‘Heads, shoulders, knees and toes’

I can’t believe it’s only one week since ‘lockdown’! I have wavered between feeling very anxious for my family in London, and at the heart breaking stories and pictures on the TV, and in the paper; and experiencing a calm from being outside, watching the chickens take a dust bath, and seeing the tiny cowslips on a bank of grass grazed by our sheep.

It seems to me that anxiety in the face of this unbelievable situation is inevitable. Can Alexander Technique help? I remember some years ago standing at the kitchen sink washing up – I was thinking about a forthcoming choir concert – and was feeling that horrible churning feeling in the pit of my stomach. Suddenly I thought – it’s that churning feeling I don’t like, and so I turned my thinking to something more constructive – ‘head, shoulders, knees and toes’ – and gradually came to feel more grounded, and the churning feeling slipped away. So that’s my practice at the moment – to find some physical stability that in turn can lead to mental and emotional stability.

I will be exploring some of these practical ways of dealing with stress in some online sessions in the coming weeks. See events.

What does it mean to be truly grounded?

I didn’t know what it meant to be grounded until I had Alexander lessons – I mean the security of really experiencing the physical connection with the earth through one’s feet, and the way in which that connection could literally ‘send you up’ in a very alive and buoyant way.

I will be looking to explore these aspects of learning the Alexander Technique in the next introductory workshops, and how this can be of benefit in all areas of our lives, if nothing else, having the confidence to BE!

photo of autumn mood forest

Photo by Immortal shots on Pexels.com

Blog for the Abergavenny Natural Therapy Centre

When I tell people that I teach the Alexander Technique, they usually immediately stand to attention!  I think with the idea that the Technique is about good posture, and good posture is about standing up straight. For me though, standing straight always looks rigid – not good posture. What might good posture look like? Think of small children for example, who move with spontaneity, ease and lightness; and Roger Federer, a joy to watch as he plays tennis in a seemingly effortless way.

As we get older, the pressures of life literally ‘get us down’. We develop habitual patterns of movement that can cause us tension and discomfort, but because they are familiar, these habits are hard to change – think of anything you have tried to give up or change…..

Help is at hand though! The Alexander Technique can help you rediscover the ease of movement that you too had when you were young: it is a skill for self development, helping you to move with less effort and tension, and find balance in your life, physically, mentally and emotionally.

The Technique is taught one to one where the teacher uses and gentle hands on and verbal guidance to help you become more aware of how you move, and how you might move more effortlessly. A course of lessons is recommended to really help you incorporate the changes into your life.

It is also taught in groups, and I run small group courses at the Abergavenny Natural Therapy Centre. Participants on the recent introductory courses commented:

‘a really good opportunity to consider and reflect on movement, stillness and body awareness in a calm space. Jenny is a thoughtful and positive facilitator. Have found the sessions helpful physically and emotionally. Would recommend’. AM

My posture has improved……my weight and balance are in equilibrium……I have also learned how to ‘stop’….. To treat my body properly. The benefits of this are considerable. As well as the physical improvements to my body, sharing the experiences in the class have been helpful and enjoyable.’ Pauline

The next opportunity to explore the benefits of the Alexander Technique will be in September: a 3 week course at the Abergavenny Natural Therapy Centre starting on Wednesday 18th 6pm-7.15 For those who have completed an introductory course, there will be follow on course starting on September 18th 7.30pm-8.45pm. Both courses will be looking at how to move with more ease, improve your posture, feel more calm and balanced, and relieve pain and tension.

Coming soon – a Christmas gift for you!

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……. a short recording of a guided lying down, helping you to relax, giving your body and mind a ‘constructive rest’. If you would like to experience the benefits of the Alexander Technique thinking,  please Contact me, and I will send you the recording.

 

 

‘These feet were made for walking’

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Out walking with my son, and discussing the benefits of vertebrate beings, I gave him some tips that made him feel ‘lighter’ and ‘more springy’. Here they are:

  1.  feet parallel
  2.  knees pointed towards toes
  3.  notice the change in weight distribution through your feet as your arches lift – this leads to more effective contact with the earth, and allows the anti-gravity reflex* to work to your advantage

Why not try it for yourself?

* more on that next time!