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Mind Body Wellbeing: Alexander Technique Lessons with Sarah Warman

Freedom to be you: Declutter your mind, Free your body, Express your soul

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GROW TRUST AND GAIN FLOW WITH SEMI-SUPINE

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“Come back to the ground. Connect to the ever existing support beneath you, inside you, and all around you. Let go, trust and TURN UP THE VOLUME on the voice of your INNATE NATURAL WELLBEING.”

Suddenly I can hear it so resoundingly again - the clarity of this knowingness within me. The universe whispers more clearly to us when we lie in this OPENING, DIS-ENTANGLING constructive supported rest we Alexander Techniquers called “Semi-Supine”.

Natural, embracing wellbeing is always here for you, and SEMI-SUPINE is an amazingly simple tool to help you develop the capacity to hear and to listen to your inner knowing and to be guided with clarity and to open physically to deep deep healing.

What is Semi-Supine aka Constructive Rest?
For those new to Alexander Technique (and its lingo!), Semi-Supine is the name given to lying on the ground (or any firm but comfortable surface like an Alexander table) with a couple of books under your head, elbows out and hands on your tummy, knees bent, feet flat on the floor. Basically just the position I am in in the picture here - although it is not essential that you do it on a tree trunk! In fact a flat surface is more ordinary, and much better - but this pic nicely depicts the connection to nature and the grounding this practice brings). That is the bare bones simplistic physical description of this classic position. But there is so much more to it than that, as anyone who has had LESSONS will testify!

This is the building block of Embodied Living and Mindfulness that we are cultivating as Alexander Technique students (even teachers are always students - there is a lifetime of more to learn). And these last couple of weeks I have been so gratefully re-connecting on a deeper level to the back-to-basics but absolutely mind-blowing intelligence of this “position”.

It’s so much more than a position. It is an attitude: an open awareness, a consciousness, that in this OPEN physical position we are so supported in developing.

My re-connection to it’s awesomeness began earlier this week when I was getting gung-ho about wanting to grow my business - to get it all out there for everyone asap!! For two main reasons - one is that I am so passionate about Alexander Technique - it has transformed my life and so many others on small but significant scales, as well as huge wham bam in your face transformations (you can read some TESTIMONIALS here). But also because this is my baby - Sarah’s Alexander Studio - it is my business, and I live in the real world, and so it needs to be also a financial success in order for me to be able to continue to spread the wonderful gifts and messages within this work.

And so I was suddenly aware of the impatience in my approach, - and the pressure I was putting on myself to get everything done now and perfectly. And I immediately noticed not only how that emotionally made me feel and contracted my mind, but also the enormous effect it was having on my body! I have cultivated this mind/body awareness skill over many years now with Alexander Technique, and I can catch myself sooner and sooner and with greater insight to notice what I am DOING TO MYSELF. Everything in me was racing ahead to the future - my mind with scenarios, and my body reflected that in HOW i moved: I noticed I was just present in the front and top of my body - specifically my eyes, my head, face, arms and hands - as if i was trying to run ahead to the next thing, and type it all out!!

THIS IS WHERE THE MAGIC TOOLBOX OF A.T SKILLS IS AN ABSOLUTE LIFE SAVER, and SEMI-SUPINE is the most fundamental and basic of these, that when all else fails, it is there for you and will guide you home to AWAKENED WELLBEING.

AND HERE IS HOW
So, once you’ve finished reading this, get yourself into position: comfortably on your back on the floor - books beneath your head so you feel supported but still with the possibility to move your head if you need to (so find what feels right for you); knees bent and pointing up, feet in contact with the floor, elbows out, hands resting on your stomach. If this description is confusing look at the photo for a rough idea. You may want a rug or yoga matt beneath you if you’re on a wooden floor to stop your feet slipping and to give you some cushioning. I like also to be warm with a blanket over me. Make sure ideally people know not to disturb you for the next 10/15 or 20 minutes (or however long you are able to give, I wouldn’t say longer than an hour, and ideally not less than 5/10 minutes) - this is your time for you to connect to you, to start embracing TAKING CARE OF YOURSELF.

Now when you are in this position this is a time for GREAT PRACTICE. This is not just zone out time. Lying in semi-supine you are TURNING DOWN THE VOLUME ON ALL THE STIMULI around you - all the physical requirements and demands so you can more easily bear witness to all your reactions - mental and physical - for all that you are experiencing.

OK COMFY, SO HERE IS WHAT YOU DO:

Develop your capacity for awareness of:

1. YOUR MIND
You bear witness to all that is coming up for you mentally. Your mind may wander, and that’s okay. You do NOT need to try and empty your mind. You NOTICE what is coming up for you - and BE OKAY with whatever that is. There is nothing to try to do or change. And equally you are not just in a constant state of being lost in the drama of whatever is in your mind. You may dip in and out of the drama, but over time, you will be practicing and growing your ability to catch yourself in the drama, to be able to bear witness and BE AWARE of it all. If you find you are judging yourself for mind-wandering or worrying or tensing etc, notice that you are judging yourself. That is then your point of entry for self-awareness. REMEMBER: give yourself credit for noticing what you are doing (most people live their lives reacting without noticing) and even just for being here, giving yourself this time RIGHT NOW.

This ability for non-judgmental self-awareness comes on leaps and bounds in private lessons as I will support and guide you in your development of this invaluable skill: these insights are the treasures that begin your journey of true healing.

2. YOUR BODY
Ideally you are working with your eyes open here as we are working on developing a quality that we can take into every moment - and in most moments of your life your eyes are required to be open (!) so you can be alert and present with what is around you. But sometimes that is hard and your eyes may want to close - then that is okay too! Notice if there is a qualitative difference with your eyes shut? Or if you judge yourself at all. Explore! Be playful and soft.

In this position you are letting gravity work with you, support you. So just as you are building awareness of what is going on in your mind, you can notice what is happening simultaneously in your body: Where is your back in full contact with the floor? Where is it perhaps contracting away? Again this is not an exercise to judge, but to observe. The observation itself will open up the situation for transformation. Notice what changes over the 20 minutes, if anything. If you do not notice anything yet, that also is okay. Notice if that brings up any emotion for you (Frustration? Apathy? Sadness? Or nothing?).

Be aware of your physical presence - on the floor, and the space around you. Even with eyes closed you can be present in the space around you - notice the sounds near and far, the kinesthetic sensations you are aware of (the air on your skin, the ground beneath you).

3. MIND AND BODY ARE ONE
You will likely flip from 1 and 2 - observing your mind, then your body and physicality, then likely judging or TRYING to change or to work it out, and so going back into your mind. Back and forth. This is normal. And ALL OF IT IS OKAY.

The more you build awareness and embrace of all of it, the more you begin to let go, trust and allow and feel flow in your mind and body. So, NOTICE all of it: EMBRACE IT ALL WITH AWARENESS.

And, if you are finding that hard JUST DO THIS (one of these, or alternate):

1. Remember THE FLOOR beneath you, the
GROUND fully supporting you. You are held. You can let go.

2. Bring awareness to SPACE all around you - room to breathe. To open.

3. Be with yourself, and LOVE YOURSELF for all that you are experiencing, WHATEVER that is.

This is a great tool for resetting you to zero, to your centre, point of clarity and alignment on every level. It will make more sense and go deeper the further along you are in your practice and exploration.

Whilst no-one can tell you what is at your centre - what is your truth, what your intuition is guiding you to do, in PRIVATE LESSONS and CLASSES with me you will gain the skills that give you a road map of how to get there: of learning where you are holding yourself back, and of how to be able to get out of your own way so you can thrive and grow into the most nourishing vision of yourself.

Through this regular practice, you will be restored to a greater state of flow, freedom, expression and trust, just as I have and continue to be more and more. Read more about MY STORY here.

When I caught myself pressurising myself earlier this week and lay in semi-supine for 20 minutes, not only did I come out the other end feeling restored, well, and clear, but I learnt incredible little insights about myself and my mental and physical habits that had been stimulated and taking me me out of flow. So, importantly, with deep practice and insight I was again able to let go, TRUST and allow FLOW back deeply into my life, and SO CAN YOU! And when you let go, the transformation is mental AND physical and you will come out of pain.

Do this semi-supine for 20 minutes now and DISCOVER IT FOR YOURSELF! Let me know how you get on in comments below. How did it feel? Did you notice anything? Do you have any questions?

When we LET GO we RETURN TO FLOW and, from my experience, the universe has a way of then weaving its magic freely through us to authentically manifest a life so much richer than we could have imagined.

THIS IS AVAILABLE TO YOU NOW. Give semi-supine a go and let me know how you get on - comment below, tweet me, message me. Or better still, come for an INTRODUCTORY LESSON and you can explore this more deeply with me in a wholly supportive and explorative environment, and how it can help you right now. Semi-supine is an awesome tool to have in your toolbox, and I can guide you to discover it’s true treasures when we work together.

CLICK HERE TO BOOK A LESSON NOW

With EMBODIED LIVING this quality permeates more of your moments every day, so you live the whole of your life with greater presence, less pain and more flow. For more Embodied Living ideas and insights take a look at my previous posts: EMBODIED LIVING INTRO and FROM PAIN TO FREEDOM WITH THE PAIN WHISPERER. You can SUBSCRIBE to my newsletter to receive my blog to your inbox when a new one is released, along with events, ideas and occasional special offers (I respect your inbox and know your time is precious and I will not bombard you).

I look forward to hearing how Semi-Supine aka Constructive Rest is for you so leave a message below to let me know what you think and feel.

Any questions or queries? DROP ME A LINE, I’d love to hear from you!

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Sarah's Alexander Technique Studio - GROW TRUST AND GAIN FLOW WITH SEMI-SUPINE

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..left me feeling calm, present and keen to return. Totally recommended! ...read more

Matt Gedge, 37, Director Fun London Tours