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Rampage of Appreciation – Training to be an Alexander Technique Teacher

RAMPAGE OF APPRECIATION – TRAINING TO BE AN ALEXANDER TECHNIQUE TEACHER

 

At the age of 24 the Alexander Technique changed my life! That first hands-on lesson with it’s gently encouraging profound words from my first teacher, Astrid Cox, are moments I will never forget. Light bulbs switched on in my mind like a Disney cartoon with heavenly choirs of birds and angels rejoicing! It was a visual wonder movie in my mind’s eye and a giant relief to my entire being. I knew in that first lesson that, not only was I going to be OK from the incredibly painful spasms that I was experiencing in my neck, but that I wanted to learn to teach The Alexander Technique. I had found my calling.

 

It took another few years of thinking about and practicing the Alexander Technique and having lessons before I started my training with the late, great Don Burton. It was the most wonderful three years of my life. 1600 hours of experiential bliss! I loved my fellow trainees with all my heart. Our year group was nicknamed the The Fellside Pack of Dogs with our one for all and all for one love for each other, and the teachers were fantastic and inspiring. The three years worth of hands-on work and all that went with it, quite simply transformed everything. Alexander Technique hands-on work is like no other that I have experienced and will always open doors of perception and increase one’s knowledge on many levels.

 

Over the 3 years my artwork blossomed. Some evenings I would stay late at the school, alone in the movement studio, and by morning the whole studio would be filled with a new exhibition of art work. My creativity was releasing along with everything else. That was over twenty years ago. Since then I have worked as an Alexander Technique teacher and artist in equal measures, and for me, one would not have been possible without the other. It has been a lot of fun and moved me forward in ways I could never have imagined.

(Jamie McDowell recently sent me a photo of this art piece that I made at the time. So brilliant that he kept it. Thank you Jamie!)

 

What I love about the Alexander Technique is it opens doors – one gets the chance to work with all sorts of amazing people in all sorts of amazing places. What a joy. What an adventure. But what I most love is that at the heart of the work is a principle, a truth, a paradigm, that is as simple as it is profound, and works. Truly works. The word art is often used with Alexander Technique because one’s understanding and skills deepen and reveal more and more over time. As the saying goes, you get better at getting better. It is why people become passionate about it, or perhaps Alexander Technique opens up peoples passion. When you do start to find the lessons of the Alexander Technique, and that can start to happen in the first lesson, it reveals all. Alexander Technique is, I believe one way to the truth – a practical, loving, principled way, that sits well with all sorts of other disciplines such as music, the equestrian arts and dancing.

 

The reason I am writing all this is that I truly believe that training to be an Alexander Technique teacher with the rigours of a 1600 hour hands-on, in person training, is truly worthwhile. In this age of quick fixes and online courses I want to give a big cheer for a personal training that is life changing, educational, encourages responsibility, deepens ones awareness and self knowledge and has a principle at the heart of it that is both reliable, time tested and endorsed by the British Medical Journal.

 

Committing to an Alexander Technique Teacher training course was both the hardest and best choice I ever made. All other choices have just got easier!

 

So to all the people who I have ever worked with … a massive thank you and a big recommendation to anyone considering committing to a training course – yes, it is a three years of your life, but you will LOVE it.

‘Letting Go’

Cartoon by Kirsten Harris

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Hard Cheese!

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)

 

kirsten harris semi supine 001

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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Friesans to be Cheerful!

‘I want to be a lovely cow

Chewing on the cud

Ruminating all that’s wow

Even mucky mud!’

 

‘The Alexander Technique is a way of transforming stress to joy!’ Juliet Binoche

 

‘Moo, moo, moo’ moo the cows..

Freeing their breathing…

Letting go of stress….

MOOOOOOO

 

‘Moo Squeak Up!’ says a little mouse, your voice is important …

‘Think Up’ – says another …

‘Up! Up!’

‘Be up!’

‘Forward and Up!’

‘Spring up!’

The mice share important knowledge… little spiritual warriors… the mice know their mind effects their movement through life…

 

The band of happy mice see lots of reasons to be cheerful….

Their thinking makes them cheerful…

Moo says the cow… Friesians to be cheerful… Moo….

It’s a choice….

Wow Wow Wow!!!

 

A fun page from The Daily Ease 2017 Calendar –

A daft blog with an important message about releasing the out breath to let go of our inner cow…..

And the power of thinking up…

The empowering choices in the moment that the wonderful Alexander Technique give us here and cow!

It’s the power of cow!

 

To buy The Daily Ease 2017 Calendar for your Alexander Technique journey

click here

 

Have an easy day…. I love MOO!

 

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