Post by Category : Body Magic

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

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The Really Random Magic Show

This has been making me smile all week so I thought I would share a very quick story.

Last week I introduced Alexander Technique to a new group of 12 year olds.

 

My classes are interactive, with lots of experiments and I encourage questions and comments. Suddenly, out of the blue one of the boys said –

 

‘This is like being in some really random magic show! I don’t really understand what is going on, but it’s kind of interesting!’

 

And that is why I love my job.

If I can elicit that kind of a response in the first twenty minutes, I know I have won them over to being interested in learning and understanding the principles of Alexander’s amazing discoveries, which will be an invaluable asset for life in their ‘tool bag of life skills’ and hopefully ease some of the challenges of teenage life at high school.

 

More info – click here

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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.

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Mind the Gap!

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Mind the gap!

What does that mean to you?

 

I have been thinking about the gap, that space between one phase and another.

A place to fall or a place to float?

Actors call it ‘resting’ or ‘taking time out.’

From an Alexander Technique perspective that is constructive, but often the space between things, the gap, is an uncomfortable place for folk.

 

‘Mind the gap!’ The announcer says as you board the train about to embark on your journey to your next destination, the next commitment.

‘Mind the gap!’ In other words don’t fall into the space between where you are and where you want to go – stretch your self a little and take a purposeful step forward and up and onto the train, into the flow of your next direction. Be aware there is a space that you can fall into and it can hurt.

 

Mind the gap …

Think about the space between things …

The space between you and another, you and the environment, your thoughts and your movement …

(In horsemanship it is called the float. Floating in water aka Art of Swimming reveals the space in amazing ways too.)

 

There is a big gap above your head, the big up, the up that is up there, the up that takes us up, the space that supports us and eases us … Do you mind that gap?

There is magic there!

 

Folk often fall into the gap when something finishes.

One thing ends another has not started, a gap, OMG what am I going to do next? Scary Mary!

Suddenly there is no distraction, no other to bounce off. What is left is Me!

Oh! Now what?

Oh, I am not happy ..

Oh, I don’t like this …

Oh, this is boring …

Oh, um I have nothing to do ..

I am lonely …

 

The gap is vulnerable and about vulnerability.

I believe consciously allowing the gap transforms vulnerability to strength …

Inner Strength

Psycho-physical strength

It is anatomical

It is Alexander Technique

It is art

It is perhaps The Art!

 

My musician friend and I talked about the gap as the space between the in breath and the out breath

The moment of nothing

The pause

Conscious intention … Breathe …Flow

One creative project finishes another has not started. Mind the gap. A breather. You have given out,  pause,  it will flow in again.

 

My spiritual healer friend talked about the gap as meaning

Remember to Ground And Protect

 

Translated thus – Remember (mind – air) to ground (earth) and protect (fire and water).

Remember earth, air fire and water.

Mind the gap – good plan for planet earth methinks!

Look after you and the earth! It is the only thing to do.

Be in your element in the elements.

 

Do you mind the gap daily – the space between the ground and the top of your head, do you mind where you are in space so you don’t just get pulled down into the gap, the slump?

Do you regularly take moments to just be in the nothing, a dot in the void expanding.

 

As an artist minding the gap is to be aware of the space between me and the canvas ..

Between the intention and the artwork …

Between the idea and the blog …

An unknown series of events flowing when I commit to the journey unfolding …

Good, surprising, exhilarating, disastrous …Who knows?

Commit and find out … allowing a gap, space in your life to create, the paintbrush taking you forward …

 

The gap is the space between you and me aka the relationship, the us.

Do we need someone else to fill the gap or can we allow space?

What is happening in the gap? Is it a sweet spot or toxic?

 

How do we bridge the gap individually, at one, our awareness keen to the known and the unknown?

There are always pitfalls … face the fear and jump … let go and let god … let go and let good …. the sayings are many.

 

Letting go in semi supine, consciously resting, allowing bridges of consciousness to build is profound.

Stopping this way lets magical amazing planet earth help us find psycho – physical unity, our unique at oneness.

 

So, your intuition is saying, mind the gap, and you don’t!?

 

Falling into the gap can be disastrous and painful.

We can have an expectation that someone else is going to support us, love us, stop us falling through the gap, and they let us down, intentionally so sometimes.

We thought that we were on the same train and they railroad us.

Our expectation and reality did not match. There is a gap.

The man falls into a hole story comes to mind. We will fall into the same hole more than once.

So what?!

We learn eventually to make another choice.

 

And if it is disastrous and hurts, then definitely mind the gap. Ground and protect. Semi supine and recalibrate. Breathe. Create lush space for you, no invaders. Don’t fall deeper into the hole with thoughts like ‘I am not good enough, worthy enough, talented enough, likeable enough, no one cares anyway …’

 

Planet Earth supports us if we let it! The gap closes. Time heals. Stopping is wonderful. Wait a while on the platform another train will come along. This time you have more awareness.

 

The gap then becomes a positive resting place between the action.

A place to look after ourselves.

A gap year, a gap second ….  a gap 20 minutes?

Mind the gap, a conscious constructive pause in which to think, intend, move forward, direct your thinking, ease into the space all around ….

Time to chose, time to change.

Time to say No for a while to all that chatter ‘n’ stuff.

You can’t change and stay the same.

So you consciously Mind the Gap instead.

 

The gap can be an uncomfortable place mentally and physically. Not just falling into the gap – trust is required to jump over the gap onto the train and into the new journey and trust is also required to find the way into our inner glorious space radiating too.

Our space on this fine earth is a vulnerable place, but it is also a magical space.

 

We fill our space with so much stuffy stuff maybe because we don’t want to feel the space, be in the unknown, listen to the mysterious, feel the enormity, so stuff feels better than the gap. Chatty chatty busy busy human doings bumping into each other and falling into holes all over the place. Not just being OK right here right now. Resting in respect and awe.

Ease the Day more regularly … a practise for life. It’s body magic.

A bit of time out to learn to fall onto the ground consciously …aha, softer landings.

Falling and floating.

 

Easing out in our own amazing body magical and enjoy finding and filling the gaps and spaces so that when tricky sticky life circumstances, verbal attacks, harsh words, unmet expectations arrive, which they will, our innate balance and understanding of ease stops us tripping and frightened, falling quite so painfully into the gap.BodyMagic_mobile

 

Transformation is available –  recalibrate and mind the gap …with conscious light, illuminating magic.

 

More Body Magic click here

 

 

 

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Alexander Technique Is Like Harry Potter World!

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‘Forward and Up Witch’

 

Today at school one of the children announced –

 

‘Alexander Technique is fun! You’re like a teacher from Harry Potter world Miss! Alexander Technique is Magic.’

 

(Funny how an image of the fuzzy haired bespectacled divination teacher Professor Trelawney, played by Emma Thompson, sprung to mind! And then the flash of a thought that I hope they don’t think I am like Snape!)

 

But saying Alexander Technique is like Harry Potter world – what can I say – I love my job!

 

Here are a few more quotes  from 12 – 14 year olds yesterday –

‘We are lucky getting this as you learn life lessons like how to ignore annoying people. When you stop reacting you become kind of invisible and that person stops trying to annoy you!’

 

‘Alexander Technique is like looking from a different perspective. You see things in a different way. It is like walking into a new room that you have not been in before and you go ‘Wow!’.  It is like the world stops and you can ‘fix’ things, the mistakes, and then carry on in the normal fast world feeling better.’

 

‘School is stressful. Alexander Technique helps me destress by being more aware of myself.’

 

‘Pressure builds up in a school day. Alexander Technique is like taking the plug out and everything returns to normal.’

 

‘When you are in the zone you can let your mind be free and new ideas come easily. You forget about things that are worrying you.’

 

‘Alexander Technique is like a soother for a sore throat – in that it relieves pains and tensions.’

 

Magic quotes from magic kids!

 

Parents –  there are a host of wonderful magical Alexander Technique teachers worldwide! Maybe your children will think Alexander Technique is like Harry Potter world too!

 

For a link to Body Magic media download for semi supine aka constructive rest aka ‘The Zone’ –  click here 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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