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Dear Alliance Trainees and Teachers – In Light of Covid-19

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Dear Alliance Trainees and Teachers,

My thoughts are with all of you as, together, we find ourselves in unknown territory. Alexander writes, “That rigid routine we refer to as habit, this rigid routine being the stumbling-block to rapid adaptability, to the assimilation of new ideas, to originality.”

This global event is shaking the entire world out of its routine. If Alexander’s work is about readiness, about being able to assimilate new information and ideas as they arise, and then to be able to adapt rapidly to ever changing circumstances, and to do so originally, that is, in ways that we have not done before, then now we are being put to the test.

John Dewey said Alexander taught him that, most of the time, all he really needed to know was where he was now, and where he was immediately going next. This seems to be all we can know for certain, given our ever changing situation – where we are now, and where we can immediately go next.  We will have to improvise. We will have to simply go moment by moment.

As F.M. often declared, “The readiness is all.”

Even if we cannot meet and work together as we normally do, it does not mean that we have to stop training. It doesn’t mean we have to stop helping one another. It doesn’t mean we have to stop studying together. We don’t have to close our doors. We have to open new ones. Now is the time to be the community/school that we are.

Robyn and Magdalena are at work on preparing for some online study. Let’s make the most of this experiment and see what we can learn from it. We will likely learn something important through the process, something we may one day make use of as teachers.

I see this time as a chance for intense self-study, self-training. This is what I am doing for myself. Here we are in a non-habitual situation. How are we reacting and responding to the “myriad stimuli from within us and all around us? How do we want to respond? How do we want to be?

For me, how do I want to be is the main question. Not so much, how do I want to respond to what is going on around me, but what is the stimulus I want to be for those around me? How do I want to be, not just for myself, but for those around me, for the people I love, for my neighbors, for my community? Now is the time to use the training we have, and to train more purposely than ever.

In this letter, I will include an essay, reminding you what our practice is at the Alexander Alliance. I suggest reading it carefully in light of the situation in which we find ourselves. Design a training program for yourself, a practice for yourself so that, every day, you are working on yourself.

At the same time, Magdalena, Robyn, Margarete, and I will be thinking about ways that we can all stay in touch and study together and virtually support one another. I think we may need to begin a Facebook page, specifically for Alliance trainees, teachers, and graduates. I just did this.

The Alexander Alliance Support Network – In Light of Covid-19

Let us remember, some of us are older than others of us. Some of us are more physically at risk than others, particularly those of us with diabetes, heart disease, lung disease, or cancer. Some of us are more financially at risk than others. Some of us will contract this virus, and others of us will not. Let’s stay in touch. Let’s help each other in every way we can.

I love and cherish our community, and all of you.

We are all in this together.

Shalom, (meaning peace, harmony, wholeness, completeness, prosperity, welfare and tranquility)

Bruce

The Alexander Alliance Europe

Curriculum

 

Personal Development

Without having spent years integrating Alexander’s work into one’s personal life, it is not possible to become a teacher of his work. Personal transformation is the basis upon which a life as an Alexander teacher is founded. Therefore, I will go into some detail as to what this transformational process entails.

Throughout the entire training, we train somatically, that is, we work on attuning ourselves physically, and we explore the relationship this physical attuning has upon our lives personally, psychologically, socially, and spiritually. Our physical attuning process is founded upon the insights and principles discerned by F.M. Alexander as to how we learn to function in accordance with our inherent coordination and structural design. 

Regardless of our personal life situation, we share a common context in which our lives take place. Alexander’s work attempts to shift, for the better, our psychophysical relationship to the contextual framework in which life happens. This shift in how we relate psychophysically to life’s contextual framework, indirectly but often profoundly and surprisingly, influences the content of our lives, the way in which our lives unfold, and how we experience this unfolding. Our training is devoted to this transformational shift.

Our Common Contextual Framework/Universal and Basic Realities

By our contextual framework, I mean basic realities that are constant for all human beings.

I divide these basic realities into ten facets. They are like facets of one diamond. The ten basic realities are: Structural Support, Ground Force, Spatial Freedom, Organ Capacity, Respiratory Restoration, Temporal Existence, Sensory Receptivity, Motoric Refinement, Uncertain Conditions, and Social Harmony/Inner Peace. In this essay I will go into detail as to what I mean by each of these terms.

Simply said, regardless of our life situation, all of us

(1) possess the same Homo Sapient structure.

(2) We live in relation to gravity and the ground.

(3) We live and move through space.

(4) We possess the same organs and they are vital to us.

(5) We breathe.

(6) We all live in time, which for each of us is finite.

(7) We all receive sensory input.

(8) We all move.

(9) None of us know for sure what will happen.

(10) And, we are all social animals.

Regardless of our culture, class, gender, age, color, profession, personality, or life situation, the context in which our lives unfold are the same for all of us. Personal Development for us at the Alexander Alliance means in depth study of our relationship to this contextual framework in which we find ourselves, in which our lives unfold, and that is equally true for all of us.

One. Structural Support

We share a common structure. We are all Homo Sapiens. At any given moment, we are using our structure in a particular way. At the Alexander Alliance, we learn how to respect and treat our structure according to its inherent design. This frees us into our natural support, allowing us to be at once, light and substantial, soft and strong, relaxed and ready, stable and flexible, peaceful and lively, receptive and generous, awake to ourselves, to others, and to the world around us.

Through Alexander’s work our personal relationship to our physical structure, to being consciously and appreciatively embodied changes, for the better.

Two. Ground Force

All of us are subject to gravity. Gravity derives from “gravis” or “gravitas”, and means heavy, weight, serious. For our purposes, gravity might best be thought of as “the law of mutual attraction” which states that bodies are drawn to each other through gravitational attraction. This force of attraction exists between any two bodies. Or, we might refer to Newton’s third law of motion, “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” When we sit in a chair, our bodies exert a downward force into the chair, while the chair exerts an equally upward force through our bodies.

These forces are not grave, not serious. They are positive, interactive forces, I dare say, joyful. These forces allow objects, both animate and inanimate, to rest. The more we can rest, the more support we can receive. The more support we receive, the more we can rest, and the more grace and lightness we experience.

Through Alexander’s work our personal, physiological relationship to gravity changes, for the better.

Three. Spatial Freedom

We all live in space. There is space within. We all possess a sense of space, or a lack thereof. Sometimes, we feel trapped, or cramped, that we have no room to move or breathe. Sometimes, we feel open and free, that the future is open to us, that the horizon widens forever, that the sky is the limit, that life is deep and vast, like the ocean. Some of us seem to spread out, some squeeze in, some hold back, some thrust forward, some press down, some pull up. How to be spatially unbiased, spatially balanced, spatially omni-directional?

There is space between, between us and our smartphones, our computers, our steering wheels, our soup bowls. There is space between us and those around us, on a crowded train, in line at the grocery store, at the kitchen table.

There is space all around us, above us, below us, before us, behind us, beside us. Unbeknownst to us, often we live with blinders on, zooming in on what is in front of us, narrowing our worldview.

Through Alexander’s work our personal, physiological relationship to space within, between, and around changes, for the better.

Four. Organ Capacity

We are all organ-isms, creatures. Even though we have a sense of internal space, in reality, the space within our structural framework is fully occupied; the cranial cavity, thoracic cavity, abdominal cavity, and pelvic cavity. Again, unbeknownst to us, we impinge upon our organs, exert pressure against them, prevent them from moving. We ignore them. Sensing our organs, our organ life, reminds us that we are alive, human beings, rather than human doings.

Through Alexander’s work our personal, physiological relationship to our organ life changes, for the better.

Five. Respiratory Restoration

Unknowingly, we often interfere with breathing, without understanding how or why, or even when, we do it. It helps to become aware of the particular ways in which we interfere with breathing. Breathing responds to pressure of any and all kinds. External pressure, for example, altitude, pollution, over stimulation, under stimulation, danger, as well as safety, comfort, love, a cat resting in your lap.

Breathing responds to internal pressures as well, like exertion, hunger, fatigue, strain, disease, self-imposed standards, time restraints. Breathing responds to the entire gamut of thoughts, sensations, emotions – be they painful or pleasurable.

Breath is not an action; it’s a response. When we decide to run up a hill, we don’t stand there and breathe until we have enough air to make it up the hill. We start running. The air of the world, and our bodies reflexes, without our having to ask, help us to accomplish what we have decided to do. Just like that. Such support. Such kindness. Such faithfulness. And how often do we stop, and say thank you?

Through Alexander’s work our personal, physiological relationship to breathing changes, for the better.

The Challenge

As we improve our relationship to our Homo Sapient structure, cultivate our affinity with gravity and the ground, find space within, between, and around, as we learn how to make room for our organs, and allow ourselves to be breathed, (1 through 5), we find ourselves better equipped to deal with other basic realities, other constants, that challenge our integrity: time, work/input-output, change and uncertainty, people/ourselves, (6 through 10).

Six. Temporal Existence

We all live in time. A second is a second, a minute a minute, an hour an hour, a day a day, a year a year, a decade a decade, and yet our subjective sense of time varies. An hour can fly by in a second, an hour can feel like an eternity, for better or worse. We can find ourselves waiting, a temporal event, for an urgent phone call, for a needed document to download, for the train that is late to arrive. Then again, there is long-term waiting, for the kids to leave home, for the perfect person to come into our lives, or for when we will be earning much more money, or for when we finally retire and get to travel. Or we find ourselves rushing about, worried about being late, meeting deadlines, getting everything done that we have to do. Time pressure. Clock time.

Then, there is biological time. Pacing. Tempo. Right timing. Eating, walking, speaking. Time to think. Time to feel. Time to breathe. Time to let the beauty of the world sink in, into our bones, into our hearts. Biologically, we by nature, mature, age, die. Our lives are temporally finite. We only have so much time, so many breaths. “Number your days”, King David suggests to us in Psalm 90. Don’t waste them. Don’t miss them. Experience them. Enjoy them. Be grateful for them. Live them. Make the most of them, as he did so well. What does it mean to age gracefully? How can we best adapt to our aging bodies? What do we want to pass on, to give away?

Through Alexander’s work our personal, physiological relationship to time changes, for the better.

Seven. Sensory Receptivity

We all are endowed with senses, though some of us do not have all of them. We see, hear, smell, taste and touch. We also have less known, often less educated senses that tell us about ourselves, our kinesthetic and proprioceptive senses, senses we educate to an extraordinary degree at the Alexander Alliance.

There’s a very simple way to understand what happens to our senses. As our motoric activity increases, often our sensory receptivity decreases. The result is that our actions are not as informed as they could be, which often makes our actions less accurate, more effortful, less effective, and sometimes inappropriate. To add to this, a diminishment of sensory receptivity prevents us from experiencing how we are doing, what we are doing, as we are doing it, reducing our ability to delight in and appreciate life as we are living it. We don’t want to live unlived lives.

It is as if, within us, there is a doer and a receiver. There is the you who washes your hair, and the you who senses and enjoys your hair being washed, or the you who does not sense your hair being washed and therefore cannot enjoy. There is the you who is feeding you a spoonful of soup, perhaps potato leek soup, or miso soup, or lentil soup, or split pea soup, or French onion soup. And then, there is the you who is tasting it, savoring it, feeling thankful for it, or the you who is not tasting it. Reawakening the receiver within us, the one who is not putting out, not on output, but the one receiving, on input, keeps us from becoming depleted, allows us to be replenished.

Through Alexander’s work our personal, physiological relationship to our sensory world changes, for the better.

Eight. Motoric Refinement

We all move. We all work in some way. We all have to figure out how to survive. The question is, how well, how enjoyably, how appreciatively can we move through our daily lives? The more sensitive, accurate, and reliable our senses become, particularly our intra-senses, our kinesthetic and proprioceptive senses, the more refined our actions become, the more precise, the more efficient, the more effective, the more effortless, the more fluid, and the more beautiful. Everyday movement, everyday actions become interesting and pleasurable; walking up and down steps, riding a bike, folding laundry, cleaning the house, cooking a meal.

Through Alexander’s work our personal, physiological relationship to moving through our life changes, for the better.

Nine. Uncertain Conditions/Continual Change

When asked to say, in one word, what his work was about Alexander said, “Readiness.” Alexander felt that fixed habits prevented us from being in a condition of readiness. He writes, “…That rigid routine we refer to as habit, this rigid routine being the stumbling-block to rapid adaptability, to the assimilation of new ideas, to originality.”

Readiness helps us adapt rapidly to life’s uncertainties, to unexpected events, to the unknown.

Through Alexander’s work our personal, physiological relationship to uncertainty changes, for the better.

Ten. Social Harmony/Inner Peace

We are all social animals. Existence is co-existence. Even if we choose to live our lives as a hermit far away in a cave, in isolation, it is a social choice we make, a relationship we have with society. Most conflict that we experience happens in relation to other people. Being in social conflict is a physiological event. Fear and anger are physiological events. Everything is a physiological event. Likewise, being in social harmony is a physiological event. Love, kindness, empathy, joy are also physiological events. How we are physiologically, when in the presence of others, can dramatically influence, for better or worse, how we feel about others, and how they feel about us. Social harmony is a physiological event.

In a very real way, we also have a social relationship with ourselves. All of us live with an inner roommate. Are we living with our own best friend, and/or our own worst enemy? Do we respect and care well for ourselves, or do we disrespect ourselves and mistreat ourselves? Inner peace is also a physiological event.

Through Alexander’s work our personal, physiological relationship to others and to ourselves changes, for the better.

What Human Beings Do

When you take a look at what humans do throughout the day, physically, it is fairly simple. At any given moment we are either:

(1) Lying down.

(2) Sitting.

(3) Reclining. (a combination of sitting and lying down.)

(4) Standing.

(5) Squatting. (a combination of standing and sitting.)

(5) Leaning. (a combination of standing and lying down.)

(6) Walking. (or other gaits, such as jogging, running, sprinting, crawling.)

(7) Transitioning between the basic attitudes above.

(8) Working. When working, we are usually using our hands in some way, and usually handling tools in some way, and often we are with other people in some way, which means often we are either speaking or listening. Sometimes we are playing, which I see as working in such a way where enjoyment supersedes practicality.

This is all we do. At any given moment something is happening from (1) through (8). Many of these attitudes and abilities are somewhat particular to homo sapiens, and are what we excel at: standing, walking, using hands, using tools, and speaking. Also, evolutionarily, these abilities emerged together, and developmentally in infants they emerge together as well, so it makes sense, as adults, to continue developing them together.

Therefore, at the Alexander Alliance, we have no choice other than to work on improving our psychophysical relationship to our contextual framework in which our lives unfold when we are lying, sitting, reclining, standing, squatting, leaning, walking, working and playing, using our hands, using tools, and when we are speaking and listening and being with people, or by ourselves. At the Alexander Alliance this is what we do, and in this way our work, our training, is imminently practical and immediately applicable to life.

In a nutshell, the Alexander Alliance is a Life School. It is about how we live our lives in relation to these basic realities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Translated into 20 Languages by Alexander Technique Teachers – The Top Ten Myths about the Alexander Technique – by Bruce Fertman

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Photo: B. Fertman

The Top Ten Myths about the Alexander Technique

Currently this post is available in 13 languages.

We are waiting for six more.

Scroll Down.

Hopefully you will find your native language.

 

ENGLISH

BRUCE FERTMAN

*

SPANISH

VERO CABRAL

*

PORTUGUESE

LIGIA CATARINA TEIXERIA

*

ITALIAN

DANIELA SANGIORGIO

*

FRENCH

CORINNE CASSINI

*

FINNISH

RIIKKA ALAKARPPA

*

SWEDISH

MARJA BENNETT

*

NORWEGIAN

THOR HAUKNES

*

GERMAN

CLAUDIA KOHL

*

GERMAN

MATTHIAS LIESENHOFF

*

TURKISH

YASEMIN CELIKKAN

(pending)

*

POLISH

KAROLINA GLAB

*

HUNGARIAN

FULOP VIKTORIA

*

ROMANIAN

CHRISTINA BUBURUZ

*

CZECH

JANA BORONOVA

*

GREEK

APOLLON DELLIOS

*

FARCI

ELAHEH EBRAHIMI

(pending)

*

KOREAN

SEONGEUN KIM

*

CHINESE

THERESA LEI

WALLIS YU

YU-TING JUSTINE CHANG

*

JAPANESE 

MIDORI SHINKAI

*

RUSSIAN

ANNA TOLSTOY

*

LATVIAN

MARGITA LINDE

(pending)

*

Note:

Matthias Liesenhoff, Christina Buburuz, and Elaheh Ebrahimi are Alexander students. 

A Review of Teaching by Hand/Learning by Heart by Galen Cranz

Galen Cranz

It is an honor having Dr. Galen Cranz as a member of our worldwide Alexander Community. Professor of the Graduate School in Architecture at UC Berkeley she is a sociologist and designer, as well as a certified teacher of the Alexander Technique.  She studied in San Francisco, but was certified in Thom Lemens’ four-year training course in New York City. Having specialized in how the body meets the environment, she advocates Body Conscious Design.  She is the author of The Chair: Rethinking Culture, Body and Design.

Teaching By Hand, Learning By Heart: Delving into the Work of F.M. Alexander

By Bruce Fertman

Reviewed by Galen Cranz

Bruce Fertman was many things before becoming an Alexander teacher: gymnast, swim coach, martial artist (tai chi and aikido), tango dancer, movement educator, and movement artist. He brings those skills to his Alexander teaching, but he himself writes that he has transcended movement teaching to something else. In Teaching By Hand, Learning by Heart, he calls himself a metaphysician who “attends to people’s subjective sense of time and space, to their felt experience of being and becoming.”  He introduces the concept of “movement metaphor” to show that people learn more deeply if they can physically experience a principle. To demonstrate the principle that we make ourselves tense rather than a situation makes us tense, he crowds students into a subway-like space to get them to experience that they tighten their own feet, legs, pelvis, shoulders arms, throat and jaws –and that they have choice about whether or not to continue the tension.

Bruce is a skillful writer, who shows the same poetic artistry throughout his book that I have enjoyed in his blog/facebook essays. This book is not an introduction to the Alexander Technique and its 5 –or 10– basic tenets. Instead, in Part I, “The Work at Hand,” he describes how he uses paintings and the arts in his group classes to show how specific physical traits express emotion. In each short chapter he shows how he creates psychological insight regarding sport, nature, anatomy, sensory life, social biology, theology, mysticism, pottery.

Bruce believes in the importance of emotions in changing one’s physical patterns. He focuses on establishing emotional rapport, or creating emotional well-being in this clients/students before seeking to create structural alignment.

Like other skilled somatic therapists, Bruce emphasizes listening –with hands– and receiving rather than fixing a problem.  Once witnessed, a problem has a way of solving itself. Open, listening hands witness and receive information, and solutions present themselves—in new feelings, images, movements, words, and concepts.

The second half of the book, “Student-Centered Teaching,” offers stories about profound and poignant moments of transformation in his teaching practice. Examples include a frustrated math teacher, a blind singer, a man with ankylosing spondylitis, a woman suffering for her sister, tango partners, a yoga teacher, a 70 year old caretaker learning to ask for help, a child custody hearing in front of a judge, and more.

Bruce has offered story after story of insight, transcendence, hope, and healing that might inspire other teachers.  That is the ultimate measure of the success of this book: does it stimulate and educate other teachers —or is each instance too particular to Bruce or his students, or too local to Japan or Germany or Santa Fe to bring out the best in us? Thanks to one of the teachings in this book, I personally learned to think of freeing not only the top of the neck where it meets the head, but also the bottom of the neck where its muscles connect to the torso, the way a tree trunk has roots. Thus, while his synthesis of philosophy, psychology, the arts, and motor skill is unique, I choose to believe that this book encourages us to develop our own personal signatures in the way we work.

If you would like to purchase, Teaching by Hand/Learning by Heart, and you live in America, write to Jessica Rath. If you live elsewhere, write to Jean Fischer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Peek into My Next Book – The Dismantling of the Ego -Somatic Musings Inspired by and in Honor of the Work of Claudio Naranjo

 

“Identity would seem to be the garment with which one covers the nakedness of the self: in which case, it is best that the garment be loose, a little like the robes of the desert, through which one’s nakedness can always be felt, and, sometimes, discerned.”

 Baldwin

 

 

 

 

The Dismantling of the Ego

 Mantle derives from the Latin, mantellum, to “cloak”. So, to mantle the ego is to cover it. Once covered, we do not see it. Our own egos are somehow veiled, enshrouded, hidden from our view. To dismantle the ego is to uncover it, unveil it, to make it visible to us. This is the first step. I use the word ego colloquially. When we say someone has a big ego, or is egotistical, or egocentric we just mean that they are a bit full of themselves, preoccupied with themselves, overly centered around themselves. Once our egos are visible to us, we can take the second step of dismantling the ego. We can begin the process of deconstructing the ego, dissembling it, analyzing it, until we come to a deep understanding of what our ego is and how our particular ego operates.

As we take it apart, and begin to understand it, we find ourselves feeling better. We come to realize, sometimes suddenly, sometimes gradually, that our egos themselves have been serving as a kind of mantle, covering who we really are.

We realize that it is our ego with which we have been identifying and showing to others. It would be as if we thoroughly identified with our clothes and make up and jewelry, that we began to believe that this is who I am, this is me. We make our own “coat of many colors”, and we show this coat to the world. And then we realize that this cloak, this coat, and all these accoutrements are not us, that who we really are lives underneath this attire, in a place that we cannot see, but only sense.

This brings me back to Baldwins’ quote, which I will quote again here.

“Identity would seem to be the garment with which one covers the nakedness of the self: in which case, it is best that the garment be loose, a little like the robes of the desert, through which one’s nakedness can always be felt, and, sometimes, discerned.”

It is best that the garment be loose. But how do we actually do that? How do we loosen the grip our egos have over us? To be able to loosen the garment, the ego, we first must know we are wearing a garment. We must know that we have come to identify who we are with our garment. Without this recognition, we are living a life of mistaken identity. We are not who we think we are. Once we know we are wearing a garment, we can examine it, get to know it in great detail. Only then, can we figure out how to loosen it. Once loosened, we can breathe. Feeling comes back into our bodies.

There is nothing more we really have to do. Everything we need is there, under the garment. Nothing is missing.

All the work involved, and there is a great deal of work to be done, is in learning how to dismantle the ego, learning how to uncover it, learning how to deconstruct it, analyze it, and understand it, physically, psychologically, socially, and spiritually, with the goal of loosening it.

Once loosened the rest, mysteriously, seems to happen by itself. Grace enters into the process.

In no way have I finished my work. There seems to be layers upon layers to the ego, but I can say that some progress has been made. As a teacher, I find myself teaching what I do not know and most need to learn. I am my slowest students. Even when progress has been made, vigilance is required. Best not to rest on one laurels.

Of course, philosophers, psychologists, theologians, and healers have a great deal to say on this subject, but no one I have encountered understood the array of “garments” we wear, the various fabrics, cuts, patterns, weavings, layers, and fashion statements made, more than Claudio Naranjo, hence my dedicating this book to him.

How do we know when we are making progress, when we are living non-egocentrically?

We know when loving becomes more important than being loved, when seeing becomes more important than being seen, when hearing becomes more important than being heard, when appreciating becomes more important than being appreciated, when understanding becomes more important than being understood, when serving becomes more important than being served, when thanking becomes more important than being thanked, when forgiving becomes more important than being forgiven, when blessing becomes more important than being blessed.

But before embarking on this journey toward non-egocentric living, I would like to introduce myself, to tell you how I came to perceive people, first physically, then psychology, and finally, spiritually.

to be continued… 

Kevin

Kevin Saunders

It’s difficult for me to grasp that Kevin has died. He was such a careful person who took such good care of himself. No matter how much we try to take control of our lives, there is only so much control that we actually have. When our friends die in what feels to us, before their time, this truth hits home.

Anyone who knew Kevin knows that he was a quiet, solitary man. But, for some reason, he reached out to me and I, in turn, reached out to him. Being a director of a school, I thought Kevin would be good for our school, particularly good for the other students, and I was right. He was. I thought this because he was well read in Alexanders’ work and articulate about Alexanders’ ideas. Clearly, he had already studied a great deal, on his own, and had made Alexanders’ work part of his life. I wanted my other students to have the benefit of knowing a person who was so self-motivated and self-sufficient, who could figure things out by himself, and who was disciplined in applying what he figured out to his life. We all learned from him.

But for being the solitary person that Kevin was, he did reach out to us. In his measured way, he was very generous. I think he loved feeling himself as part of a community who welcomed him. He always offered teaching his yoga classes during our retreats. We enjoyed these classes and learned from the way in which he taught. He was keenly observant, and though he used his hands sparingly, when he did, they were remarkably accurate and effective. He reminded me of that story about the plumber who taps a water pipe twice in one spot, gets the entire system working perfectly, and then charges his customer $600. When the customer asked why so much, the plumber says, “I am only charging you $1.00 for the tap, but $599.00 for knowing where and how to tap. Kevin was precise, like this.

Kevin would have also liked the joke. That was another way he enjoyed reaching out. In performances and at graduations he would allow himself to be quite goofy, in his very British way, which we all loved. There were times when he was truly funny. Sometimes there was a playful bite to his humor, but always it was done with consideration.

I respected Kevin. He had integrity. He was true to himself. He was who he was. He was a friend, and I will miss him.

 

 

A Reading By Jenny Quick – The End of the Road – Written by Bruce Fertman

Photo: B. Fertman

We teach what we most need to learn. At least that is how it is with me.

Have you noticed it’s relatively easy to make good use of Alexander’s work when we are doing well, but nearly impossible when confronted with something truly challenging or threatening? How can we practice sticking to principle under emotionally charged circumstances, when relating to family members, when encountering problems at work, while coping with physical injury and pain, when overwhelmed by stressful thoughts and emotions? LifeWork is a procedure I developed, slowly, over the past 40 years. That is to say LifeWork is a “way of proceeding,” to teach people how to employ Alexander’s teachings when under trying conditions and when faced with harsh realities.

Enjoy listening to Jenny Quick. I do.

A Reading by Jenny Quick – The End of the Road

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LifeWork – Taking the Principles beyond the Procedures – Post Graduate Workshop For Alexander Teachers – Led by Robyn Avalon – Sunday, October 14, 2018 – Zurich

This Post Graduate Alexander Workshop offers tools for teaching Alexander’s Principles inside the reality of people’s everyday lives. It is open to Teacher’s from all styles.

Make the Work more accessible and valuable in people’s lives. Students come with real life, complicated situations – deadlines to meet, non-optimal work or home environments, physical and emotional challenges, and more. You come with the ‘means whereby’ through which they can make a change in their use, their thinking, their lives.

Meet your students halfway. Help your students transition from ‘chair work’ to a pressing situation, like working on a deadline with an overbearing boss. Help them access their ease and artistry, not only within an Alexandrian procedure, but also while playing their instrument in an audition.

 

Take the Principles beyond the Procedures.

This is its own sophisticated and unique study. It requires new and different skills, in addition to drawing upon your deep understanding, clear observations and skillful hands.

In this workshop we will:

  • Learn skills for re-creating their actual environment and teaching within that structure.
  • Learn how to use your hands through all areas of the body to access their fundamental ease and coordination.
  • Learn varied styles of teaching in activities.
  • Learn how to realize the ‘critical moment’ where they know they can access a new choice.

Being able to offer a student the tools to make a conscious new choice inside of their personal and professional life situations literally and figuratively brings the Work to life! Students experience the Work as timely and important. It energizes them and fills them with a desire to study.

We know what we have is priceless, and life-altering. Learn how to let them experience this directly.

About Robyn

Robyn has been a student of FM Alexander’s Work for over 40 years. She is the Founding Director of the Contemporary Alexander School, the USA branch of Alexander Alliance International (AAI), offering Alexander Technique Teacher Training in Santa Fe, New Mexico and Portland, Oregon, as well as being on the Core Faculty of the AAI German and Japan schools since their inception.

In addition to training teachers, Robyn travels the world offering beginner through post-graduate workshops in a contemporary presentation of Alexander’s Principles. Robyn enjoys the direct application of the Principles of the Work into people’s real lives, working with people while they do whatever they do. Whenever possible, she likes to travel to where people work and play, which has provided decades of rich and colorful teaching experiences: on a snowy mountain top with skiers, at a symphony rehearsal, at a dentist’s side, in a potter’s studio, on a football field, in a professional kitchen, at a horse arena, in a meditation retreat, on the Pilates Reformer, in a training for cardiac surgeons, rock climbing in the NM mountains, at the circus, and more.

Robyn is the creator of Living in a Body™: The Quintessential Owner’s Guide to Natural Movement, a body mapping professional certification course offered worldwide as well as a series of post-graduate workshops called Ways of Knowing, which provide tools for accessing and incorporating intuition and imagination in the educational process.

Robyn has an extensive background in professional theater and dance, which she brings to her teaching. Her private practice incorporates a unique blend of Contemporary Alexander, Cranial Sacral, Visceral Unwinding, Deep Imagery, Matrix Energetics®, and a life-long study of varied intuitive skills, to create a unique somatic experience. She enjoys teaching the very young and the very old, the absolute beginners and the masters, and everyone in between.

Workshop Details

Open to Alexander Teachers from all styles. Limited number of participants.

Date: 14.10.2018, 10am – 6pm

Location: Zurich (close to stop «Zürich,Kalkbreite/Bhf.Wiedikon»)

Course fee: CHF 160.- (Students CHF 125.-)

Workshop language: English (translation to German possible)

 Individual lessons (CHF 110,-/45ˈ) can be arranged on Thursday, 27.09., Friday 28.09. and Monday 15.10.

Organizer and assistant teacher: Magdalena Gassner

For more information and to register call +41 (0)77 475 50 27 or write to m.gassner@alexanderalliance.de

To learn more about Robyn Avalon and the Alexander Alliance Europe:

www.contemporaryalexander.com

robyn@contemporaryalexander.com

www.alexanderalliance.org

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