For new students of the Alexander Technique the world can become a strange place. Everywhere they look they see distortion and tension, friends, family and colleagues who slump in their chairs, hang their heads over their mobile phones and walk in an ungainly way. Everyone seems to be pulled out of shape. So who does use their body well? Here are some examples of adults who probably haven't heard of the Alexander Technique, but who use their bodies with poise and grace to perform amazing feats of strength and grace.
Here is a workman loading bricks on to his head on a barge:
Notice how despite his obvious strength there is a suppleness to his movement. He bounces his knees with every addition of bricks and his back remains broad and long under the increasing load. This kind of naturally poised movement can be found more often in people who have led intensely active lives, probably with minimal amounts of sitting in their daily movement patterns.
Being an elite sports person isn't a guarantee of good use of the body but occasionally there are athletes at the top of their game who seem to have an edge on their contemporaries. Here are the figure skaters Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron competing in 2018
When you watch these skaters you can start to notice that they never tighten their necks. If they lift their heads it is a movement of opening up of the front of the body, not a pull from behind. In general in their movement you can notice the forward direction of their heads and the soft grace of their limbs.
Alexander Technique can't turn you into an elite performer or athlete but it can open a world where maybe you can have glimpses of lightness and grace and where it might be possible to age without developing curvature of the spine, shrinking and stiffness.