Ariel Carson M.AmSAT, SEP, is based in New York City. She received her teaching certification (1600 hours over 3 years) through Alexander Technique New York City (ATNYC) , headed by second generation teachers John Nicholls and Nanette Walsh. Her primary teachers of Somatic Experiencing were Nancy Napier, Dave Berger, and Raja Selvam. She is the Associate Director of Riverside Initiative for the Alexander Technique as well as a faculty member there. She has assisted at The Juilliard School, and taught at Boston University where she earned her BFA. Ariel previously worked as a teaching artist for the Leadership Program, teaching leadership skills through the arts to under-served students in New York City public schools. From her work with U.S. veterans, activists, performers, social workers, and the LGBTQ community, Ariel is most interested in using the Alexander Technique and Somatic Experiencing work as part of a holistic and multifaceted approach to cultivating greater sustainability, resilience, vitality, and freedom in her current and future clients.
Early on in my weekly Alexander Technique classes as an undergrad with my first teacher Betsy Polatin, we did an exercise where we observed how we moved to pick up a ringing phone. After a round of self-observation, our teacher helped us become aware of and release unconscious and excess tension in our bodies, and we were asked to repeat the activity of answering the phone applying her suggestions. That was a high contrast revolutionary experience for me as I realized how habitually I coordinated myself, and that I did not have to use so much muscular effort to complete the task at hand. Through learning a different way to answer the phone, I was presented with choice, where I had only been aware of a single option before. If I had a choice in the way I did something as mundane as answering a phone, I must have a choice in how I completed other activities.
The Alexander Technique is ultimately a method for increasing consciousness, and gaining control over the amount of mental and muscular effort one expends in reaction to any given stimulus. Throughout my three year, 1600 hour study to become a certified Alexander Technique teacher, it became clear to me that I always have a choice in how I move about the world in the grandest sense. From how I pick up a phone, to how I walk down the street, to how I engage with the people and environment around me, I have a choice. As an Alexander Technique teacher I strongly value being able to offer my students choice as well.
From the awkward uncoordinated sense of myself I had growing up, to the sense of presence, graceful coordination, unity, freedom, lightness, and calm the Alexander Technique cultivates, I am now ever more at home in my Self - body, breath, mind, spirit and all. What a relief!
As the years go on, the Alexander Technique continues to foster change within me and without on profound levels. It has helped me become a more adaptable person who now greets the unknown with an insatiable curiosity and a sense of possibility. Not to mention my posture's better too.
Somatic Experiencing has given me faith in the body-mind-self's innate capacity to access healing from the inside out. By learning how to more deeply listen, observe, and be guided by the intersection of sensation, imagery, behavior, emotion, and meaning, old patterns of trauma and overwhelm come to rest and resolution. Our capacity for connection comes online. We experience more of what it means to be alive, and our increased resilience allows us to move through the inevitable ups and downs of life while remaining in the flow.
I look forward to working with you!
Ariel Carson, M.AmSAT, SEP
All photos on main site by Kimberlee Venable.