Still Procrastinating, and making progress: AT in a technical crisis

Still Procrastinating, and making progress: AT in a technical crisis

My writer’s block is still with me. I have written down notes and titles for 12 or more topics, but just can’t seem to find the inspiration to sit and get the writing done.

In the meantime, necessity is the mother of invention. I somehow managed to delete every email in my inbox on my desktop computer. 14,000+ to be exact. I only keep the last week’s worth of messages on my web-based server. 11 years deleted.

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Problem Solving

Problem Solving

Alexander didn't have a teacher to help him solve his vocal problems.  He had no one telling him where to begin or how to approach finding a solution, so he began with simple observation and then experimented on a trial and error basis.

One of Alexander's observations and concerns, as he worked for over 60 years teaching people from all walks of life, was the lack of critical reasoning people brought to problem solving.

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My Valentine to the Alexander Technique

Happy Valentine’s Day. I wish you chocolate, pleasure, connection, ease, and a generally good day.

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I started the day with dance class, one of those spaces in my life where my mind focuses on the present moment. I don’t think about anything but what I am doing. It’s the best form of meditation for me - moving and active.

I spent the rest of this day arm deep in old documents from the American Center for the Alexander Technique, preserving the history of 54 years of people who came together in our shared love of The Alexander Technique.

For those of you who haven’t experienced it yet, find out for yourself. Take a lesson and decide for yourself.

While I was scanning documents and organizing things, I had on Spotify, listening to a one of the curated playlists they have called “Easy 80s”. That music really takes me back to a formative time in my life, and the soundtrack that played kept the pleasure coming all day.

What has all this got to do with the Alexander Technique? My capacity to be present, pay attention, focus and productive has been greatly enhanced by the technique. I am having such a lovely day, enjoying myself and grateful to be alive. Alexander Technique helps me choose where to direct my focus, so more of my days are spent in ease and pleasure.

Don’t get me wrong, I know life isn’t all roses. I’ve written about some of my not so great days in these blogs, you can read about how the Alexander Technique helped me then, too.



For Alexander Teachers: Perfection Not Required

For Alexander Teachers: Perfection Not Required

My great joy is training Alexander Teachers. I had the honor of serving as Director of Training at The American Center for the Alexander Technique from 2008 through 2018, at which time we closed our doors. In my tenure on the faculty, from 1992 until 2018, I had a chance to participate in training over 130 teachers. I have also had a chance to serve as guest faculty on other courses and offer post-graduate training to colleagues from all over the world.

I have been profoundly impressed with all my colleagues’ commitment to excellence, regardless of their “Alexander lineage” or style of teaching.

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The trap of wanting to have “Good Use”

The trap of wanting to have “Good Use”

As I sit here at my computer typing this, I am a bit slumped, resting on my forearms, legs crossed, breath somewhat shallow. Before I rush to change position, I am finding a bit more inner space. I loosen tension in my face and jaw, and realize I want to raise my desk chair and sit closer to the edge. Phew, that’s better!

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Finding my Inner Adult and other Adventures in the Alexander Technique

Finding my Inner Adult and other Adventures in the Alexander Technique

Most people consider the Alexander Technique a highly effective resource for improving posture, recovering from injury and managing the physical effects of stress, repetitive strain injuries and the demands of daily life. It certainly can provide relief and improvement in all of those areas. READ MORE

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An Approach to Training Teachers: start with Alexander's means-whereby

An Approach to Training Teachers: start with Alexander's means-whereby

This week, a student on the ACAT training course (trainee) commented that there didn't seem to be specific instruction on the nuts and bolts of teaching: where to put hands, what to say, and the sequence in which to do things.

Within the ACAT curriculum, those types of specifics do get covered, in a fair bit of detail, as the terms progress. However, before that level of specificity is introduced, I want to give the trainee an understanding of Alexander's means-whereby for using the hands.

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You are lighter than you think: getting up from a chair

You are lighter than you think: getting up from a chair...One of the side benefits of being an Alexander Teacher is my constant search for novel ways to help my students relate to the skills we are teaching. It is no surprise to me that after almost 30 years of teaching, I can still find a new, simpler and more accessible way to describe a common,  habit that gives my students access to an easier, less stressful way to perform a task.

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Embracing Change

Embracing Change...

Alexander Teachers could be considered “change agents” for the individual. We help our students expand ways of being in thinking, movement and behavior.

That can seem vague and hard to articulate, and many Alexander Teachers find ourselves momentarily tongue-tied when someone asks: “What is the Alexander Technique?”

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Thinking to muscles

Thinking to muscles:

From the archives: originally published 10/22/04

Last week, I wrenched my back lifting an air conditioner out of the window. It was a pinching, shooting pain when I moved in certain ways.  I finished carrying the air conditioner into the other room to tuck it away in a closet, and then I lay down on my teaching table. I began sending my Alexander directions, and imagining the knot in my back muscle releasing and unwinding.

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Organization: start with yourself

Organization: Start with yourself

"When we have our body and mind in order, everything else will exist in the right place, in the right way.  But usually, without being aware of it, we try to change something other than ourselves, we try to order things outside us.  But it is impossible to organize things if you yourself are not in order.  When you do things in the right way, at the right time, everything else will be organized. "   -- Shunryu Suzuki (Japanese Zen Master)

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Rate of Change

Rate of Change (originally published 8/8/05)

When people begin studying something new (especially if it's helping them feel better), it's natural for them to want to learn all they can, right away and be a model pupil.  Often, my clients get a great deal of relief when they first start to study, and because they have been in discomfort, they want to do all they can to hold onto the new state they are in.

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It's about so much more than posture...

These are my thoughts on why Alexander teaches us not to end-gain to fix localized conditions or problems, but instead apply the means-whereby that begins with the more beneficial carriage of the head in relation to the spinal column.

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I have been thinking about AT as a tool for change: When you improve conditions through the head/neck/back and begin to function in a way where they are integrated, your perception of situations change as your sensory appreciation becomes more accurate and reliable. This change in perception is where AT facilitates the greatest change of use. It’s not about better body mechanics, or posture, or more refined coordination on a purely movement based, motor behavior level. It’s about totality, the constellation of perception and action relative to how we experience the world through our use, that affords us the most profound level of change, healing and transformation. We can respond more effectively and masterfully to the stimuli we meet.

7 Tips for Bringing Alexander Technique Awareness into Everyday Life

7 Tips for Bringing Alexander Technique Awareness into Everyday Life

Private lessons are a great way to understand your own habits and how Alexander Technique tools can help you find greater ease in daily activities, and specialized skills. We refer to our clients as students because we are teaching skills that offer independence outside of sessions.

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