The Lying Down Procedure is included as part of most Alexander lessons and is taught with the pupil lying on an Alexander table or couch. The names for this procedure proliferate – it is now also known as Semi-supine, Constructive Rest and the Active Rest Procedures.
This procedure is used in lessons whilst the client lies in a semi-supine position, usually on a table. In workshops, students will learn this lying down on the floor. The teacher gently touches and guides him or her, ‘working on him’, to help him develop his awareness and to learn how to let go of old habits. The pupil will be asked to use his thinking and give himself directions whilst this is taking place, in order to bring about changes in the way he uses himself and his body.
All Alexander clients are encouraged to use the Lying Down Procedure on their own, ideally on a daily basis for 10 – 20 minutes at a time, in order to work on themselves. This needs to be practised whilst lying on the floor, rather than something soft like a bed, which will not give the body adequate support. However, floors alone can be hard and drafty, so use something like a rug or thin yoga mat underneath you. Lying down in the open air can also be great, looking up at the sky or into the canopy of a tree above you, can be very special.
For further information, you may like to read my notes about using the Lying Down Procedure.