I love Dr Michael Mosley, his television programs and now his Radio 4 Just One Thing. I have been catching up on some of the ones I’ve missed and came across Think Yourself Stronger, 17/10/21. You can actually make muscles stronger by simply imagining doing an exercise. There is science to prove it. The discussion around this made the point that elite athletes imagine themselves performing difficult skills, like taking a penalty shoot out in football. We have probably all heard about this, but musicians do it also. Something physiological and measurable happens when we concentrate on movement in a relaxed way. The scientist made the point that it is important not to engage muscles while doing this.
This got me thinking about ‘giving ourselves directions’ in the Alexander Technique. I don’t use the jargon that much in my teaching, but it is simply the above. Using our imaginations. Mentally rehearsing how we will sit on that chair, how we will perform a deep bend, the best way to brush our teeth or reach up to that shelf. The applications are endless. We think, but we don’t ‘do’ the directions by engaging muscles. I hope this sounds familiar to those of you who have had Alexander lessons!