Last week I went running along Boscombe beach, the wind was up and some sand was blowing in my face. At first this was annoying but after a few minutes I found quite a pleasant sensation. I noticed I was actually more pleasant, because the elements were reminding me that I was alive, constantly. By seeing less with my eyes, I was more fully aware with all of my senses, which helped my posture, form, and breathing, I was more relaxed and in the moment.
FM Alexander, founder of The Alexander Technique used a term he called “end-gaining”…basically meaning getting ahead of yourself, anticipating, or pushing to get “there” before you’re there.
What we see can be a very strong stimulus to “end-gain”, which isn’t just an idea or mental state, it’s a physical thing we do that we often call “bad posture”… a way of anticipating with tension and strain… that can affect how we walk, run, pick things up, sit, use our computers and phones, and how we connect with and communicate with others.
We look with our eyes and we react rather than staying in the moment and responding one step at a time.
I loved the centered, relaxed, run I had along the beach feeling. I was in no danger of getting lost, but I didn’t feel the familiar pull of looking for the next landmark, pulling myself a bit to try to get there faster so I could stop sooner. I didn’t want to stop because I didn’t feel any strain and I didn’t feel any strain because I wasn’t looking for and pushing for the next thing…but I was still on the path passing all of the same landmarks.
Clearly, seeing is very useful, but when we let it dominate at every waking moment, our posture, spine and wellbeing can suffer. How would your sense of wellbeing change if you worked a little less hard to see ahead of you? If you waited an extra half-second before looking at your phone or your computer screen? If you took a moment sense your feet on the ground before speaking?
If you have a little more time to observe yourself over the weekend, try pausing before doing every day things. Notice if you’re perpetually being driven forward by what you see or moving the way you move just because you always do it that way. Take a moment to sense your body…a good place to start is sensing your feet on the ground. Pay attention to your other senses as well. What do you smell and hear? How does your clothing, the rain, or sand feel on your skin? Make a point to tune into sensations other than just what you see and then “see” if you feel more present.
We’re running a free posture screening event on Saturday 12th June, that’s where you can learn about your posture from a professional and how you can improve it! Please follow this link to book your spot as we have limited availability due to covid restrictions etc:
To book chiropractic consultation with us, or to book your regular adjustments, please follow this link: