Post by Category : Poems

Hard Cheese!

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Hard Cheese! by Kirsten Harris

 

Thirty three vertebrae

Support the body through the day

They’re your inner building bricks

Stack them well, let’s not be thick!

 

Disease, perhaps a lack of ease?

A painful back and hips and knees?

Our thirty-three spinal bones

Give support – a snake-like home

 

A slumping spine becomes C-shaped

Oh messed up human, misshaped  ape!

Don’t curl the spine and squash the heart

That’s never clever for a start!

 

Between the vertebrae are discs

Slumping puts these discs at risk

Those squishy sponges separate

The bone from bone – so they don’t grate

 

When you’re young they’re full and squishy

Later on they may get iffy

Worn down, thin and hard like cheese

Think up, spine long, before they freeze

 

Your discs are spongy spacing strips

Between the bones. Don’t slump! They’ll slip!

And then you’ll end up feeling bad

In dreadful pain, just like my dad

 

Ease out enough before you’re forty

Risky discs won’t be so naughty

Lie down and rest on a hard floor

Chill out and let your discs restore

 

Lie down, take time: semi-supine

Expands and balances your spine

Allow each sponge to rehydrate

It’s only seventeen minutes to wait!

 

(The spine is made up of 7 cerivcal, 12 thoracic, 5 lumbar, 5 fused sacral and 3/5 coccygeal vertebrae)

 

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I am interested in presenting the Alexander Technique in ways that children will hopefully enjoy and remember. I don’t claim to be the worlds greatest poet, far from it! However, a rhyme can be a quick and easy way of presenting information to discuss. It always seems to engage the teenagers I work with. They particularly remember the words ‘hard cheese’ when I teach this bit of anatomy.

 

The late Don Burton used the description of hard cheese to describe the change of consistency that occurs in intervertebral discs as we get older. I have stolen his description as a title and idea for this verse. Thank you Don, for your continued inspiration!

 

More stuff from me –
I have recently made an Alexander Technique colouring book CLICK HERE.

 

You don’t need to be into colouring to buy this. It is a teaching resource – an artists perspective on the Alexander Technique.

The colouring in bit just adds another dimension of interactivity and interest.

All profits will be used to plant trees.

 

The Daily Ease – A Walk in the Woods Colouring Story Book

CLICK LINK HERE TO SEE SAMPLE PAGE
Free postage in the UK
Email me for international postage – kirstenfharris@btopenworld.com

 

Body Magic – Link to audio for semi supine to help you take care of yourself.

Breathe link to audio lessons

 

COLOURING BOOK KH-1         BodyMagic_mobile

Spiral_mobile

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Giraffe

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The Giraffe by Kirsten Harris

 

‘You’re having a laugh’ said the baby giraffe
‘If you think I’m going up there!
I’ve no head for heights, they give me a fright
I don’t want to be tall, it’s not fair!’

 

‘Your thinking’s absurd’ twittered the bird
Looping high fives in the air
‘Forward! Up to the zone, for a confident home
Think up, planet up, it’s a dare!’

 

‘I’m shy’ he replied ‘I’ve no time for the sky
It’s odd and it’s weird being me
I’ll slump and I’ll slouch, it won’t hurt much … Oh ouch!
My neck doesn’t feel very free!’

 

‘Structure your bones like a house’, said the mouse
‘To balance your head without care
Free your neck in your mind. Think up, you will find
You’re giraffey not mousey –  so there!’

 

The thing that is strange is how it is arranged
The giraffe, the wee mouse, even me:
Seven bones in the neck, yes the same – what the heck …
Am I human or mouse? Which is me?

 

(Think I’ll be a giraffe!)

 

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I’ve painted giraffes many times since this amazing encounter in Botswana 20 years ago. I had the idea then to write something Alexander Technique inspired about a giraffe. It has only taken  twenty years for the idea to be born in this verse. Hope you like it. I want to do a better illustration next.

 

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The Light by Kirsten Harris, Oil on Canvas, 110 x 110 cm Sold

 

Something else you might like –  HERE is a link to an Alexander Technique colouring book. Each double page spread has AT inspired prose and a drawing to colour … for anyone who wants to share or learn AT in an easy, different way …

The Daily Ease, A Walk in the Woods Colouring Book

 

What people are saying – “Within the words and magical illustrations are lots of wonderful reminders of the wisdom and teachings of the Alexander Technique and how they can be so easily incorporated into our daily life to bring us ease and flow.” Sally, Scotland

 

 

 

 

 

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Ki – How I Discovered Alexander Technique

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Ki

 

Here’s a girl, nick-name Ki

Yup, a verse, all about me

A teenager who slumped and slouched

Growled and groaned, and then BIG OUCH!

My back packed up, could take no more

Age 24, in pain on the floor

 

It happened quite out of the blue

While turning for paper on the loo

That little twist, the final straw

My slumped tight muscles finally swore

 

Muscle spasm, extreme pain

The doctor came, but nothing gained

The collar to hold my neck was thick

The pills he gave me made me sick

Puking with a neck in spasm

My brain to body, there was a chasm

 

One day, a visiting friend, an actor

Showed me what was the matter

‘At drama college we learned Alexander Technique

So simple, profound, amazing, unique’

 

‘Let me show you how to lie

Your head on books, knees to the sky …

Just rest … let your mind begin to go …

Into your body, let it flow … ‘

 

‘The pain is your body shouting ‘KI LISTEN!’

There is no need to stay in prison

For that is what your body’s become

You’re stuck in your head, it’s really quite dumb!’

 

From that moment I could see

That Alexander Technique was for me

‘Let it go!’ I’d found a key

To learn to let my neck be free

 

Opening my thinking as I go

Not to arrive or be perfect, just to flow

To let my life a journey unravel

As freely forward and up I can travel

Noticing habits that put me wrong

Like a clamped up, held tight tongue

 

I’ve learnt this technique bit by bit

And am still learning, come to think of it

For there is no destination, perfect or right

It’s a moving journey, travelling light!

 

That was 30 years ago and I still LOVE Alexander Technique. If you would like o find out more why not check out my download BODY MAGIC here. 2 x 25 minute lessons for semi supine aka constructive rest.

BodyMagic_mobile

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Tongues!

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Tongue Tied
by Kirsten Harris

 

Here’s a funny little question
That left unchecked will cause congestion
Let me ask you, ‘Where’s your tongue?’
Clamped to mouth’s roof you’ll be high strung!

 

It’s best to let your tongue go south
Resting in your lower mouth!
If yours is held and pressed up tight
You will never feel quite right!

 

Tongue Up’s part of the startle pattern
Best let it loose in the oral cavern
If it’s up, you’re stuck in fear
Let it rest! I hope that’s clear?

 

Up tongue’s reacting from a fright
Neck, shoulders, back become too tight
Horrid habit! Be aware
Down with tongues to clear the air

 

The tongue up habit clamps your jaw
At night your teeth you may well gnaw!
Your neck will tighten, your face will fix
This grimace habit is best to nix

 

Your shoulders seize, that clamps your lungs
All from an up held uptight tongue!
Tongue tied to the roof right now dispense
Immediately you’ll feel less tense

 

Just rest it in a ‘low jaw’ place
Think a smile and feel the space
Your tongue will widen when you smile
Your face will soften in a while

 

Breathing opens, energy increases
What do you notice when your tongue releases?
It may at first feel big, weird and wet …
Have you got the message yet?

 

The world will feel a better place
When tongue’s at rest in smiling face
Ask your friends ‘where is your tongue’
To change the habit is good fun

 

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Growl now if you’re a stress puppy?
I bet you’re habit is tongue ‘uppy!’
Family rows, disputes and fights?
Perhaps the family tongues not right

 

You’ll see it when friends thinking’s grim
Tongue up, jaw locked, tension within
‘Psychic glimpse’ of things not right?
Friends minds you’ll ‘read’ with this stress insight

 

The good news: things will change right now
With this wee gem of tongue know how
So down with tongues! You’ve heard me right
The tongue up habit’s just uptight!

 

 

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Bone Up!

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Bone Up!

by

Kirsten Harris

 

‘Bare bones of matter, skeleton insight –

Spaced joints, mobile, long, supporting, freely upright!

Strong ‘Architect’ designed skeleton, not a bony wrecked fright

Haunted by creaking by day and by night!

 

One hundred years… I will regenerate ten skeleton bloody and white

Walking with your skeleton keeps bones strong, alright!’

 

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‘Bone up on your anatomy’,  the little mouse advises….

He is having a light bulb moment…

It is a good idea to know your bones!

He is studying Alexander Technique!

 

The skeleton, universal man, is influenced by space, up flow, earth, gravity, time…

 

The human lies in bed, haunted by ghosts…awake… the past intrudes… worries… fears….aching bones…. she is not comfortable in her bed.

She should be warm and cosy but she is scrunched up….no ease here!

 

Under the bed a little mouse lies in semi supine…

He is saying – don’t lie there in pain missus –  lie in constructive rest, let go…

Visualise your skeleton…

Let it space out…

As you space out…

 

The dog is blissed out on his back. Happy dog! Body Aware pup.

 

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Image and words form The Daily Ease 2017 calendar.

To buy a copy of this fun calendar and teaching aid  CLICK HERE

Alexander Technique wisdom for children and adults alike!

 

 

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