By Stella Weigel
In Thinking Aloud [Mornum Time Press, 1994] Walter Carrington describes what was probably the last lesson between Alexander and an old lady who had been a pupil of his for some years. At the end of the lesson, Alexander “patted her on the shoulder and said, “Now, my dear, see that you don’t stiffen your neck, and see that you’ve always got something to look forward to.””
Walter highlighted the sense of loss that a pupil feels once they stop having regular lessons. It also happens when one is studying to become a teacher of Alexander Technique; after 12 weeks of study you face a vacation and the feeling that you have lost everything you have ever learned. However, a break from lessons and study can be a good opportunity for reflection and adjustment, from which future development can occur.
When I read Walter’s account, I am also reminded of how having something to look forward to can sometimes make all the difference in reacquiring that sense of “up,” particularly when we are feeling “down.” It is interesting to consider how accurately these words describe our poise (or lack of it). So, next time you find yourself feeling “down,” consider something which might give you a “lift” or may help you go “up” a little. It could be absolutely anything. We are all so individual, yet we all have that same ability to go “up” or “down.” Therefore we also have the choice.
Guest Blogger, Stella Weigel, is a fifth term Alexander Technique student at The Constructive Teaching Centre, London, the world’s oldest and largest Alexander Technique training school. She had Alexander Technique lessons from 2006-2009 before embarking on her training in April 2009. She lives in the city of London.