Swimming and Alexander Technique

In my Alexander Technique class today we worked on leading movement into space with the eyes. We did a simple exercise where we were lying on our stomach with our hands close to our head. We tried to use our arms to move us forward in space - first we kept our head passive and then we lifted our heads and looked at something we wanted to move towards. The second version, of looking towards, made it so much easier to move and slide on the floor. Initiating from the head allowed the whole self to access the ease of moving forward.

After class I went over to the school's pool to swim some laps and decided to use this idea - of using the eyes to look and lead the movement into space - while swimming. As I was doing the Breast Stroke I realized that the coordination between the head, arms and upper back was almost identical to the exercise from class. As I used looking to lead my head out of the water, press down with my arms, look at the bottom of the pool and then start again by looking, I found that the stroke felt easier, more efficient and I swear I was faster (maybe....I'd like to think so...). I has less success incorporating this idea into the Freestyle, but it was certainly fun to try. I look forward to playing more with these ideas in both dance and non-dance activities.

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