I believe this is a Zen saying and it is very pertinent to what we think about in Alexander lessons.
Many people come to me for lessons, for whom these words can bring about quite a profound realisation, as they notice the way they exist in their bodies a lot of the time.
This is particularly true for people who are very hard workers or are perhaps very stressed. They often seem to sit on the edge of the chair, ready to leap out of it at a moment’s notice, or stand with their weight mostly on the balls of their feet, as if they are about to rush away somewhere. There’s a sense that they don’t really think they should be ‘here, right now’ but ought to be doing the next thing, whatever that is.
This over-active way of being pulls us off balance, both literally and metaphorically and can contribute to aches, pains, exhaustion and a sense of being ungrounded.
However, when a pupil allows herself to ‘sit when sitting’ and to ‘stand when standing’ her weight spreads through her sitting bones or her feet in a way that allows her to feel grounded and more balanced with an easy poise, even if she is only in this position for a few seconds.
See if you can notice how you stand, try it for yourself and see if you allow yourself to be balanced easily on your feet, or do you find that there is an urgency in you that makes you want to move on all the time? This exploration would probably be easier to do in an Alexander Technique lesson, where you can have some help with becoming aware of the way you use your body. If you want to explore more, you can contact me here to set up an intro lesson.