2013 and stressed already? Probably time for a lie down.

Many pupils of the Alexander Technique (myself included) enjoy, and benefit greatly from having a lie down!  It sounds so simple yet is highly effective in releasing excessive tension and letting go of stress.
I’ve outlined the proceedure below – most able-bodied people should be able to do this without too much trouble.

Find somewhere where you won’t be disturbed or distracted.  Lie down on your back on comfortable yet firm surface. A carpeted floor or folded blanket is ideal.  A bed is too soft and will not provide the support you need. Have a couple of paperback books handy to place under your head for support.  Have your knees bent so that they point towards the ceiling, not swinging outwards or held together. Your feet should be flat on the floor.  Rest your hands lightly on your abdomen.  Allow the weight of your head to be supported by the books and let your back spread out onto the floor.  Let gravity do the work rather than forcing anything.

As you lie there you can keep coming back to the ideas of allowing your head to rest on the books, your back lengthening and widening, your elbows resting on the floor, your knees pointing towards the ceiling and your feet spreading onto the floor.  Your eyes should be open and allow you gaze to move rather than staring into space.

Remember, you are not trying to ‘get’ something, you are ‘letting go’ of something, so avoid trying to force anything. Simply allow your whole self to be supported by the floor.

Try this for 15-20 minutes once or twice a day.  Hopefully you will notice some benefit.  It doesn’t matter if you don’t immediately, you will still have benefitted from the break in your routine and the time spent with yourself.