Sadly, this all starts to go downhill through later childhood and by middle school, high school and college, slumping, slouching and even back and neck pain seem to be de rigueur. We can often trace the decline to the start of serious schooling. Why is this? Here are a few factors:
It is around this same time that many children begin to have challenges with attention, impulse-control, emotional-regulation, executive function.
We believe these two factors are related.
One of the fundamental premises of the Alexander Technique is the complete “unity of self.” In other words, “body” and “mind” are verbal constructs, when in reality we are always a single, unified person. There is no such thing as a purely mental activity or a purely physical one. Taking this view of the human individual, it becomes easier to propose that so-called physical states (like slouching) and so-called mental ones (like lack of attention) are really just states of a human adapting less-than-optimally to a challenging situation***.
Alexander started a “Little School” for children and wrote at length about education in his books. But one doesn’t need a Little School to benefit from the Alexander Technique as part of one’s education. One only needs a qualified teacher. The Alexander Technique is poised to help all kinds of children to function better and navigate school and other activities with more ease. It also holds promise for the struggling child (or adult), as a powerful addition to other services, by teaching practical skills of self-regulation not narrowly addressed toward the “mental” or “physical” symptoms, but instead broadly inclusive of the whole person.
In other words, how we sit AND how we think matter.