Ariel Carson

Surviving to Thrive: A Union of Intuition and Reason by Ariel Carson

All living things are survivors. We are built to keep going forward until our last moments. But rather than just plodding along in survival mode, how can we move in the direction of thriving?

When we have unresolved trauma in our lives, it’s as though some part of us does not understand we survived. Even if the perceived threat has long passed, some part of us believes that we are still in danger, and our nervous system behaves as such. This affects everything from how we digest our food to how we interact with our friends and loved ones. It informs how we sense the world around us, and therefore how we move through it.

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Let's Organize Ourselves Around Spaciousness by Ariel Carson

What would it mean to organize our mind-body-selves around spaciousness and move from there? If there are an infinite number of points between any two points, then we can infer that there is an infinite amount of space between each of these points as well. It follows that between every atom in our bodies there is an infinite amount of space. We can therefore consider ourselves permeable, interconnected, affected and affecting our environment near and far. We are not closed systems acting in isolation.

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The Anxiety of Doing Less by Ariel Carson

Summertime is when we grant ourselves greater permission to take it easier. Maybe it's just that the heat slows us down, or our bodies forever remember summer vacations from school, but somehow we've collectively agreed that July and August mean it's okay to Do Less.

As someone in the business of helping people Do Less in their mind-body-selves I am in full support of this seasonal credo. However as we age, a sneaking mistrust of the ease this practice affords can overtake us.

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An Open Letter to Your Boss by Ariel Carson

Google’s Senior Vice President of People Operations, Laszlo Bock, recently endorsed the Alexander Technique for helping with “desk bound back pain” in his new book Work Rules.

Oh dreamy Google, if only all companies could foster such awesome workplace environments.

My universal vision is that one day everyone with a desk job, or who uses a computer for long periods of time, would learn the skill of Alexander Technique to help them stay pain free and injury free, and reduce work related stress.

In my vision, I see open spaces with yoga mats and soft cover books where employees do Constructive Rest on their lunch breaks, or as part of their prep for big presentations, or even as a way to begin meetings.

That’s why I have drafted a memorandum below to be sent to your boss. That’s right, your Head Honcho, Chief Director President Executive Officer, Charles in Charge, Super-Duper-Visor, to let them know it’s high time some changes were made. Self-care is nonnegotiable. Because hey, we all deserve a chance to be as cool as Google. 

And if you already are the boss, this one’s for you.

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Get Yourself Together! by Ariel Carson

Try this:

  • Mentally, or out loud, tell yourself to “Get your $#!+ together!”
  • Say it like you mean it.
  • Without judgment, closely observe what happens in your body and breath for 30 seconds as you repeat that command.

 

If you’re reading this blog post chances are you have found a satisfactory, if not more than satisfactory, socially acceptable way to “Get your $#!+ together” in order to function in your daily life. You keep yourself together mentally, physically, and emotionally well enough to sustain some sort of a career, home and social life.

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Stair Master by Ariel Carson

Using the Alexander Technique to Improve Stair Climbing Skillz

Whether you're living out your own personal Rocky Balboa "Eye of the Tiger" montage, the elevator to your 9th floor office is out of service, or you have to transfer from the A/C/E to the N/Q/R at Times Square, tackling multiple flights of stairs can be physically demanding for anyone. Here’s how to apply the Alexander Technique to take you from Stair Novice to Stair Master in 5 Simple Steps (pun intended).

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Sustainability and the Alexander Technique by Ariel Carson

You compost and recycle. You buy organic local goods. You ride your bike to work, and you shower in under five minutes. You make sustainable choices, because you know that while we have been able to run on oil and gas for a long time, accomplishing a great many things, these resources are rapidly depleting. We must now instead find sustainable renewable energy from more abundant natural resources like the sun and wind. However, as Señor Ghandi so wisely said if we must "be the change [we] wish to see in the world," supporting Mother Earth begins at the most local ecosystem we know.

 

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Failure and the Alexander Technique by Ariel Carson

My Love Affair With the F Word

I wanted to write about why failure is an essential element in any Alexander Technique practice, but everything I wrote seemed overly complicated and wordy. I was having a difficult time trying to squeeze out a decent draft from what I had, until I remembered to practice the very thing I was preaching.

The way I was writing wasn’t working, so instead of charging forward without changing anything, I stopped. I let go of the familiar tension that had built up over the process of banging out the first draft, released my neck and back, and allowed myself to grow into more of my full expansiveness. I let my breathing open up, and I acknowledged the support of the ground. I wiped the slate clean and started over.

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Workshop Series at Loom Yoga Center in Bushwick by Ariel Carson

Loom Yoga Center

Loom Yoga Center

On Sunday mornings in June I will be leading a series of Alexander Technique workshops at the amazing Loom Yoga Center in Bushwick. Each workshop has a different theme. You can come to one, or you can save money by signing up for all four in advance. Click here to register, and read below for workshop descriptions. This is a great way to see if the Alexander Technique is a good fit for you, and to learn how to apply the basic principles to your daily life. I look forward to seeing you there!

 

Sittin’ Pretty - Sunday June 1st, 10-11:30am
In a world where many of us sit at computers for 8 or more hours a day, reduce back pain and repetitive strain injury by learning to sit with greater ease and improved posture.

Walkin’ Tall - Sunday June 8th, 10-11:30am
Whether you want to strut down the runway, or stroll down the street, discover your full upright stature, and how to walk with the utmost freedom.


Breathin’ Easy - Sunday June 22nd, 10-11:30am
Many ancient traditions like yoga know the power of the breath. In this workshop, you will investigate how your breath is interlinked with your postural support, and how to cultivate a more unified and effortless connection of your breath to your whole mind-body being.

Speakin’ Out - Sunday June 29th, 10-11:30am
Give yourself the tools to feel calmer, more confident, and more collected in any performance situation. Perfect for auditioning actors, singers, public speakers, or anyone who has to do presentations in front of other people.



SINGLE SESSION $20
SERIES $70

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

Life's a Beach by Ariel Carson

Just before beginning my Alexander Technique teacher training, I recurrently imagined myself on a tropical beach trying to grab on to a fistful of dry powdery sand. If you’ve ever done this, you know that truly dry sand will just run out of your fist, as it did in my imagination. You may be able to retain a small amount, but the majority will escape through whatever openings your hand provides.

 

By the end of my Alexander Technique teacher training the image had evolved into scooping up a handful of sand and letting it sift through my fingers, appreciating its texture and warmth. I was also able to imagine more of the environment around me. Instead of focusing all of my attention on the fistful of sand, I could smell the sea breeze, see the clear blue water, and hear the comforting sound of the waves rolling on to shore.

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Turtle Power by Ariel Carson

When the turtle needs protection, its head and legs retract into its brilliantly designed shell until the threat has passed. Human beings behave similarly. In reaction to stressful, dangerous, startling, nerve wracking, or even just uncomfortable situations, we often pull our heads, arms, and legs into our torsos. We tense our necks and shoulders, grip our hips, stiffen our legs, and hold our breath.

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The Lie Down Album is Here! by Ariel Carson

I'm thrilled to announce that my new all digital lie down album has arrived!

At just under two hours of content, each of the 10 awesome tracks explores a different aspect of the Alexander Technique.

From topics like Efficiency to Perspective, this album will help you uncover your release and reorganize your musculature like a pro : )

Guided Lie Down in Washington Square Park, NYC

Guided Lie Down in Washington Square Park, NYC

The Alexander Technique teachers at Julliard call lie downs "self lessons" because they are by far the best way to supplement, maximize, and renew the benefits you get from your private lessons. I personally have to do my lie downs every day, or else I tend to get totally bound up with tension and anxiety.

But it always really helps to have an outside person/voice to guide you through.

So check out the preview tracks below, and then pop over to the Shop and download your digital copy for only $12!

<3 Ariel

P.S. I'd love to hear your feedback in the comments below!