The Power of How: A journal about The Alexander Technique and Movement

WHY I CALL MYSELF A MOVEMENT AND BREATHING COACH

There are business coaches, creativity coaches, voice coaches, speech coaches, …….if a person has trouble speaking clearly, they go to a speech specialist. If they are blocked in their creativity, they go to a creativity coach.  You get the idea. But what about folks who want to move gracefully, but feel or have been told they look clumsy?

A few years ago, a friend of mine who is involved in the production of Broadway shows at a very high level mentioned to me that a certain famous actor in a certain broadway show was sticking out from all the others because he did not have much “training” as an actor. I said, how can you tell? She said, well, he moves….blocky and stiff, clumsy. His movement looks different from everyone else. He just doesn’t have the “flexibility”. And I said, well, why doesn’t the show hire an Alexander Teacher to coach him with his movement? And of course, you know what she said: “what’s the Alexander Technique?” And I said, it’s basically a way of returning a person to naturally coordinated and easy movement. A Movement Coach. She said, I’ve never heard of a movement coach before! So – no bite. Because there is no such thing.

And it killed me. Because I know that ease of movement is a choice we can learn to make, whereas flexibility is just about genetics – something you can’t change. This actor had untapped potential that has nothing to do with flexibility, he just didn’t know it.

So I decided to change my “title”! I am a coach who can help you access coordinated, graceful movement relatively quickly, without you having to study a particular movement form (which can take years) or change your genetic makeup. Help me make “Movement Coach” a household word!

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March 3rd, 2014 • No Comments

GRAVITY ROCKS: BALANCING FOR HEALTH

I just came across this super cool guy who likes to spend his time balancing rocks. You probably already saw him on Facebook.

Finally – someone else as focused as I am on balancing! This is how I start every warm up that I teach, every working session, every private lesson. By attending first to my own balancing, and then to include my student’s balancing in my awareness and to help them refine their ability to remain in a “state of balancing” as much as possible.

Balancing has healing properties, integrative properties, communicative properties, and calming properties. Sitting in meditation is just one kind of balancing but there are many others. Balancing is an energizing process of relating to the mass of the earth. It’s how we spend every moment of every day. It’s as much a natural part of our expression, our communication with one another, as words are. Lying flat on our backs, or walking, running, and rolling – we are always balancing.

This is what I explore in my Effortless Warm Up Class at Balance Arts every Thursday 6-7! If you would like to find out more, shoot me an email.

 

 

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February 25th, 2014 • No Comments

The Art of Breathing

I am delighted to be teaching a workshop specifically in the Art of Breathing, at Park Slope Wellness Center, this coming Sunday Feb. 2, from 11 am – 12:30 pm. The cost is $45.

Let me tell you why this work is so important to my Alexander Technique practice!

I always hated the suggestion “be aware of your breath.”

It felt like a prison in my chest, a space that wanted and needed air – but wasn’t allowed to get any. It was a mystery of desperation causing alarm. I felt much better if I just didn’t pay attention. Shut down, put my awareness on something else. As a rule, dancers are not really educated about how breathing works, even though we depend on it so much.

It wasn’t until I studied the Art of Breathing with Jessica Wolf that I started to find some answers. The first thing that saved me was: permission to let breathing be shallow – sometimes. The second thing was:  knowing that breathing is not “regular” or “even” but irregular, unpredictable, even wild, like emotion, or the ocean! Then, the recognition that I had been “tanking up” deliberately, always breathing in, in, in, getting ready for the next sentence, movement, or thought, never letting the current breath out, into the quiet of space, time, emptying as an easy part of breathing. This was AWE-SOME. What a relief.

To see an accurate anatomical image of what breathing actually looks like inside your body, check out the sample video on Jessica’s homepage: http://theartofbreathing.org/

Through my work with my students I am always reminded that breathing patterns are unique person to person, some people have breathing patterns similar to mine but each one is slightly different. No one size fits all. If you would like to find out about your own breathing, and how it affects your posture and movement, this workshop is a perfect place to begin.

 

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January 27th, 2014 • No Comments