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. Read More
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. Read More
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. Read More
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. Read More
- 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. Read More
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). Read More
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.
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. Read More
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. Read More
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. Read More