Wall Work is a seemingly simple procedure that is used in other disciplines. However it is the way that it is performed, that’s the most important aspect of using it in Alexander work. This procedure may be used in lessons and it is an activity that pupils can use to work on themselves in their own time.
Moving With Awareness
The pupil leans against a smooth flat surface, bends the knees and slides down the wall with awareness. After noticing any changes in themselves whilst doing this, they straighten their legs to come back up, again with awareness. This is not performed umpteen times as an exercise to strengthen the legs. Using the procedure, perhaps even just once or twice, freely, in an aware, unforced, lengthening manner, is deemed to be of more value.
Understanding Our Habits
Wall work may be used for pupils to learn about what is going on in the body, whilst standing and then whilst moving, so that they can:
- Begin to develop their awareness of their habits and patterns of use and mis-use
- Learn to inhibit any urge to rush into performing an action without thought
- Learn to inhibit habits of tension and distortion
- Give themselves directions during an activity, so that they can bring about changes in their use and the way they perform the procedure
More information about using Wall Work.
The wall work procedure has also been adapted in order to help people perform a squat. This moves into the realm of applying the Alexander Technique to another discipline. The procedure can also be performed with the back against a gym ball, which can then roll up and down the wall, supporting the pupil’s back during the procedure. This is described in some detail in: