Tai Chi – Primary Control in the Alexander Technique (Pain)(Strain)(Posture)(Injuries)(Albuquerque)

by ethankind on May 23, 2012

This ebook, Tai Chi and the Alexander Technique Principles of Good Body Use, is published on this website in a PDF format. It is very detailed and practical, and it will give you the physical tools you need to take the limits off of your ability to do tai chi with ease, elegance, poise, and released joints.
This ebook is also for sale on all AMAZON websites in a KINDLE format.
Located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, U.S.A. (MOVEMENT THERAPY)

Primary Control is the basis of organized, coordinated, and elegant tai chi in the Alexander Technique. When a tai chi practitioner is doing tai chi with the most organized posture and movements possible, then the head is leading the tai chi practitioner’s spine upward, even as the tai chi practitioner does moves that require balance and bending knees. All of this is done with a decompressed, vertically balanced, and aligned spine.

This means that all of the nerves that radiate from the spinal cord have no pressure on them. So, the nerves can send the signals from the brain for movement and/or muscular support, as you do tai chi, without being slowed down by the vertebrae and muscles pinching the nerves.

The brain and spinal cord always organize the movement that the body produces, but when the Primary Control is interfered with by muscular tension, compression, and poor posture, then that organization is poor organization. THE ALEXANDER TECHNIQUE IS ALL ABOUT THE QUALITY OF A TAI CHI PRACTITIONER’S POSTURE AND TECHNIQUE.

The Alexander Technique recognizes that any wear and tear and physical pain to the tai chi practitioner is caused by how you MOVE, not by the difficulty of the forms and how much time you spend doing them.

The assumption in the Alexander Technique is that we are born with an innate ability to move with beautiful Primary Control, and that babies crawl with the head leading a lengthening spine naturally, given that the baby is healthy in a healthy environment.

If you were to observe a 1,000 tai chi practitioners, you’d be hard put to see one tai chi practitioner moving with beautiful true Primary Control (given that none of them had done any Alexander Technique work). True Primary Control is the flow of the head upward, an upward vector. A vector is a direction, not an immobilized place to be. What does tai chi without a compromised Primary Control look like?

The tai chi practitioner moves fully upright with free knees with a completely mobile body (not trying to stand straight). The tai chi practitioner’s neck is free and the practitioner is aware that the head is leading a lengthening spine upward, which means that the tai chi practitioner is able to see the room and continue to lead a lengthening spine upward with the head.

This means that the tai chi practitioner is completely engaged in the form without hunkering down. This fully upward lengthening mobile posture balancing on free legs and bending knees on grounded feet, gives the tai chi practitioner a balanced torso, so that the tai chi practitioner can effortlessly move the arms, the torso, and the legs, as he or she flows through the movements.

When the tai chi practitioner’s body is organized by the Primary Control, then the practitioner is free to place all of his or her awareness on a tai chi technique that isn’t being compromised by a compromised Primary Control. In other words, if the tai chi practitioner’s body is collapsed or over-tense with poor head/neck/spine organization, then the pure specific tai chi technique of the tai chi practitioner can never be what it would be, since it is not backed up by a balanced body.


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