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

SAVE YOUR KNEES BY KNOWING WHERE THEY ARE: #3 in a series on how to use your kinesthetic intelligence

 

I think most of us have limited ideas about what we are capable of. If you are a dancer, you know you’ve had those moments where your body goes somewhere or does something that blows your mind, and you can only “sit back and watch.” Well, I think that’s a pretty good way to work!

I think when you have those mind blowing experiences while moving, your kinesthetic sense is on, it’s alive.

In our mind-dance that uses this sense, we are going to add in two more spots to track: one on each leg. Specifically, a spot exactly in the middle of the top your tibia (the larger of the two lower leg bones in the image above). Notice that the fibula, the smaller bone, does not go up as high as the tibia. The tibia is what supports your femur; the fibula is off to the side.

This process of methodically expanding your awareness of your self has a sequence that is really important. You’ve got to know where your head and your trunk or torso are first, because that’s how you organize any movement – something we’ve experimented with alot in the Alexander teaching community. So start with the previous sequence:

1) Imagine a spot exactly in the middle of the crown of your head

then

2) Imagine a spot at the tip of your tail bone
and enjoy the distance inside you between the two spots, as well as knowing where those spots are in space;

then, ALWAYS IN RELATION TO THE FIRST TWO POINTS,
3) Imagine a spot right in the middle of the top of your left and right tibia, or lower leg bone.

At first, you can just play with being still, and knowing where these 4 spots are in relationship to one another, and observe how/if they move in relationship to each other as you breath and relax.

This is the first step to saving your knees – just knowing where they are. Your lower leg is a really powerful lever and is very important in supporting and generating movement.

Next post, we’ll look at ways to experiment with these 4 points in movement.

June 5th, 2017 • No Comments

EFFORTLESS MIND IN MOVEMENT: #2 in a series on how to use your kinesthetic intelligence

A couple of days ago, I sent you a little mind dance to try. Today, I invite you to take this mind dance into activity:

1) Imagine a spot exactly in the middle of the crown of your head, as if you were looking down from the sky at the top of your own skull, and you dropped a dot right into the center of it.

Aware of where this spot is, take a walk, move around, lie down….do any movement you wish. Just remain aware of where that spot is in you, and in space.

2) Imagine a spot at the tip of your tail bone, exactly on the tip. See the images below if you’re not sure where your tailbone is, as it’s hidden from view and not often touched. 

 

 

Notice the distance between the “top of your head spot” from the tip of your tail spot” in your own body, and enjoy locating them in space wherever you are.

Notice the dance they are doing already. Are they fixed in relationship to each other? If so, let them move, as you rest in stillness or as you move in space. Try repeating one of the movements you did in the first step, just to see if it’s any different when you add the second spot in your awareness.
The relationship between these two parts of you, your head and your spine, is the central thing in your life – ha! get it? I’ll be writing more about why that’s true.

PS: If you tried this experiment and discovered something interesting, I’d love to hear back from you. I’ll be teaching this material in a group class format soon, so stay posted for more info on that!

June 2nd, 2017 • No Comments

FREE BREATHING FROM THE INSIDE OUT: THE VAGUS NERVE

Ever have one of those days when you feel tight, stiff, sore…and none of your usual warm ups work to get you loose and easy?

Or your body is maxed out from the day before, and you don’t have the time to really warm up before you start teaching or rehearsing?

If this is you, let me introduce you to the vagus nerve, your friend! It’s the 10th nerve to emerge from your brain right near your ears, and has two branches that run down either side of your neck, wrapping delicately around the heart, trachea, diaphragm, stomach, and on down into your belly. It’s long, wandering, branching… a river of nerves that flows deep into all your organ systems. It also innervates a small area of skin right inside your ear canal, so you can gently stimulate it with touch.

This one nerve can help re-set your heartbeat and breathing rate, allowing your diaphragm to make it’s fullest, easiest excursion, which in turn releases the ribs, chest, and back, “un-stiffening” you from the inside out. Want to give it a try? Watch this month’s video here.

This video is only one part of my foolproof warmup sequence that I’ll be sharing in a workshop on June 10. Go here for more information.

Lots of love,

Clare

UPCOMING WORKSHOPS:

////// BEGINNERS MIND, BEGINNERS BODY: ENDING BURNOUT AND INJURY FOR DANCERS AND MOVEMENT TEACHERS
Learn the top 3 totally wrong ideas you have about your body, how to warm up even when you feel like crap, and how to save your pore ole dancer knees!
Saturday, June 10, 2017, 11:30 – 1:30 pm, $30 (or $15 per person if you bring a friend!) REGISTER HERE.

////// END CHRONIC SHOULDER INJURIES FOREVER WORKSHOP SERIES
Wednesday Evenings $159 for 4 classes, limited class size, lots of attention! NEXT SERIES DATES TBA. INTERESTED? CONTACT ME.

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June 1st, 2017 • No Comments