Ask Better Questions


Last week we looked at a Good Place To Start (ie. Asking Questions).  Now let’s assume you’ve done that.  You’ve worked hard, thought often, and you find yourself asking questions at all odd hours of day and night.  This is fantastic.  But what comes next?


You see, there are a few questions we could describe as ‘not-so-helpful’.   And these are the ones that beginners usually cling to like limpets.  The next stage is to prise your fingers off these questions, and learn to trust some more helpful ones instead.

Here are my top three questions to avoid, and what to replace them with:-

1.     Am I doing it right?
There are so many reasons NOT to ask this question that it needs its very own blog.  For now, just try this alternative, and see what happens.
Is this way best suited for the purpose?(*)

2.     Where am I creating the tension?
Isn’t it frustrating, trying to work out exactly which bit of you is creating the unnecessary tension?  What’s even more frustrating is the realisation that while you’re hunting the rogue muscle, you are neglecting entirely to stop the unnecessary tension everywhere else.
Can I stop the unnecessary muscle tension throughout that region?(**)

3.      Is my head in the right position?
If putting your head(***) in a specific position is your goal, you are almost undoubtedly achieving it – by pulling, straining and holding on tight.  It’s hard to achieve movement when you are fixed in one place.
Am I paying attention to the relationship of my head to my body?

(*) this was FM Alexander’s definition of right: in the sense of “right for the purpose”.  See ‘The Use Of The Self’, IRDEAT edition p.472
(**) if this question is not challenging enough, try ‘Can I stop the unnecessary muscle tension throughout my body?’
(***)  or any other body part

CNHC and ITM registered Alexander Technique teacher.

Tagged with: , , , , ,
Posted in Alexander thinking, asking questions, tips
One comment on “Ask Better Questions
  1. Geetha.d says:

    Hi karen,
    yes, you are right and these are the wonderful questions to ask.

    Is this neccessary to push my shoulders towards ears and compressing my neck and pulling my head back and down, while iam going to sit and stand from a chair and while bending?

    What a wonderful question this is!!

    How simple FM Designed a complex physco physical education.

    FM is genius.

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