of the Alexander world. Most people get up feeling renewed and refreshed. People often tell me that they are as relaxed as though they’d had a massage, but they haven’t had one. Learning to let go of tension is a skill that can be taught. I’ll ask you to do this at home for about 15 minutes every day.
When you practice Constructive Rest at home, I recommend that you lie on the floor, with a yoga mat or blanket for ease. A padded table is soft enough to be comfortable for your back and neck while giving firm support. A bed is almost always too soft, but the floor works very well with a little padding.
Thanks so much for stopping by to talk about ways to feel better. It’s like an indoor breath of fresh air. We all need those moments of quiet and this is a great way to give to yourself.