The footings of a suspension bridge know the span between them. Every force upon the bridge—gravity, torque, wind, and traffic—is transmitted from the span to its footings, its bases at both ends, and into the ground beneath them. Taking a non-physicist’s liberty, you might say that that each footing “knows” the bridge and its opposite footing, knows each wire that’s wrapped into the massive cables that connect it, feels the irregular beat of the Prius with the flat tire nearing the footing of its opposite side. In much the same way I, or another teacher of Alexander Technique who shares this way of thinking and working, want the forces acting upon my student—the person in front of me on whom I place my hands—to register in me. I want to become one side of a bridge of our common creating.
As my hands alight upon a student’s head or back, they are at first uncommitted, knowing little of the other, the student’s side of our span. And then I, or we, if the student agrees, connect, sense our footing, our common toward and away, our going up and our coming down, our opposition. We establish one another, get to know how we bear our weight and transmit it to the ground. We claim all the energies within and without, our real world tremulousness, as one physicist so aptly put it. This is the Alexander Technique. It is appreciation of what is, not an invocation of what might be. And at the end of our work we will have changed nothing insomuch as the laws of physics are concerned. We will only have connected. We will have gained the rarest and most elusive thing in the universe, the experience of the other. How do we profit from such a thing? We become more human, more accepting of the other and of our selves. Accepting our selves, accepting the other, we give up our posturing, the presentation of our selves to others as we would like them to see us, rather than as we are. The Alexander Technique is the road less traveled that, for a few, makes all the difference. It will never be for everyone, but for you, dear reader, it just might be everything, a new footing from whence to experience your bridge to the world