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News from "Up Here"

DECEMBER UPDATE

Hello Friends,

Season’s Greetings!

From my studio to your home, wishing you the joys of the holidays and a fulfilling year ahead!

In recent newsletters I have talked about challenges and opportunities of the season, including TIPS to add ease and enjoyment to endeavors based on the Alexander Technique.  I’d like to devote this year-end newsletter to describing Alexander Technique and how it works.

RECONNECTING

 

Have you ever noticed how a child moves? Everything is of interest, and she is always in tune to her environment; dipping down to pick something up one moment and singing a tune into the air, the next.  The whole body is at her service as she moves joyfully about. Over time we lose some of that freedom. Our lives become more complicated, and our bodies are shaped by the ways in which we use them. Computers, crowded subways, traffic, deadlines, trauma and conflict can all contribute to tightening and habitual strains in our bodies. Alexander Technique is an ideal response. The capacity to let go of these patterns lies within you. Alexander lessons help you unlock and reconnect.

 


ORIGINS

 

Who was Alexander? Frederick Matthias Alexander (1869-1955) was an Australian actor who, early in his career, developed problems with his voice and his breathing.  Unable to solve his problem through medical inquiries, he decided to figure it out on his own.
After several years of intense self-observation and experimentation,  he discovered that his difficulties had to do specifically with a habitual compression of the head, neck and spine which limited his breathing, voice production, and overall mobility. Most significantly, he developed a way of engaging the mind in order to make choices outside of established patterns that interfered with the freedom he sought. His ideas caught on and he began to teach.  He taught in London, New York and Boston and wrote several fascinating books. In his later years he created a three-year training system for future teachers. I am one of a multitude of people who have completed this training. Alexander’s discoveries are taught in music schools, acting programs, wellness centers, clinics and private studios worldwide.

SCIENCE AND ART

Alexander Technique was soon recognized by scientists (Nobel Laureates Sir Charles Sherrington, Nikolaas Tinbergen), writers and philosophers (John Dewey, Aldous Huxley, George Bernard Shaw), and many of today’s performers (Dame Judy Dench, William Hurt, Lupita Nyong’o, to name a few). A recent Harvard Medical School Newsletter credits Alexander Technique lessons with helping to relieve neck pain, and the British Medical Journal, The Lancet, also published a study proving the effectiveness of Alexander Technique in reducing back pain.

WHAT HAPPENS IN A LESSON?

 

This is the best part! In my studio, we sit and chat for a few minutes about how things are going, and any areas that you wish to address. We might begin with a quiet sensing exercise to settle into the moment.  We will work with very basic movements to start; sitting and standing, walking, with light  hands-on guidance to help you notice and let go of patterns of interference allowing easier, coordinated movement. We are observing and talking periodically.

You might spend part of the lesson on the table, resting on your back, as I gently free the joints in your spine and ribs, hips, and extremities. To conclude we might explore an activity of your choice -- sitting at a computer, singing or playing an instrument, practicing a talk, or exploring movements related to an athletic activity -- all through the lens of a quieted nervous system, and a balanced and grounded self.  Remember the child? Your senses will be enlivened and your stresses reduced. To move with ease, to reduce risk of injury, and to promote healing where needed are well-worth a series of lessons. 

I look forward to seeing you in the new year!

Sara

ABOUT THE ALEXANDER TECHINQUE

The Alexander Technique helps us to function in harmony with our natural design and with greater efficiency and ease.  Alexander lessons are recognized as a valuable resource to people of all ages, including performing artists, athletes, anyone with chronic or incidental pain or just wishing to improve wellbeing.
Book a Lesson with me, or Learn More on my website.
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