Post by Category : Daily Ease

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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It’s all about the words …

COLOURING BOOK KH-2

I was showing my Alexander Technique colouring books to one of the teenagers I teach yesterday, who totally got what it was all about …

 

‘I get this’, she said ‘Those adults who do colouring to destress, actually need the words and understanding of what to think as they are colouring in. This is a really good idea, you get to have something to think about. You get to learn about Alexander Technique through the words and different animal characters.’

 

I drove home thinking that she is right. The words are actually the most important part of this colouring book. Making a colouring book is simply a vehicle for some AT wisdom.

 

And so to add another anecdote….

 

My friend was staying over the weekend and couldn’t understand why I had to go to the Post office straight away to post a colouring book.

 

‘Why the hurry, it is not as though it is a legal document’, she quipped!
‘No, it is more important, it is a transformational document!’ I quipped straight back. For once I had a perfect reply!

 

 

To find out more Click HERE for The Daily Ease A Walk in the Woods Colouring Book. For adults and children.

 

All profits will be used to plant trees. Free postage in the UK. Please email me for international postage. kirstenfharris@btopenworld.com

 

 

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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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Why an Alexander Technique Colouring Book?

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A few months ago I was speaking to a friend who was suffering from anxiety and suggested she buy a colouring book. It struck me how fabulous it would have been to have been able to give her an Alexander Technique inspired one. An idea was born!

 

As an artist I know that the act of painting, drawing, colouring … does something really beneficial to the brain. Maybe one switches nervous system (sorry no science here). For sure, the absorption into creativity allows a lot of processing of ‘stuff’ to take place.

 

So, the idea of The Daily Ease colouring book is to present Alexander Technique in a way that is simple, fun and not too worthy! Weaving ideas into the activity of walking and being in nature seemed a great way to do it.

 

I also wanted to make something that is a teaching tool for all ages, children included.

 

A 50 year old male friend read it the other day and said ‘This is making me want to go for a walk!’ As walking is the most heathy total body exercise, inspiring someone to walk more has got to be a good thing.

 

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 lives to bring us ease and flow. Kirsten’s book combines her wonderful warmth and humour with her gift for art, her love of nature and her passion for the Alexander Teachings in a way that is accessible for everyone. This is more than a colouring book. It is a delightful, gentle, joyous book of wisdom for all ages.’

Sally, Scotland

 

 

The Daily Ease A Walk in the Woods

Written and illustrated by Kirsten Harris

Hand drawn and written with love

All profits will be used to plant trees

 

Link to buy here

 

(Free postage in the UK. Please email me for postage worldwide. Ignore the thing that says ‘local pick up only’ on my website, haven’t figured out how to change it yet! Ho hum!)

kirstenfharris@btopenworld

 

COLOURING BOOK KH-1COLOURING BOOK KH-2

Front cover                                   Back Cover

 

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Sample page

 

 

 

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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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