What’s with the rocks?

When we talk about the Alexander Technique, we often use words like “freedom”, “ease”, “softening”, “releasing”, and so on. All of those are certainly part of the Technique and something that we can explore at every lesson! However, this website is full of pictures of rocks…not exactly what comes to mind when thinking “soft” or “release”. Why?

I like rocks – I have quite a lot of small ones in my collection and I am fortunate enough to be able to travel to some large ones (usually in the Utah desert) about once a year. I used rocks as a general theme for this AT site because it’s helpful to remember that while our bodies welcome ease and freedom, they also need support and balance. Rocks stand up for themselves and generally don’t need special tending, and most of them can withstand almost everything that the world throws at them. All of these are good qualities and ones that we can recognize and cultivate in ourselves.

At the 11th International Alexander Technique Congress in Chicago last month, I was extremely moved by the keynote speech that Roshi Joan Halifax gave. One of her key messages for years has been “strong back, soft front” – and we need both. It’s not enough to only have rigidity or only have releasing. Rocks can remind us that we are structural as well as soft, and the Alexander Technique can teach us to let both aspects coexist.