The stresses and strains of modern living, combined with the ubiquity of the computer, cell phone, blackberry etc., seem to draw us in, collapsing us forward and down and giving us a one version of 'bad posture' (another version of bad posture would be sitting up rigidly straight. It doesn't work)

So as not to smash our faces into the screen, desk, or floor (we’re very smart), our neck, upper back and shoulder muscles work harder than needed. This extra work eventually becomes habitual, even when we’re not at our desks.
When muscles work, they shorten. So when we over tighten our neck muscles we’re pulling our heads backwards and downwards towards the spine. The good news is that we can learn to go the other way: Up.

We say we have a stiff or sore neck, as if someone gave it to us and now it’s ours. In Alexander Technique terms it might be more accurate to say, “I’m stiffening my neck.” Of course if you say it that way you sound insane. ‘Just stop stiffening it’ might be advice we’d get. It isn’t that simple, or is it?

The Alexander Technique tells us to ‘free your neck’. How do we do that? Tense your bicep as in ‘make a muscle.’ Now let it go. Most of us have more conscious control of our arm muscles, as compared with the muscles in our neck. We learn to become more aware of our neck muscles, and let them go. Let the neck muscles go, and let the head rotate forward and up.

We want to cultivate the ability to identify what’s unconsciously, habitually overly tense, and then release it. The Alexander Technique teaches to ‘free your neck so that your head can move forward and up.’Forward can be explained in different ways, but I find that thinking of forward as a forward rotation works best. It's a forward rotation of the head on the spine, while the crown of the head moves up. Usually you can achieve a forward rotation of your head by slightly lowering your nose.
So, slightly lower your nose, let the crown of your head move up leading your whole spine into length. Now, let yourself breathe fully...slowly.

Mark Josefsberg-Alexander Technique NYC

(269) P-O-S-T-U-R-E
or (917) 709-4648

Author's Bio: 

Mark Josefsberg is an Alexander Technique teacher in New York City. The Alexander Technique rescued him from intense hand and neck pain, and now he teaches this simple, proven effective technique.