New York City

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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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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Alexander Technique? Ain't Nobody Got Time for That! by Ariel Carson

Several students have asked me variations of the same question in the past several weeks, so I wanted to take a moment to address it here.

The question:  I feel great when I slow down and become more aware in my Alexander Technique lessons, but I don't know how to maintain that awareness when I have to move quickly in the rest of my life. Is the point of Alexander Technique to be aware 100% of the time?

Answer in short:  Hell no! Ain't nobody got time for that!

There’s no way for us mere mortals to be mindful and aware of our mind-body-selves 100% of the time. We’re just not built for that.  But how about for 10 minutes a day, or 5 minutes? How about for even just a split second check-in to stop and ask yourself, "Can I do less?" or "Can I release my neck into length and my back into expansion?"

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Mindfulness and the Alexander Technique by Ariel Carson

An article entitled "No Time to Think" by Kate Murphy published in the New York Times Sunday Review on July 27th, 2014 states:

"In 11 experiments involving more than 700 people, the majority of participants reported that they found it unpleasant to be alone in a room with their thoughts for just 6 to 15 minutes."

It speculates that the constant busyness many of us seem to experience, and sometimes even glorify this day and age, may just be a tactic for avoiding self-reflection. Busyness distracts us from acknowledging the reality of our thoughts, emotions, and sensations -- particular those we consider "negative". 

As an Alexander Technique teacher and resident of the City that Never Sleeps, this does not come as a surprise to me. Many of my students and fellow city dwellers spend their every day powering forward with no time for pause, working nonstop to get ahead in their careers, going to the gym, bouncing from one social engagement to the next, running errands, and keeping up with social media 24/7. But this pace is not sustainable. Whatever feelings and sensations we shut out get pushed down in our psyches, only to bubble up in unexpected ways at unexpected times. Without time for self-reflection, we're just hurtling through our lives on auto-pilot, limiting our capacity for growth and change.

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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

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!