One of my Alexander Technique students just returned from Paris. He described visiting a museum called “Musee L’Orangerie”.
Before you enter the main part of the museum, you enter an entirely white room. The room was designed by Monet to serve as a decompression chamber between the bustle of the city and his work (the Waterlilies).
This entirely white, empty, ‘pause’ room is a great metaphor for Alexander Technique’s inhibition.
Alexander Technique inhibition
Enter Alexander Technique’s ‘white room’ before you take a step, before you move your hand, before you do…anything. Start with a stop, or a gap, or a space. Otherwise, you will bring the ‘bustle of the city’ with you all the time, everywhere. Instead of bringing the bustle with you, why not bring the white room with you?
…to serve as a decompression chamber. Entering the realm of Alexander Technique’s version of inhibition helps you decompress and expand- physically and mentally.
How long do you have to stay in the white room to get the effect? Eventually only a fraction of a second. And, you don’t have to go all the way to Paris or anywhere else-the white room is within you, just as the Alexander Technique is within you. Alexander Technique inhibition doesn’t take up much space, because it is space. The white room gives you a chance to pause, to empty out.
Monet’s anterior white room invites vistors to “take the time to pause” (before entering). As my favorite Alexander Technique teacher Walter Carrington said: “I’ve got time.”
More Alexander Technique inhibition
The white room is a physical manifestation of where the Alexander Technique’s inhibition can take us. Here is a chance to be two places at once. Enter the white room while on the subway, while walking, as you put your fingers on the keyboard, before and during anything at all. Take the time, the space, and the room, to pause.
Alexander’s white room is always unlocked. You can enter from any direction, at any time. You can stay as long as you want, or as short as a twelth of a second- a short session to lessen tension.
Alexander Technique inhibition creates a gap in between the past and the future, placing you in the present.
When should you enter Alexander Technique’s white room? Anytime you want. How do you know when you’re ready to leave the white room? You don’t. Leave anytime you like. You can’t get it wrong, and you can always go back in. It’s your room, the door is always open, the light is always on, the rent is free, and the goal is freedom.
Mark Josefsberg-Alexander Technique NYC
Thanks to David May and Robin Casey