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Monday, 26 May 2014

The Captain's chair

Chair in an Ambleside, Lake District shop. 

Looking at the captain’s chair you realise that it is specifically designed for long haul comfort
and so it needs to be approached in the correct way as you don’t want the crew
to think that you don’t know how to look after your spine and body
and so diminish your mental productivity and physical ability over time.
The number of videos below indicated how much respect I have for The Alexander Technique
and the value of sitting and rising from your chair or toilet in a way that supports your body
both now and for later years. I am as guilty as many people of ‘not doing’
so I’ve written out how I was taught to sit and rise from a chair.
Back up to the chair so that your calves are touching the edge.
Bring your knees and shoulders forward and this will take you down to the seat.
Sit on the two sticky out bones at the front of your pelvic girdle with your feet flat on the floor.
So you are not sitting on your tail bone and your spine is not curved back and down.
In fact as you rest on those two knobs you bring your spine back with your shoulders over your hips
and imagine that a puppeteer pulls a string from your top knot straightening out your spine, 
neck and head and you will probably experience your chin lifting.
To rise from a chair, shuffle to the front of the seat and put your feet back under the chair
so that you are resting on your toes. Lean back and then forward tipping your shoulders and head
over your knees allowing the momentum to raise your bum of the chair and for you to gracefully uncurl and then imagine that puppeteer pulling you into that lovely restful posture.

Your mission is to practice sitting down at your desk correctly and rising in the best mechanical way 
for your body and if you have a bad back you will soon notice a difference. 
You may need to raise your computer monitor to achieve this posture naturally. 
I found that if my eyes were at a level of 1/3 down the screen then my posture became automatic
and also to arrange your monitor and keyboard so that you are not leaning to one side.
Or check out the video on how to sit when you write. 
You will find that if you set your timer for half an hour pings and rise from your seat correctly and oxygenate 
your body not only will your body be healthier but you will get through your working day feeling more refreshed.
Not only will you not lose concentration but your work productivity will rise.

You may find these youtube videos to be of advantage, particularly the last one which,
while it covers writing can be transferred to using a lap top.
Alexander Technique Squatting and Sitting
The purpose of this video first and foremost is how to sit and squat, (safely, easily and mindfully) from standing to sitting and into a full squat. This movement is a position of mechanical advantage, in other words the body is used in accordance with its design, the muscles, bones and joints are used in a more balanced and integrated way, giving structural support, balance and integrity.
Also giving the torso maximum length and release and avoiding stress and compression of the torso.             5.29 minutes
How To Sit In A Chair Without Pain - Learn Alexander Technique!
Luke Ford talks about the best types of chairs and best approaches to sitting in a chair.
And the worst ways to sit in a chair.   3.46 minutes
Sitting on an ‘office swivel chair’ reading books, get up and move every ½ hr
Sitting Comfortably Erect
How to sit comfortably without pain. Learn how to sit at the computer, at a desk, table, in a car without slumping or stiffening using natural good posture. Learn what positions cause stiffness
and pain and how to release and relax with effortless upright energy. 
As a result of this video I raised my desktop monitor so that my eyes are about 1/3 down this page and not the top of the plastic surround. This was my decision and not a recommendation.
Alexander Technique with Marjorie Barstow - Sitting
Here Marjorie works with a student, showing her how to sit without scrunching her body,   2.16 minutes
Alexander Technique with Marjorie Barstow - Writing
Marjorie was in her 90s and suffering from osteoporosis.
The student kept commenting on how he was able to breathe.   3.45 minutes

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