It is easy to see gravity as a problem – something that takes us downward and which needs to be overcome. But this is wrong.
Would you like to go to Mars? It’s a one-way ticket, leaving 2026. You’ll need to pack light, and you’ll have to get used to being indoors – higher radiation levels restrict outside time to just one hour a day. Also, your bones will lose density and strength and your postural muscles will weaken, no matter how much you exercise. This will happen during the seven month trip from Earth to Mars, when there will be no gravity. We need gravity to maintain our strength – our bones and muscles respond to the constant pull of the Earth by growing, and remaining, strong enough to hold us upright. Gravity is definitely not a problem; living without gravity may prove to be.
All life on Earth evolved with gravity ever-present. Gravity did not appear midway through life’s evolution; it is not something life, including humans, needed to adjust to, or learn to cope with. Rather, the downward force of gravity is necessary for our human form to function healthily. And this is most obvious when we are removed from gravity and spend time in space. We are designed to spring up in response to the downward force of gravity; our postural muscles subconsciously engage in response to the gravitational pull, strengthening in the process. Our bones respond in a similar way, strengthening to support us as needed in response to the downward force. With gravity removed these reactions do not occur, leading to postural muscle weakness and bone density lowering. So those who spend a long time in space have a problem. And due to this muscle weakness, when returning from space the body is unable to fully support itself when reintroduced to earth’s gravitational pull.
While the effects are not as extreme as space travel, poor posture guides the body in a similar direction. By not sufficiently engaging the postural muscles regularly, they weaken. Once weakened, they lack the strength to fully spring up in response to gravity. The human design, through misuse, becomes compromised and unable to fully function. Rather than responding to gravity naturally by springing upwards, we now find gravity taking us downwards. This is of course a problem, but the problem is not in the design. The problem is how the design has been misused and compromised and is now unable to function efficiently. The problem is not gravity, it is the mishandling of gravity.
Once the postural muscles have weakened, it is possible to strengthen them again, and the Alexander Technique addresses this. By learning the technique, it is possible to stop the misuse of the body which has compromised its design. The postural muscles will have an opportunity to work more and strengthen, and the body can once again respond to gravity as it is designed to – springing upwards naturally, easily and subconsciously to its full height. It is in our nature to do so; it’s what we evolved to do. And it’s a much more comfortable view from up there