Post by Category : Kid Ease

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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‘Doing Alexander Technique at School is Legendary!’

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‘Doing Alexander Technique at school is legendary and you’re a legend Miss!’

Or so I was informed by a seventeen year old at the high school where I teach Alexander Technique yesterday!

‘Oh, that sounds good! Is it? No-one has ever called me that, in fact I am not entirely sure I know what legendary and being a legend means. We didn’t use that expression when I was at school.’

 

‘It is very good Miss, not everyone is a legend!’ (They proceeded to tell me which teachers were legends and which were not, but that is classified information!)

 

So here is the definition of why doing Alexander Technique at school is legendary from a  group of high school students in Scotland  –

 

‘A legend is laid back, cool, understands people, treats everyone equally and is confident but not cocky.’

‘A legend doesn’t make people feel bad about themselves.’

‘If you persist with Alexander Technique it helps you to become more of a legend as you treat people with more understanding. You notice things about other people that you wouldn’t notice before which makes you more understanding and able to relate to others which makes you more of a legend.’

‘You have to be in a group of people to establish whether someone is a legend.’

‘Having Alexander Technique body awareness allows you to be more individual and you don’t care what other think. Legends don’t care what others think, and often have some  quirky personality trait or thing that makes them stand out.’

‘Taking innovative, creative, fun time to do Alexander Technique is legendary. A legend would do that.’

‘A legend is kind, and does kind things for others.’

‘You are not necessarily a legend in everyone’s eyes.’

‘Doing Alexander Technique at school sets you apart from other people because it is distinctive and not mainstream. People don’t know what it is and that is legendary. Yoga is like Starbucks, it is mainstream of the health industry – like a caramel frappuccino. Alexander Technique is legendary, like a quadruple espresso, getting you high on life!’

 

So now you know  – Alexander Technique is legendary!

 

I love my job!

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‘It’s the Jeremy Kyle Show Miss!’

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‘This class of Alexander Technique is like being on the Jeremy Kyle Show Miss!’

 

Two separate groups of children spontaneously likened Alexander Technique to being on the Jeremy Kyle show at school this week.
A hilarious observation with a good point!

 

Why did they liken learning AT at school to the Jeremy Kyle Show? Because I was teaching them to really listen to each other. To stop habitually reacting and competing and give each other a chance to speak. Harder than it may sound.

 

They are bright children, all specialist musicians.
However there was a distinct lack of listening skills.
They were engaging in ‘I am right and you are wrong’ tit for tats, and telling each other off in a rather ‘parental manner’ rather than listening to each other.
Result – frustration … tight necks …

 

Reactive escalations with their characters and habitual relationships to each other getting in the way of constructive learning from each other, or me for that matter! They all have good personalities individually but were definitely annoying each other as a group.

 

Listening skills required … they are musicians in the making after all. Working in harmony is essential.

 

We worked on not interrupting, pausing, waiting, inhibiting, listening actively, giving each other space and time to be free to speak and to feel heard …
As an adult it is a good exercise in self awareness too – teaching a class of unruly kids who are falling out with each other!

 

The improvement in the atmosphere, quality of interchange and general ease in the room from thinking about listening resulted in the quip ‘Learning Alexander Technique is like being on the Jeremy Kyle show, Miss!’

 

Maybe dodgy day time reality television has its uses after all!

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(For non UK readers, the TV show referred to invites people to resolve their differences on air, usually resulting in a lot of shouting!)

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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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Game of Bones

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Game of Bones

by Kirsten Harris

 

On my way to teach Alexander Technique to high school children this week I popped into an antique and curiosity shop where I happened upon one lone vertebra.

Lumbar 4 to be precise.

I asked to buy it and the shop keeper kindly gave it to me, bemused by my enthusiasm.

The single model vertebra became the talking point for class and wow, did the students amaze me with their observations and insights.

 

Here are some notes taken from the children’s thoughts.  They started with describing it and went on to see the bone as a metaphor for the human condition – choices in life – a game of bones.

 

To quote –

‘It feels like coral, like a structured wildlife habitat…

It looks neat, strong, rounded, shaped… it looks like white chocolate… it looks like a fish… symmetrical, exact… it looks like it should be spongy…’

 

‘It looks like it has many purposes – multi functional…

It looks solid and reliable…

Intricate, spacious, chunky…

It looks like a hand with fingers coming out of it…

It looks doughy, like stretched bread – rising and proven…’

 

‘It looks like a jigsaw…

It looks supportive and the supporter…

If we didn’t have vertebrae we’d look like jelly fish…

Many together create strength…

They depend on one another…

It looks like it is reliant on other pieces to complete its purpose…

It’s a bit like people, it doesn’t look like it work very well on it’s own!

It looks like it has been shaped by life…’

 

‘It seems unimportant in itself, out of context…

It looks useless unless you put it into the bigger picture..

One vertebra missing is like taking middle C out of the piano… …You don’t know it’s missing until you go to play.’

 

‘It looks contradictory!’

‘What do you mean by contradictory?’ I asked

 

‘It has space and is dense..

hardy and flexible…

solid and complex…

chunky and delicate…

calm and tempestuous…’

 

‘What do you mean by calm and tempestuous?’

 

‘Well the chunky bit looks calm…

It looks very encompassing and focussed in its role…’

 

‘This vertebra is a bit like me…’

 

‘If I use the chunky bit and let it support me I feel calm….

Some people lean more towards the calm or the tempestuous…

It is like there is an epidemic of slump and people are leaning into the complicated side of the vertebra and becoming complicated and confusing….’

 

‘The complicated side of the vertebra looks like an explosion, but the calm bit looks like a platform. It looks reassuring.

It looks like a bean or a stage…shaped and calm…’

 

‘If you lean into the complicated side it slumps your nerves, I suppose, and you become more stupid…’

 

‘Can we lie in semi supine now miss?’

 

I learned a lot from the children and really love the idea of the spine being calm or tempestuous. So, to use the wisdom of children, which way are you leaning your vertebrae?

 

To learn more about the benefits of semi supine CLICK HERE TO LINK TO MY MEDIA DOWNLOAD

BODY MAGIC.

 

Weight Bearing

 

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