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

This secret to reducing eye strain may be counter-intuitive

You can’t separate strain in one part of your body from strain in your whole being. But sourcing mobility and ease in one place will spread throughout the whole! 








Welcome to my journey through the 12 cranial nerves. September is all about the third cranial or “oculomotor” nerve which controls most of the possible motions of your eye can make. In the illustration above, the oculomotor nerve is the thickest one, and you can see that it branches into 4 separate nerves for 4 different muscles. Last week’s post covered this and offers a video with a 4 step exercise.

I find that for many of my students and mentees, there are two elements of “sight.” One of them we have minimal choice about, and the other we have lots of choice about:

    1. 1. What we see: you can choose where you look, but not what is present. What’s there is there. Even if you didn’t watch the news this past Saturday, we all know it was the anniversary of 9/11.
    2. 2. How we see: the quality of your sight is affected by your nervous system: what state of balance it is in, what kind of energy is flowing through it, and where that energy is flowing towards.

If you didn’t get a chance last week, you can experiment with the motions it creates by watching the video, which I got some great feedback about. A well known Alexander teacher wrote me:  “Yes, yes, yes! Thank you so much for this gift! My eyes were so tired after teaching on zoom for a year, and my neck was tight,  I had totally lost all kinesthetic awareness!”

Basically, because of straining to see, she lost the feeling sense of her body. Can you relate? Not feeling your body has a disorienting and anxiety producing effect. We know we are anxious, but we don’t know why.

Don’t worry. You can get your feeling back pretty easily. It is a bit shocking, if you slow down and take some time to explore, to discover that visual strain is not just in the eyes. It affects your entire musculature.

The good news is, with some mindful experimenting and practice, you can change the habitual strain. Your nervous system is designed to do – and to un-do. Try this experiment (It’s different than the video – shorter and simpler):

  1. 1. Squeeze or squint your eyes (with them open or closed) just a little bit. (I don’t want you to harm your delicate eye by squeezing too hard.)
  2. 2. Open your awareness to your whole body. Is it just your eyes that are squinting? I find I can feel it all the way down to my feet!
  3. 3. Don’t try to relax your eyes completely. Just undo 5% of the squint. How does the rest of your body respond?
  4. 4. Keep undoing the squint by small 1 – 5% increments. Little by little, you may find your whole body un-squinting! Stop whenever you feel satisfied :-).

I notice that my lower back, neck, legs, and even my breathing are all affected by this tiny action. I practiced the exercise at least once a day, every day this week. By Friday I found myself much more able to prevent visual strain before it got a chance to take hold, even when working on the computer all day long.

Imagine what it’s like to be able to undo this kind of strain within each nerve pathway! It’s paradoxical that by exploring each separate nerve, we can find more harmony within our whole body. But that’s how it is! I can do it when I’m sitting on the subway, watching TV, or even when I go for my run. Want to get some expert guidance? Below are all the ways that you can connect with me.

(P.S. If you want to get a super low-cost introduction to my Cranial Nerve Sequencing work,  I’ll be leading special workshop to benefit the Judith Leibowitz Scholarship Fund, which pays 50% of tuition costs for black, indigenous, and people of color to train as Alexander Technique teachers. You can go HERE to find out more and sign up.)

September 12th, 2021 • No Comments

Are your eyes working way too hard?


Try these 4 simple exercises that will help create smooth eye and head motion.

I did a little YouTube video research in preparation for writing this post, and there is absolutely nothing out there on the cranial nerves for the average person. It’s all for people in medical school!

What is wrong with this picture????

I think regular old run of the mill people want to know about their bodies and how they work. I’m so glad you are here with me! Together we can learn about our bodies not because something is wrong, but because we want to enjoy them more and use them better for longer.

The video above guides you through an exercise activating 4 of the 6 eye muscles:

  • Medial rectus muscle (moves the eye inward toward the nose)
  • Inferior rectus muscle (moves the eye down)
  • Superior rectus muscle (moves the eye up)
  • Inferior oblique muscle (moves the eye up and out)

The special sauce is: are you letting this nerve do its job, or are you trying to open and move your eyes with other muscles that have nothing to do with it like:

  • Shoulder and arm muscles
  • Back muscles
  • Breathing muscles (what? You mean holding my breath doesn’t help me see better?)
  • Leg muscles.

The video above is a great warm up for any physical activity you do for fun or exercise. Let me tell you why spending so much time on simple movements like this – clearing out unnecessary tension – can improve your movement and posture so much.

Taken together, these 4 muscles allow you (if you are sighted or partially sighted) to do three very important things:

1) Saccades: These are rapid movements of your eye that happen below your sensory awareness. Your eyes jump from spot to spot (up to 3 spots per second!), helping your brain compose an image. This is the first thing that a baby’s eyes do – it’s amazing to watch!

2) Smooth pursuit: This kind of motion allows your eye to track a moving object – your own body, or something that you are interested in within your environment. This ability will be almost the same as an adult by 4-5 months old in the average developmental process for infants.

3) Fixation: This is your ability to fix your gaze on an object, even when your own body is in motion. Much beloved by dancers and athletes, this is a profoundly organizing function of your eye and can boost coordination and action planning. Dancers us it for turning without getting disoriented. Scientists speculate that this developed for hunting prey, but I can’t imagine how we would even be able to pick up a berry and put it in our mouth without it.

These three (rather simplified) separate visual system abilities allow us to do an unbelievable variety of things. Just try picking up your cup of coffee in the morning, brushing your teeth, or doing one sun salutation and see what’s going on in your visual system. The more you free up your eyes to do their thing with out the rest of your body interfering, the easier it will all be.

Want to experience an overview of the first 9 cranial nerves? I’m leading a special workshop to raise funds for the Judith Leibowitz Scholarship Fund, go HERE to register. The JLSF pays 50% of the tuition costs for black, indigenous, and people of color to train as Alexander Technique teachers.

Want some expert guidance? Book your first in person or online private session and let me guide you an a learning journey that will have positive ramifications that may surprise and delight you.

September 4th, 2021 • No Comments

Gone Fishin










I am taking a mini-break from generating more content to grab your attention. While I’m chilling out, I want to share two things:

1) I’m leading two free workshops on how to launch an online course for embodiment professionals. Bring your idea for your next course, and I’ll coach at least 2 of you through the next 3 steps to making it happen. Click on the link to register for:

Thursday, September 2, 9 – 10 am EST

Thursday, September 9, 5 – 6 pm EST

2) Some personal growth I’ve experienced as a result of my focus on the cranial nerves and the sense organs they supply…

Let’s face it. Online communication has become a lifeline for so many of us. I myself use FB, Google, & YouTube among other social media platforms to reach people who want to learn about their bodies. So I’m no purist. But…

It is becoming more and more evident how vulnerable our biology makes us to manipulation by tech giants that are making billions through grabbing and selling our attention. This documentary, The Social Dilemma, will give you a deeper understanding of why it is so hard to tear yourself away from your devices.

The documentary is free for all to view until September 30, so please share if you think it’s important, especially for families with younger children.

As a gift to you, I highly suggest that you download this chrome extension (if you use chrome as a browser) that will remove all of YouTubes “suggested videos” that keep you clicking on their site (after you watch mine of course :-).

I’m also loving this chrome extension that eliminates your Facebook feed. It’s great if you can’t eliminate FB altogether. My productivity doubled with this one!

Conscious embodiment skills are the most important part of your toolkit for surviving and thriving as a human being. Maintaining a healthy relationship to the felt sense of your body helps us to feel the negative effects of tech and free ourselves from its clutches sooner!

That freedom empowers us to communicate with one another directly, person to person, without attentional filters.

If you’d like more steps that you can take to minimize tech invasion, go HERE for more basic recommendations from the Center for Humane Technology.

Much love, take good care of yourselves.

August 27th, 2021 • No Comments