Stress Reliever: The Alexander Technique Practice of Lying Down — 36 Comments

  1. I laughed when I first saw this, because my husband would love this idea–he lies down all the time and enjoys resting! Of course, he’s not following what you describe here about getting in alignment and feeling the ground underneath you. Seriously, I think this would be excellent for me. I don’t “rest” easily. I am most comfortable resting when I’m writing and reading, but I’m sure it would be good for me to practice letting go in this manner. Good for my mind, too! Quieting it while I quiet my body.

    Judy Stone-Goldman
    The Reflective Writer
    Personal-Professional Balance Through Writing

    • Judy – I hope you give it a try. It is so simple, yet effective and costs nothing! Some people find it quite hard just to do nothing (letting everything, mind and body, quiet down). You might try listening to my audio if that’s the case with you – or even listening to music that you find relaxing. Please let me know how you get on.

  2. Hi Imogen,

    great instructions! My chiropractor told me to use this technique every day for at least 15 minutes. I do it but I have to admit, not every day… I definitely feel the difference what a great effect it has on me. Should get back into my routine and make time for it.

    Love your blog, you got some great advice,

    Franziska San Pedro
    The Abstract Impressionist Artress

  3. Ive often seen people do this technique and I’ve wondered why. Thanks for clearing this up for me. I usually do something similar when I’m at the gym but now I’m going to do it in my office. By the way, we’re in the circulation desk group on Facebook together. Welcome!

    • Glad you learned something, Dennis! It’s such a simple, yet helpful thing we can do for ourselves. I’m also looking forward to reading your blog and those of the other bloggers in the Circulation Desk group.

  4. Imogen, This is my first time visiting your blog and I can picture myself trying this. I actually feel more relaxed just reading it. One of my resolutions for 2012 is to start taking more time for myself and to relax. This technique sounds simple to do. I’ll definitely try it. Thanks. Best wishes for a happy, healthy and successful 2012.

    • I’m glad you like the blog and do let me know how you get on with the constructive rest. It’s so important to carve time for ourselves, and this has lots of other great benefits too. Thanks for reading my blog, and wishing you all the best for 2012!

  5. I’ve had back pain for years (and so does hubby). We’ll both have to try this technique. The hard part will be just laying still for 10 minutes! 🙂

    • If you really think you’re going to have a hard time being still ( 🙂 ), I suggest you play my audio ( while you’re lying down, or even listen to some music. It won’t be beneficial if the whole time you’re dying to get up and do something else!! Having something to listen to, to “keep you on task” can be really helpful. Also – for back pain it’s really helpful to rest your lower legs over a low piece of furniture – encourages those muscles in the back let go. I’d love to hear you get on or let me know if you have any questions.

  6. Imogen, This seems so simple yet I’m sitting here thinking “where will I get 10 minutes to lay down in a quiet area?” Pathetic! 🙂 You were so helpful when I wrote about my husband’s chronic pain problem and so I am going to find those 10 minutes and also encourage my husband to try this and more of the Alexander Technique. I look forward to reading more of your bogs through the CD!

    caregiving. family. advocacy.

    • Thanks, Trish. It is simple, and to be honest I find I’m much more productive when I do find time to do it, so well worth it even if you think you’re too busy! If you’re like me it felt sort of selfish at first to just set aside time for me instead of “getting things done” – but believe me it’s better for me and and my family!!

    • Very nice, clear post Imogen! I worry a lot about the kids I see using their iPhones and other handheld dieecvs with particularly challenging keyboards and tiny screens that almost force your to push your head down to meet them. Perhaps future blogs about handheld dieecvs and/or children and technology?

  7. Imogen, welcome to our Circulation Desk blogging group! I’m so pleased to meet you & love the blog. What you describe is actually part of my physical therapy for my lower back, although I’m usually concentrating on pushing my lower spine into the ground. I’m going to work this move into my meditation practice (with less emphasis on the p/t piece, just for relaxation & elongation).
    Looking forward to more of your wisdom!
    “commentary to give you paws…”

    • Heidi – nice to “meet” you to. Interesting that you are doing something similar (as far as position anyway) for physical therapy. Personally I think it will likely be more helpful without the “pushing” – better to just have more awareness and allow for the back to release. Great idea to do as part of a meditation practice!

  8. Hi Imogen, thanks for the description and the audio; that is a very good help to focus on letting go, elongating etc, because my mind tends to wander. However, I have a problem; it is very painful for me to lie with the feet on the floor because the pressure on my sacrum causes a lot of pain in that position. If I curl my legs up over my abdomen, that pain is not there, but in that position I need to hold the legs and relaxation disappears. Also, I guess it ruins the realignment of the spine?? Grateful for any tips! 🙂

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  14. I love this so much I am linking my community to your lesson! Thank you for reminding me why I love horizontal and the Alexander Technique! Debbie Rosas CEO and founder of the Nia Technique.

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  16. I’m on day six. My legs with feet on floor are sometimes restless, falling in or out. How about extending the legs ? I guess that strains the lumbar area. Or bringing the knees closer to your middle ? What does AT have to say about those positions ?

    • Hi Brigitte,
      Congrats on getting to Day 6. Yes, please don’t feel like you can’t move from the standard position. The knees are elevated to help the lower back, as you say, but stretching them out for a minute or so, then returning to the bent position feels good. I also like bringing my knees toward my chest (hugging them too me) in a way that allows the low back to release before bringing the feet back down to the floor.
      Other alternatives are (and I write about this in another blog which comes up later in the Challenge – sneak peak here: resting the lower part of the legs over a low piece of furniture, or putting something under the knees like a bolster or pillows. That way the knees are elevated but you don’t have to hold them up yourself.
      I hope these ideas are helpful. Let me know how you get on in the rest of the Challenge. 🙂

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