During my 30 years of teaching I have often observed how disturbing it is for pupils when they come up against a totally new sensation of themselves. They tend to feel odd, misplaced, and peculiar. Indeed, they are often alarmed by the sensations that flood them.
Time after time they will try to edge themselves back into the twists, distortions, and holding patterns that they are familiar with. Even though they can see for themselves in my 4 mirrors (or in my photos of them) how distorted and twisted up they are when they are left to their habits. Sometimes I will have to remind them 20 times in less than a few minutes not to sink back into a habit. That whole time they can plainly see that the habit is a distortion. They would like to be free of this distortion, which is why they are coming for lessons. But they still go to the familiar, so that they won’t feel “wrong.”
It takes a lot of humor and good will for us to take this information in stride. I actually tell every prospective pupil, that in order to work with them I will need two things; they must have a sense of humor, and they must be a good sport. That is because this work is an undertaking which encourages a real shift within oneself and in one’s very way of being on this planet. It is to open up a wonderful, terrible Pandora’s Box full of personal fears, talents, doubts, and false beliefs.
So if you are taking lessons or if you think you may want to start lessons, prepare to keep a good humor and be a good sport because to change the habits of a lifetime is “mind-blowing.” You will open a door into your very Self and discover a wealth of new possibilities. No other discipline I know can help us to facilitate this process as effectively and reliably as the Alexander Technique.