These are the types of things that students say during their Alexander Technique lessons.
You have a natural support system within you, a system that allows an upright, expansive, lively presence. Whether you are walking in the woods, washing the dishes, talking with a friend, or playing the violin, you have an inherent ability to move expressively, think clearly, and live freely. Yet, due to learned patterns and knowledge gaps, you may unknowingly interfere with your innate freedom, ease, and expressiveness.
The Alexander Technique is a practical self-help method for learning to move with more poise, presence, and power. It's a way to make friends with gravity so that you can stand, sit, and move with a balanced, comfortable, supportive posture. It's a method for noticing your habits of thinking, feeling, and moving so that you can reshape the patterns that aren't working for you.
Most students initially seek help for physical issues, such as improved posture or pain relief (eg.--back pain, shoulder tension, carpal tunnel, or TMJ). Performers, such as actors, musicians, athletes, and professional speakers also study to improve their craft or manage performance anxiety.
Whatever the initial reason for lessons, students often discover surprising benefits that reach beyond their expectations. Because of the mind-body connection, physical changes simultaneously create change on other levels--mental, emotional, social, and spiritual.
Lessons invite more awareness and more choice--more choice in how you respond to the stresses of life, more choice in how you move and think, more choice in how you want to be in the world.
Traditionally, Alexander Technique lessons were taught in-person and most teachers used hands-on guidance. The need for covid precautions has created a shift and now all of my work is done on-line through zoom. Both formats have their own advantages, and virtual lessons are highly effective. When they aren't relying on the teacher's hands to guide them, students can more quickly gain confidence in their own abilities.
Mindfulness is choosing how you use your attention. It’s a practice for being present without judging, and without getting lost in your thoughts.
It’s not about pushing your thoughts away or taking a break from reality—It’s about developing a different relationship to your thoughts and perceptions.
When you change the quality of your attention, you change your quality, your state of being—how you think, how you feel, how you walk, and how you talk.
The mindfulness that I teach expands your field of awareness to simultaneously include your body, your sensations and the world around you. It’s the attention of a martial artist—purposeful and focused, yet also wide and inclusive.
Why do we use the phrases, “Be sensible!”, “Come to your senses!”, or “That doesn’t make sense!”? Your bodily senses are a crucial aspect of your intelligence and they are always in the present moment. Using your senses while you’re thinking actually helps you to think more clearly. It builds a friendly partnership between your logical self and your intuitive self.
Some forms of mindfulness require sitting in silence with your eyes closed (which can be helpful), but I teach clients how to be mindful in everyday life—while talking with a friend, working at your desk, or walking down a path.
Happiness is when what you think, what you say,
and what you do are in harmony.
Guided meditation is a powerful tool for de-stressing. It can help you to unwind and feel profoundly peaceful, centered, and comfortable. Clients have said that helps them feel simultaneously relaxed and energized, light and grounded, calm and alert.
In addition to how it helps you feel better right away, guided meditation provides benefits that last beyond the session. It offers a structured way to practice mindfulness of the body, to build your physical awareness. You become more fluent in the language of your body, your true native language, the language you knew before you knew the word for word. With more awareness, you can use the signals from your body to help you care for yourself on every level.
Just as your dashboard tells you when your car needs gas, your body lets you know when it’s time to lower your stress-o-meter.
You can proactively prevent the ill effects of stress. You can strengthen your coping skills and build your resilience so that you are not as easily unbalanced by the challenges of life.
Guided meditation is a powerful tool for de-stressing. It can help you to unwind and feel profoundly peaceful, centered, and comfortable. Clients have said that it makes them feel simultaneously relaxed and energized, light and grounded, calm and alert.
In addition to how it helps you feel better right away, guided meditation provides benefits that last beyond the session. also offers a structured way to build your physical awareness. You become more fluent in the language of your body, your true native language, the language you knew before you knew the word for “word.” With more awareness, you can use the signals from your body to help you care for yourself on every level. Just as your dashboard tells you when your car needs gas, your body tells you when its time to lower your stress-o-meter.
I think silence is one of the greatest gifts that we have. —Mr. Rogers
You have a natural ability to enhance your health just through your own thinking--your beliefs your intentions, and your expectations. This natural ability is known as the placebo effect, and pharmaceutical companies have scientifically proven it many thousands of times. It's so well-established that drug trials must factor it out of their results. They must show that the drug being tested is more effective than the person's belief that the drug may help them. (Often it's very close.)
Because we've been taught to rely on resources outside us, it's hard to believe that we can do so much for ourselves, that our minds are so powerful. Have you heard of the "nocebo effect?" In pharmaceutic trials of potential cancer-fighting drugs, some of the control group subjects suffer the side effects of the medication. Subjects who don’t know if they’re receiving the medication or the placebo have had their hair fall out, even though they're not receiving it. Their hair falls out, not from the medication, but just from believing that they might lose their hair. Pretty convincing!
An acupuncturist friend told me about a patient who received dramatic relief from chronic back pain. He happily reported these good results to his physician, who said, Oh, acupuncture! That's just the placebo effect! The quick-witted patient replied to his doctor, Well, her placebo's better than your placebo!
Wouldn't it be to your advantage to boost the placebo effect, to strengthen your own ability for self-healing, to learn how to talk to your body in a way that it understands? Some people have a naturally powerful placebo response and for others the response is not as pronounced. However, with practice you can strengthen your own self-healing abilities.
I've developed several methods for enhancing your mind-body connection. These self-help methods can potentially help with problems ranging from headaches to asthma, immune health to blood pressure, insomnia to inflammation, pain relief to skin conditions.
Easier, fuller breathing helps every aspect of who you are--it lessens your stress, balances your nervous system, and relieves overall muscle tension.
Years ago, at the hospital where I worked, I taught the patients deep breathing. It was (and still is) the most commonly recognized technique available. While deep breathing can be of some help, I now teach a more effective breathing method--a method that creates a fuller inhale and a fuller exhale,
Easy Breathing releases the stress response, and it's especially useful for issues like anxiety, asthma, and pain. Singers, athletes, musicians, and public speakers can all improve performance with better breathing. It even helps you to think more clearly and be more productive. Besides that, Easy Breathing feels terrific! After a breathing lesson, clients often describe having an expansive feeling, a sense of spaciousness and connection. One student described it as a "natural high.".
You can use Easy Breathing to:
Listening is at the heart of everything I do. I put a photo of this sweet dog (Mazzy Grace) because dogs are known for listening and Mazzy has especially big, beautiful ears. But listening is more than just hearing someone's words. True listening comes from a deeper place. It requires beginner's mind, putting aside preconceptions and judgments so that you can hear the words, and you can hear what's underneath the words, receive the person behind the words.
Being heard, seen, and welcomed as you are can be a profoundly healing and enlightening experience. Life-changing insights occur when someone feels understood, accepted, and safe to try something different.
The greatest gift you can give another is the purity of your attention.
--Richard Moss, M.D.