alexander technique new york

How Good Can You Stand It? by Ariel Carson

What is your capacity for pleasure, delight, and joy in every day life? 

As a matter of survival, we are biologically wired to look for threats in any situation. We often therefore become accustomed to noticing our pain and discomfort, rather than luxuriating in the more pleasant experiences of life. The more time we spend focusing on our pain, physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, the more it intensifies and grows. Even when we’re committed to resting, releasing, and receiving in our yoga, meditation, or other self-care practices, there are often parts of us constantly fighting to keep our systems on alert. Our relationship to pleasure is intimately wrapped up with our capacity to experience safety. This can breed an exhausting subconscious conflict of interest, which interferes with our ability to freely inhabit a place of joy.

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How You Get What You Want by Ariel Carson

What happens in your body when you think of wanting something very badly?

Give yourself a moment to really envision something you desire, and notice any changes through your breath and muscles.

Did you observe any kind of tightening, a sense of restriction, or shortening of your breath? 

Wanting begins with needing, food and sleep, and connection with other human beings for example. As babies and toddlers, on an embodied level, needing and wanting may be expressed through crying and reaching out to grasp. The baby reaches for the mother’s breast, the bottle, as a plea to be picked up and held; later on we may cling tightly to our favorite toy.

However, the ways in which we express and aim to fulfill our desires may develop inefficiently. We may learn to reach out and attempt to grasp what we want both literally and figuratively in restrictive ways, or to try and deny our desires in full. This diminishes our connection to living in the flow that leads us toward more embodied freedom and the fulfillment of our desires in the first place.

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Gokhale Method vs. Alexander Technique by Ariel Carson

NPR recently featured a story on Esther Gokhale’s method for helping people uncover their “Primal Posture™ for a Pain-Free Life”.

 

Since its publication, this story, entitled “Lost Posture: Why Some Indigenous Cultures May Not Have Back Pain”, was sent to me so many times by members of my community, a thoughtful response from my perspective as an Alexander Technique teacher seems appropriate and hopefully useful.

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How to Find Inner Peace Even While That Annoying Guy Next to You Screams on His Cell Phone (Hint: It doesn’t involve knocking him out). by Ariel Carson

The car alarm honks outside your bedroom window for hours at a time.
Around every corner another computer screen glares in your face.
Advertisements infiltrate your dreams.

We are a culture bombarded by stimuli.

So when we need to rejuvenate we tend to close our eyes.

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