Post by Category : Cartoons

The Daily Ease

I gave my blog the title The Daily Ease as a reminder to make time for a daily ease.

 

What does a daily ease mean to you?

 

  • lying down in consecutive rest aka semi supine
  • going for a walk
  • turning your phone off for a time
  • stopping to look, listen and be the appreciative life
  • consciously doing a big sighing out breath and letting go
  • letting go and letting god and reminding yourself to trust
  • smiling
  • drinking a glass of water
  • a yawn and a stretch
  • something else? many ease ideas available …

 

There is something very powerful about making a conscious choice to prioritise a daily ease for yourself. A mini mini mini break! A moment or minutes to stop and be the ease. It is really as easy as letting your neck be free …

 

This week seems particularly poignant for me to let go and let god, to, as Einstein said, decide that it is a friendly Universe. Decide that things are happening for me and not against me.

 

So I chose all of the above as my daily ease today but in particular to TRUST the process. Anything for an easier life!

 

Ahhhhhh ………. Ease!

 

********************

 

My downloadable lessons –

Body Magic

Breathe

Walking with Your Horse

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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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On Being Wiggly

On Being Wiggly
(Notes from teaching 12 – 14 year olds)

 

‘Is anything in you body straight?’
‘Er … No!?’
‘That’s right your body wiggles and spirals, curves and flows, it is living and isn’t straight.

Is anything in nature, the natural world, straight or is it wiggly?’

‘It’s wiggly’

‘How about this school?’
‘This school is straight!’

‘Yes, people seem to enjoy constructing flat, straight buildings don’t they!’

‘How about music, is it straight or wiggly?’
‘Wiggly!’

‘So you are wiggly children in a flat school doing a wiggly thing, music.’

 

‘Let’s go for a wiggly walk around the room, let’s let go of your straight morning in a straight classroom on a hard chair and all the straight thinking you have been doing and enjoy a good wiggly walk.

They loosen up quickly and easily!

 

‘Now what happens if you think about walking straight?’

Everyone slows down and stiffens straight away!

‘Can you wiggle your walk even more? Can you keep the feel of the wiggly walk when you walk in an everyday, forward and up way?’

 

I wiggly walk with them, talking about the body as we go. One boy want to get on the floor and demonstrates The Worm! A brilliant wave like motion though the body.

 

I ask them to play the piano in a wiggly way, not to worry about getting it right or what it sounds like. To give themselves wiggle room to make mistakes and have fun. To wiggle and enjoy.

Result – instant amazing fluidity and ease of playing.

 

We talk about the flow of thought to piano and piano back to person as sound, as a figure of 8, a loop, waves travelling; not a one way thing, not a linear activity from brain to hands to piano in an upright ‘sit up straight’ posture!

I ask them to receive the flow of sound back, feel the actual reverberation of the piano through their hands, their spines to their ears. ‘Aha’ moments emerge.

 

They wiggly think as they play allowing movement and it sounds great. They can all hear and feel the difference. They experiment with changing their thinking to straight thinking and them back to wiggly.

 

Now it is really easy to see when unhelpful habits emerge – thinking habits.

 

They start to see in each other the instant connection between how they think and how the body responds and how that in turn effects the sound of their playing and can observe the changes in each other with no problem by noticing changes in sound and their level of interest in what the other is playing.

 

They give each other great feedback –

‘Your thinking has gone straight, stop trying so hard,’ one girl says to a boy, ‘be yourself, stop performing and showing off, just be in the music. That’s better, you look much more you now and it sounds much more dynamic!’

 

 

‘What happened there?

‘I was worrying about getting it right!’

‘Is that straight thinking or wiggly thinking?’

‘Straight!’

What would be a better thought?

‘I could think that I am exploring the music, I could just have fun experimenting. I could play with the music and just enjoy it.’

 

(We did a class last week all about the word play versus practise – they play instruments after all!)

 

Aha! He makes a connection between his creative mind that doesn’t worry about not getting things right and can explore and his school mind that thinks he HAS to get things right.

 

‘Great, that’s wiggly thinking. Can you feel and hear the difference?’

 

We listen and we notice how the sound of the piano reverberates long after the music has stopped. The children notice in each other how many of them slump the moment they stop playing, as though defeated and awaiting criticism, and realise that the music hasn’t stopped and stay with the travelling sound waves, their listening taking them into an easy poise as the sound becomes quieter and quieter finally fading to nothing. They let themselves receive the sound waves.

 

Now they are owning their playing and their habits!

It is so unbelievably simple to teach and so effective.

 

A bell goes for the next class, they all react!

‘Did you notice your reaction to the sound of the bell?’ I ask.

(It is a hideous jangly synthetic noise.)
‘Yes it was straight thinking wasn’t it miss! We all stiffened and panicked a bit.’

‘Yes the bell ringing is straight isn’t it, a line to tell you the class is ended. I think my job is to keep you wiggly as you travel through your years here at school so you can keep your music flowing, don’t you.’

‘Ha Ha! Yes! Bye Miss, Thank you! Have a good Easter.’

 

Do you give yourself wiggle room to play in your life? And if you did, what would change?

 

Quotes from 12 year olds on this class – 

 

‘Alexander Technique helps me to see music in a different way, and find ways to make music really fun and not just see it as work. If you look at it as work you get really bored, but since last week I’ve really enjoyed playing music, because I saw it as play and not practise. I have really enjoyed sitting at the piano.’ Elian

 

‘Since Alexander Technique I’ve properly enjoyed work because I started to see it positively instead of in a bad way, by opening up and thinking forward and up. It is a lot more jolly to feel what you are playing, to be in the world of music, to feel the nice sound in your heart and in your surroundings’ Sid

 

‘If it is straight thinking then you just play and get the notes right, if it is wiggly you play it how you are feeling and get the dynamics better, you play it more emotionally.’ Scott

 

‘When I smile and think forward and up I felt happier and could put more emotion into the music.’ Amalie

 

(These classes are short, 25 minute, small group classes, the students have Alexander Technique every week as part of their ‘Curriculum of Excellence.’)

 

On Being Wiggly Part 2 here

 

*****

Art work from The Daily Ease, Alexander Technique colouring story book

link here to The Daily Ease book

available at  www.kirstenharrisart.co.uk

For media downloads on Alexander Technique www.kirstenharris.co.uk

Or check out my free creativity course link below

Or subscribe for more blogs …

 

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How do you make decisions?

How do you make decisions?

 

Ever since I started working with the Alexander Technique as a stressed out ex art student, I realised that this technique is an amazing tool for decision making. It is a tool that I have used ever since that has not only informed my art but made my life better too.

 

Yesterday in a conversation with a friend, who seems to have been going round and round in circles over-analysing the same situation for months but never making a decision, I shared my process in the hope that it might give her a useful tool, and so I share it here curious if this works for you too.

 

The wonderful life transforming direction ‘I let my neck be free’ is a barometer for me. If my neck is not free, why not? What is it about the situation, thought, person etc that my ‘true’ self is not happy with. An instant neck tightening (a bit like a dog putting his hackles up) is giving me information about my emotional (psychco-physical) reaction to a situation.  My job is to notice. If I ignore and proceed anyway it usually takes me out of the flow and gets me into trouble in some form or another!

 

If my neck is free I am in the flow and I can proceed.

If my neck is not free, it is like an amber light, slow down, stop, recalibrate the thinking. Notice what I am thinking and feeling.

 

If I need a yes/no answer I ask my heart – ‘Is it in my/the highest interest to do this?’

If the answer is ‘Yes’ I get a nice warm melty feel in my neck and heart area.  If the answer is ‘No’, my body hardens or tightens in some way. Easy peasy. Decision made. My response – ability allows me to take responsibility for my decision and my choices.

 

Of course I am not discounting analysing data and facts etc, I just know for me I would get stuck in my head doing that as my only way to move forward. I have to feel whether something is right. If my neck is tight it is not right, If my heart is soft and my neck is free and easy, decision made … forward flow.

Horsemanship has a word for it – Feel.

 

When I am in the flow there are no wrong decisions, just a life lived with an open heart.

 

How about you? How do you make decisions?

 

‘If Wishes Were Horses’

by Kirsten Harris

 

This drawing and others in the series exploring lightness and freedom are available as Limited Edition hand signed, titled and numbered black and white prints via my website www.kirstenharrisart.com

A4 £20 / $28

A3 £30 / $48

Free postage worldwide if you purchase more than one print.

 

 

 

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The Unbearable Lightness of Being a Horse

Horses are light on their feet … light beings  … graceful creatures.

Here are two beautiful anonymous quotes about horses –

 

‘To Ride a Horse is to Ride the Sky’

 

and an American Indian Proverb

 

‘The horses are mystery beings’

 

Anyone who has ever ridden or owned a horse will know that horses are amazing teachers. They reveal to us our habits, fears and imbalances and show us how they can read our minds and feel our thinking.  They are trusting, forgiving and understanding and teach us to experience the world lightly and feel deeply.

 

This drawing is a visual reminder to riders to take the time to think as lightly as a dandelion clock when you are with your horse, letting your thoughts float forward and up on the breeze so your body can follow. In turn your horses will follow and he will give you his lightness. He will show you how to float. He will give you his back and his mind.

 

It will take you practise and awareness to keep letting your thoughts float in the breeze and is a totally worthwhile ongoing lesson in thinking that will develop you connection with your horse. Of course it is not the whole picture but it is a major key to the whole picture.

 

How do I know this?

Not because I am the worlds greatest rider, but because I understand Alexander’s discoveries and have applied and taught the work to my riding and teaching others on their horses for a long time.

 

So why the title the unbearable lightness of being a horse?

I can’t help but feel it must be somewhat unbearable for sensitive horses who can feel a fly on their flanks to have us ride them when our energy is heavy, our thinking mundane and our bodies pulled down. It is testament to how wonderful they are that they put up with it!

 

When you understand how your anatomy and thinking work together on and with your horse, change occurs, instantly and easily. It is not rocket science! Or maybe it is?! Your horse is showing you every day what you are doing, and how you are. Being interested in how you are getting in the way of your horses lightness,  is perhaps being the rocket scientist or an alchemist, certainly an experimenter … entering the world of the mystery being.

 

‘The wind of Heaven is that which blows between the horses ears.

Arabian Proverb

 

Learning about the Alexander Technique discoveries is not so much about getting it right, but more getting interested and aware in how we are doing altogether. This opens our minds, changes our thinking and lets something else happens … something mysterious and light. We can’t change and stay the same, we have to enter the mysterious and the unknown to experience something different, which includes developing our connection with our horses.

 

Alexander Technique is a great thing to learn to illuminate the way. Riders are great people to learn Alexander’s discoveries as they are so linked to horsemanship and riders are, on the whole, motivated in wanting to make life as good as possible for their horses, as custodians of these mystery beings!

 

If you want to know more Alexander Technique why not check out the media download on my website here   – Walking with your Horse, Lessons in the Alexander Technique

 

For more horsy cartoons (commissions undertaken for birthday pressies etc) here is a link to my website www.kirstenharrisart.com.

 

Lessons and workshops by arrangement. I am based in central Scotland.

 

 

 

 

And if you like my Alexander Technique inspired drawings check out my colouring book.

The Daily Ease – A Walk in the Woods Here

I had a lot of fun making it.

 

 

 

 

 

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‘Planet Long Neck’ – A Visual Blog

‘Planet Long Neck’

Pen and Coloured Pencil

by Kirsten Harris

 

Hopefully the drawing says it all!

This original drawing is for sale. Commissions undertaken.  Art with a message from the Long Necked People!

 

For further details kirstenfharris@btopenworld.com

Or check out my Alexander Technique inspired colouring book by clicking here

 

   

Cover

   

 

Sample page

 

I had a lot of fun writing and drawing ‘A Walk in the Woods.’ You don’t need to colour it in to enjoy it and get benefit from the words and images. It’s an artists take on the Alexander Technique. Hopefully it will make you smile.

 

Forward and Up!

Love Kirsten x

 

www.kirstenharrisart.com

 

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Why the Alexander Technique can be Likened to Farting!

OMG!’ Oil on Canvas, by Kirsten Harris

 

Apologies to the easily offended, but I am likening the Alexander Technique to farting in this blog. Call it British humour or bad humour, but a girls gotta amuse herself somehow! Anyway, I am not talking about bad smells or feeling embarrassed, I am talking about something that is entirely natural. Farting is natural. No one choses to fart or makes themselves fart, it just happens. Or as we say in Britain ‘Even the Queen farts!’

 

So, this blog is about natural freedom, the bodies natural abilities. The poise that Alexander Technique seeks is a natural state. A state of suspended animation a bit like floating in water. It is not something you do or make happen.

 

You can not hold onto water to float in it. You can’t grab at the water or put yourself into a posture to find buoyancy. You will drown if you do this. You have to let go. You have to trust. Let yourself breathe out. Allow. Let go and go for it. Float. Go with the flow. Know that the next breath will find you.

 

Poise is letting our predominantly watery bodies float in space, so that we are free to move and live with ease and balance. Poise is a natural state of being. Poise is as illusive as it is addictive! We happen upon it, and we lose it again. Poise is a life times adventure in being.

 

Too often for my liking the word posture is associated with the Alexander Technique. Truthfully I think it is a misleading and inaccurate word. Posture suggests a position, something you do and hold, somewhat forced. Posture is like grabbing at the water. That is never going to work. As soon as you try to hold onto water it’s essence will slip through your fingers. You are just left with wet hands, a surface experience of what is.

 

Why would Alexander Technique teachers be so passionate about this job with a strange name if we were teaching posture?  Boring!

 

We are seekers of something mysterious, eternal and natural – a freedom that is, in it’s essence, nothing. Like water, you can’t hold onto that freedom. This is why it is hard to explain the wonders of the Alexander Technique. It is why people say you have to experience it. Alexander Technique takes us closer to the mysteries of being. It is just one way to seek truth, a rather wonderful way.

 

You can’t really explain floating in water. You have to be in the water, be of the water. You have to find the state of mind – let go of fear of drowning, that allows you to let go and trust the water will support you. Trust that floating and moving in water or up into space on dry land is a natural state of being. Perhaps it really is letting go of a fear of death that allows us to live freely.

(Ah, the inadequacy of words! So much to say so hard to say it!)

 

So on that note, I will raise the tone and share a verse my late, much loved Uncle Ken of Worsall Farm in Wiltshire, used to say to us as children to make us laugh! This is best read in the broadest of broad Wiltshire accents –

 

‘Where ever you be

Let your farts go free

For the want of a fart

Was the death of me!’

 

     

OMG … Kirsten Harris, I can’t believe you wrote about farting!

 

 

 

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Alexander’s Story (a truly terrible verse)

ALEXANDER’S STORY (via a truly terrible verse)

 

This is the story of The Alexander Technique
Named after the founder. It’s fabulous! Unique!
Its extraordinary brilliance is worldwide recognised
Even applauded in the Nobel Prize

 

Alexander discovered a useful thing
For those who want to act, dance, sing
Ride a horse, swim, run, kick a ball
His technique will help you all!

 

Or just ‘To be more easily me!’
Alexander Technique will set you free
It’s simple to learn, to self apply
A skill to use from today ’til you die

 

This story I share is all about you
A two legged (tottering biped) I hope to renew
With knowledge and power and confident ease
A story of  freedom like the birds and the bees

 

So without any further ado
Let me introduce our teacher to you
Frederick Mathias Alexander, it would be his fate
To be in the hall of fame – those who made Australia great!

 

Our adventure begins across the sea
Our hero’s on stage ‘To be or not to be?’
But his comic shows of the English bard
In Oz were straining, speaking was hard

 

As he recited his voice got hoarse
He consulted the doctors, but just felt worse
‘We’ve looked, examined, we all agree
There’s nothing wrong in your throat to see!’

 

His neck was sore, his voice no more
His theatre dream becoming a chore!
They wrung their hands and said ‘Oh dear!
With you at the top of your acting career!’

 

‘This is no good, I’ll have to find
My own solution! I’ll use my mind
I’ve dealt with snakes and spiders wild
Rode young farm horses since a child

I don’t accept the doctor’s verdict
When up to now my voice has been perfect!’

 

He set up three way mirrors and saw
That as he spoke there was a flaw!
His head pulled back, his chest was raised
It made his voice sound weak and crazed!

 

He lost his tone when he talked like this
‘I must be seeing what doctors miss!’
A Eureka moment! Fate! Yippee
He’d found the mechanism to set man free!

 

It wasn’t hard, surprisingly easy
To feel so great, light and breezy
He’d leave Oz now and go and seek
His fortune in London with his technique

 

He’d spread the word, he’d write a book
And bit by bit the world would look
And say ‘Cor Blimey, what the heck
All I have to do is free my neck!’

 

‘My natural balance is just there
Walking, standing, I am light as air
No stress, no strain, no aching back
My natural rhythm’s back on track!’

 

But first a way to pay his trip
Across the Ocean on a ship
A hundred years ago or more
To sail from Oz to UK shore

 

‘What shall I do to make the course?
I know what, I’ll back a horse
I’ll bet on one that’s nice and free
And surely that will pay for me

 

If it moves with ease and grace
It’s bound to have a striding pace
Good carriage will show inner poise
‘Forward, forward – ATTABOY!’

 

Alexander London went
His passage paid, his money spent!
He made his way to the West End Theatre
To be a pioneering holistic teacher

 

Actors he taught, they paid his wage
He helped them free their breath on stage
And very soon his technique was known
Among the leading lights of town

 

Actors, writers, famous intellectuals
Said ‘Alexander you must go clinical
Doctor’s must be sensible
And adopt your amazing human principle!’

 

‘We are all excited to extol
The incredible virtues of your primary control!
Somehow Alexander, you’ve uncovered
What up to now has been undiscovered!

 

You’ve found the body’s guiding relation
That must be true for all creation!’
‘You’ve taught us how to be elastic
We really do now feel fantastic!’

 

But doctors are a sceptic lot
And though many loved him, others did not
They could not believe that it could be true
When he said – ‘Less is better than to do!’

 

And this is why the techniques still quite a hidden thing
Actors and musicians learn it, to better act or sing
Or those who may have hurt their back
Will find a teacher to get back on track

 

Dressage riders, that’s horse ballet
Or pupils of ‘The art of Swimming’, use it everyday
And a few cool schools teach the Alexander Technique
And find that kids learn better, a kind of thinking power peak!

 

So if you too want to learn with less stress and strain
Find it frustrating to try hard and end gain
Ache a bit, don’t feel quite right?
Find an Alexander teacher – there’s change in sight!

 

 

More Alexander Technique stuff –

The Daily Ease Colouring Book – purchase book

Body Magic – purchase download

Breathe – purchase download

Walking with your Horse – purchase download

 

Join my blog – link to side of post

or try out my free Alexander inspired creativity course – link below

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR LOVE KIRSTEN XXX

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Alexander Technique Drawings

Page from The Daily Ease – A Walk in the Wood Colouring Book

 

I have been slowly working away creating images that hopefully express Alexander Technique in a fun way. A task that I find exceedingly challenging, but very engaging.

 

One teacher, who phoned to ask to use one of my cartoons to promote her work within the BBC, said ‘the Alexander Technique needs more images with a sharp wit like these.’ Amazing feedback!

 

Another teacher said I was wasting my time making art to promote our work!

 

An interesting difference of opinion.  I love Alexander Technique and how it can so simply and profoundly transform peoples lives. If I can do a wee bit to bring it into peoples field of attention via a cartoon or a verse or something else, yippee! To me that attempt is not a waste of time.

 

What do you think?

 

I plan to make more Alexander Technique inspired cartoons and drawings next year and I want to plant trees, to do my bit for this beautiful planet we live on!

 

This year I made an Alexander Technique inspired colouring story book for children and adults. All profits will be used to plant trees.The Daily Ease – A Walk in the Woods,  link here!

 

It is the sort of thing as a child I know I would have loved, and I think would have given me a ‘heads up’ on some useful thinking …

 

fullsizeoutput_15f1

‘Hedgehog – Feeling a Bit Prickly!’

detail from ‘The Daily Ease – A Walk in the Woods’

 

Kirsten Harris 001

‘News – Skeleton Slumps at Screen!’

FB logo for The Daily Ease – Alexander Technique.

 

 

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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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The Giraffe

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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The Daily Ease – A Walk in the Woods

It’s finally here –  The Daily Ease colouring book. Inspired by walking in the woods with my dog Maisie – this is Alexander Technique passionista meets nature lover meets eco warrior meets tree hugger meets creativity encourager

 

For children and adults alike.

 

Interwoven with the drawings and writing are lots of Alexander Technique concepts and inspirations, hopefully presented in an easily absorbed way to make you smile

 

Here is a sample page …

 

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A link to buy the book here –  The Daily Ease A Walk in the Woods

Written with love, all profits from this book will be used to plant trees here in Scotland

 

What people are saying –

‘This is more than a colouring book, it is a delightful, gentle, joyous book of wisdom for all ages.’

‘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, love of nature and passion for the Alexander Teachings in a way that is accessible for everyone.’

 

Do email me if you have any questions kirstenfharris@btopenworld.com

Discounts available for quantity purchases (email me)

To post abroad please again email me as I will need to add postage

Free postage in the UK

 

I hope you enjoy The Daily Ease A Walk in the Woods

COLOURING BOOK KH-2

 

 

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Tongues!

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

 

EPSON MFP image

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!

 

 

Facebook – The Daily Ease Alexander Technique
www.kirstenharris.co.uk
www.kirstenharrisart.com
Don’t forget to subscribe at the top of the page so you don’t miss out on more fun posts from The Daily Ease!

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Alexander Technique Is Like Harry Potter World!

‘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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‘Doing Alexander Technique at School is Legendary!’

‘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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Things you might like

Body Magic, audio download for semi supine, as pictured – CLICK HERE

An Alexander Technique inspired colouring story book – CLICK HERE

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101 Life Lessons from my Dog

101 Life Lessons from my Dog

by Kirsten Harris

 

1. Have a good stretch and yawn first thing in the morning. It feels great.

 

2. If there is a human being about lie on your back and get your tummy tickled. Tickling is happy.

 

3. Morning grooming sessions make you feel good for the day. Nobody likes a smelly dog.

Especially look after your feet. You can’t walk without them.

 

5. Eat your food with gusto and pure pleasure.

 

6. Drink plenty of water.

 

7. Be totally delighted to see your friends. Greet them with enthusiasm and joy.

 

8. Be fascinated by the sights, sounds and smells around you. The best things in life really are free.

 

9. Playing or going for a walk with someone is better than on your own. Run for Fun.

 

10. If you need to howl. Do it!

 

11. Smile and wag your tail a lot, it will keep your back free. Dance like a dog everyday.

 

12. It is OK to have a snooze in the day time. Dogs loves it when you lie on the floor. Be more dog and rest inbetween activity. It’s good for your back.

 

13. Get some training. Practise makes perfect. Being skilled is pure pleasure for you and the people around you.

 

14. It is possible to be totally relaxed and alert at the same time. Alexander Technique’s constructive rest (semi-supine) is the human equivalent of your dog sleeping with one eye open.

 

15. Worry Less. Muddy floors can be cleaned. Enjoy getting muddy feet in the first place.

 

16. Dont compare yourself with the other bitches! Be accepting.

 

17. It feels good to give and get strokes from others. Give and receive praise.

 

18. Make yourself pant breathlessly from having fun in the world at least once a day.

 

19. ‘NO!’ is a really important word. Use it.

 

20. Go outside several times a day to refresh yourself.

 

21 Have boundaries. Your space is your space, protect it from invaders.

 

22. Don’t pick fights. Stand up for yourself if necessary. Don’t cower, but exiting fast or going around something to avoid confrontation is often the best strategy. Fighting doesn’t occur if you know how to look after yourself.

 

23. Commitment brings joy.

 

24. Trust your instincts.

 

25. Everyday is an adventure. Going on trips is an adventure. Trust the unknown. Dogs never know what you have planned.

 

26. Ball games are fun.

 

27. Have a sense of humour and be a bit naughty sometimes.

 

28. Bugs, flies, moths and bees are fascinating.

 

29. Staying a dancing hands length away from being captured is a good game.

 

30. Have your own space, where you find peace and ease.

 

31. Sofas are great but sometimes it really is more comfortable to lie on the floor.

Rolling around on the floor is really really good too.

 

32. Different dogs have different energy levels and personalities. They are all loveable. Accept yourself.

 

33. Develop your listening skills.

 

34. Sitting at someone else’s feet is a mark of respect.

 

35 Be aware.

 

36. A little treat for a job well done makes life flow and brings happiness and joy.

 

37. Keep a little treat ‘up your sleeve’ at all times, you never know when you might need a reward.

 

38 Be loyal and honest. Dogs don’t lie.

 

39 A good companion and friend is the best thing in the world.

 

40. Walking everyday keeps you in good shape.

 

41. Some humans make better leaders than others and get more respect.

 

42. Slippers are great.

 

43. Toys that squeak must be destroyed as fast as possible.

 

44 It is important to respect cows, sheep and horses, but it is OK to chase crows out of the garden.

 

45 Some ‘cats’ are weird and need assessing before approaching.

 

46. Humans are a bit slow and clumsy but are generally nice and like to be loved

 

47. Humans that spend too long on the computer are boring and missing out on great opportunities for adventures and walks.

 

48. Humans don’t like arse licking.

 

49 Don’t chase cars.

 

50. Always look for the most comfortable place to sit. Sit nicely.

 

51 Find a favourite relaxation spot outside to watch the world go by.

 

52. Dogs are happy when you are happy. Be happy

 

53 The countryside is freer than the city. The beach is fantastic!

 

54. You can communicate with everyone, even if you don’t speak the same language. Be friendly to strangers.

 

55. Don’t hurt people. People don’t like being bitten.

 

56. Don’t steal other people’s stuff. Slippers are fair game!

 

57. Trust people unless they hurt you. Then refuse to go near them.

 

58. Breathe out deeply with contented pleasure when letting go into rest.

 

59. Explore your surroundings with new eyes and enthusiasm everyday. It is full of wonder and delight.

 

60. Respect the environment. Don’t ‘shit’ in someone else’s paradise. If you do, clear up the mess.

 

61. It is possible to be poised in activity. The eyes lead the body follows, watch a dog catch a ball, it will teach you how the body is co-ordinated.

 

62. It is OK to drop the ball.

 

63. Don’t worry. If you think it’s a dog’s life, be more dog.

 

64. Get messy. Use your body. Explore. Get your feet wet. Run into the sea. Dig in the earth. Enjoy Life.

 

65.  Everyday is a new opportunity to enjoy chasing and catching the ball! People will start buying balls if they know your passion, and come to visit just in order to share your passion with you!

 

66. Dogs are keenly aware if something different is going to happen … Putting shoes on to go out is a very exciting life event!

 

67. Watching the behaviour of others is interesting and gives insight! Your dog is watching you!

 

68. Think ahead! Forward planning can make life a lot easier. A dog won’t necessarily be caught just because that is what you want this very minute.

 

69. Give praise quickly. If it is a no, it is a no, if it is a yes, be quick with the praise too. Yes is the goal. Your no supports your yes! It’s anatomical!

 

70. Dogs can anticipate your next action. Maisie, my Cockerpoo, puts the ball where she thinks I am going next, she is invariably correct. My dog is mind reading me!

 

71. Dogs are very good human trainers!

 

72. Let sleeping dogs lie. There is truth in old wisdom. It gives you peace.

 

73. Dogs understand body language.

 

74. Dogs love it when you rest your hand on them and think into the back of it. Bliss! Alexander Technique non doing ‘hands on’ are an excellent and effective way for calming down a manic, crazy dog … over time!

 

75. Who cares about the weather when you can go OUTSIDE!

 

76. Get more Grrrrrr …. stronger boundaries and grrrreater passion for life! Anger and hyper energy can be very useful!

 

77. Passion and obsession are not so different! …. Really keep your eye on your favourite ball!

 

78. If one person doesn’t want to play with you, don’t worry! Someone else will play with you.

 

79. Dogs bring energy and enthusiasm into the room. Whoo hoo! Live life with energy and enthusiasm.

 

80. Chasing a dog that doesn’t want to be caught is a waste of time!

 

81. If it is not working with the dog do something else, be creative … Creativity keeps life interesting.

 

82. Not everyone loves your dog. But all that matters is that you do. Trust your own judgement. Trust your own love! Everyone deserves love!

 

83. Some dogs are messier than other. It is just who they are. They are not trying to mess up your life on purpose!

 

84. Not all dogs want to be fawned over, some dogs just like their own space. Free choice! Don’t take it personally!

 

85. ‘Some dogs mothers are bigger than other dogs mothers!’ (misquoted from The Smiths). We are all different … YAY!

 

86. No matter how small you are or think you are, you are important! You are allowed to take up your space.

 

87. People really don’t like being barked at!

 

88. There are different kinds of bark. Use your bark only in the case of emergency when you really need to get someones attention.

 

89. Dogs have an opinion too. Allow others their opinion. You don’t have to agree.

 

90. People are wonderful and to be greeted with enthusiasm. Most people will respond back accordingly. The odd one won’t. Don’t take it personally, it is their problem not yours!

 

91. You don’t need words to communicate love.

 

92. Be kind! Kindness will be rewarded with loyalty and companionship.

 

93. Dogs don’t take your grumpy mood personally. Don’t take things personally.

 

94. What is your stuff is your stuff, what is their stuff is their stuff.

 

95. Dogs know how to give you space if you are in a bad mood and will go find somewhere to hang out in their own happy space. Give people space if they need it.

 

96. Find the warmest and most comfortable place to lie down and let go completely.

 

97. Take the ‘plunge’ – even if you have never tried to ‘swim’ before you might like it. And if not, the shore is not far away.

 

98. Innocent but slightly eccentric behaviour can be misinterpreted badly. Be your quirky unique self even if people do misunderstand you. Don’t stop doing what makes you happy just because folk don’t get it!
(My dog likes to tickle her inside leg on the shoe of anyone sitting cross legged. This involves lifting her leg as though she were a male dog about to pee. Maisie is doing her ballet moves for fun!)

 

99. Dogs change your perception of life … A lone man walking a dog on a path is a man taking his dog for a walk. A man walking alone on a path is a potential threat! (sorry guys!)

 

100. Dogs love to meet and greet. Dogs bring people together. Strangers will talk to a dog where they might be shy to talk to you.

 

101.Love is unconditional.

 

My Motto after two and half years with a highly intelligent, hyperactive Cockerpoo affectionally known as Crazy Maisie is – ‘Be More Maisie!’

 

Animals can teach us daft humans a whole lot of life lessons …

Why not join my mailing list for more blogs and drawings ..

 

Link to my art website – http://www.kirstenharrisart.co.uk

 

UPCOMING ART EXHIBITOIN – SEA AND THE CITY, DUNDAS GALLERY, DUNDAS STREET, EDINBURGH 26 – 30 APRIL 2017 10am – 6pm.

(Maisie will be meeting and greeting visitors to the exhibition!)

 

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101 Life Lessons from my Dog – copyright Kirsten Harris, July 2016/March 2017

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101 Life Lessons from My Dog – Part 2 (66 – 101)

66. Dogs are keenly aware if something different is going to happen … Putting shoes on to go out is a very exciting life event!

 

67. Watching the behaviours of others is interesting and gives insight! Your dog is watching you!

 

68. Think ahead! Forward planning can make life a lot easier. A dog won’t necessarily be caught just because that is what you want this very minute.

 

69. Give praise quickly. If it is a no, it is a no, if it is a yes, be quick with the praise too. Yes is the goal. Your no supports your yes! It’s anatomical!

 

70. Dogs can anticipate your next action. Maisie my Cockerpoo, puts the ball where she thinks I am going next, she is invariably correct. My dog is mind reading me!

 

71. Dogs are very good human trainers!

 

72. Let sleeping dogs lie. There is truth in old wisdom. It gives you peace.

 

73. Dogs understand body language.

 

74. Dogs love it when you rest your hand on them and think into the back of it. Bliss! Alexander Technique non doing ‘hands on’ are an excellent and effective way for calming down a manic, crazy dog … over time!

 

75. Who cares about the weather when you can go OUTSIDE!

 

76. Get more Grrrrrr …. stronger boundaries and grrrreater passion for life! Anger and hyper energy can be very useful!

 

77. Passion and obsession are not so different! …. Really keep your eye on your favourite ball!

 

78. If one person doesn’t want to play with you, don’t worry! Someone else will play with you.

 

79. Dogs bring energy and enthusiasm into the room. Whoo hoo! Live life with energy and enthusiasm.

 

80. Chasing a dog that doesn’t want to be caught is a waste of time!

 

81. If it is not working with the dog do something else, be creative … Creativity keeps life interesting.

 

82. Not everyone loves your dog. But all that matters is that you do. Trust your own judgement. Trust your own love! Everyone deserves love!

 

83. Some dogs are messier than other. It is just who they are. They are not trying to mess up your life on purpose!

 

84. Not all dogs want to be fawned over, some dogs just like their own space. Free choice! Don’t take it personally!

 

85. ‘Some dogs mothers are bigger than other dogs mothers!’ (misquoted from The Smiths). We are all different … YAY!

 

86. No matter how small you are or think you are, you are important! You are allowed to take up your space.

 

87. People really don’t like being barked at!

 

88. There are different kinds of bark. Use your bark only in the case of emergency when you really need to get someones attention.

 

89. Dogs have an opinion too. Allow others their opinion. You don’t have to agree.

 

90. People are wonderful and to be greeted with enthusiasm. Most people will respond back accordingly. The odd one won’t. Don’t take it personally, it is their problem not yours!

 

91. You don’t need words to communicate love.

 

92. Be kind! Kindness will be rewarded with loyalty and companionship.

 

93. Dogs don’t take your grumpy mood personally. Don’t take things personally.

 

94. What is your stuff is your stuff, what is their stuff is their stuff.

 

95. Dogs know how to give you space if you are in a bad mood and will go find somewhere to hang out in their own happy space. Give people space if they need it.

 

96. Find the warmest and most comfortable place to lie down and let go completely.

 

97. Take the ‘plunge’ – even if you have never tried to ‘swim’ before you might like it. And if not, the shore is not far away.

 

98. Innocent but slightly eccentric behaviour can be misinterpreted badly. Be your quirky unique self even if people do misunderstand you. Don’t stop doing what makes you happy just because folk don’t get it!

(My dog likes to tickle her inside leg on the shoe of anyone sitting cross legged. This involves lifting her leg as though she were a male dog about to pee. Maisie is doing her ballet moves for fun!)

 

99. Dogs change your perception of life … A lone man walking a dog on a path is a man taking his dog for a walk. A man walking alone on a path is a potential threat! (sorry guys!)

 

100. Dogs love to meet and greet. Dogs bring people together. Strangers will talk to a dog where they might be shy to talk to you.

 

101. Everyday is a new opportunity to enjoy chasing and catching the ball! People will start buying balls if they know there is passion, and come to visit just in order to share your passion with you!

 

My Motto after two and half years with a highly intelligent, hyperactive Cockerpoo affectionally known as Crazy Maisie is – ‘Be More Maisie!’

 

Animals can teach us daft humans a whole lot of life lessons …

 

 

 

 

Part 1 below ..

 

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101 Life Lessons from my Dog – Copyright Kirsten Harris 2017

 

 

65 Life Lessons from My Dog

 

 

 

 

 

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‘It’s the Jeremy Kyle Show Miss!’

‘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!)

 

Things you may like

Body Magic audio – here

A Walk in the Woods Colouring Story Book – here

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The Naughty Step!

 

I had to share this insight from a teenager …..

 

Yesterday, during a constructive rest session requested by one of the teenage boys at the high school where I teach Alexander Technique, 17 year old Harry quipped-

 

‘Semi-supine is like a productive version of the naughty step!

When I was little I would be made to sit on the naughty step … I was always all hunched up, elbows on my knee, in a rage … ‘

 

‘Lying down doing Alexander Technique is giving me time out to think about what I have done during the day, the bad decisions I have made and let them go. Yup, it is like the productive version of the naughty step!’

 

He continued –

 

‘I have had some great epiphanies in semi-supine – like where I have been going wrong and just by taking time out I get an idea about how to do it and when I go back to it it works … like learning a difficult piece on the guitar, suddenly I can do it… You wouldn’t think time out this way would be productive, but it really is!’

 

Out of the mouth of babes!

Constructive rest – the productive naughty step!

 

Here is a link to a constructive rest download – enjoy time out on the ‘productive naughty step!’ CLICK NOW

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Daily Ease 2017 Alexander Technique Calendar

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The Daily Ease 2017 Calendar

 

A fun romp though the Alexander Technique –

 

It is all there in the cartoons and verses, so will make a terrific teaching aid for anyone who would like a few visual prompts to assist in explaining the principles of the wonderful marvellous Alexander Technique.

 

As they say a picture paints a thousand words!

 

And it is useful too, as it is a calendar for next year.

 

Child friendly Alexander Technique, a great talking point!

 

I have about 25 calendars left – when they are gone, they are gone…

 

Here is a link to buy.. The Daily Ease Calendar

Worldwide shipping... CLICK 

 

For more info you might like to check out previous blogs for commentaries on the images.

 

Have a wonderful inspired successful 2017…

 

Kirsten x

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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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A Walk in the Woods

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A walk in the woods

Awakening the senses

Stirring the imagination….

 

Carved onto a branch where wise owl patiently sits, are the words –

 

‘Thinking up is a cosmic skill, up up direct your mind

Your light body will expand, freedom too you find

Forward and up thinking, a direction just to be

Much easier to fly in a body that is free’

 

Owl is poised ready to fly silently into the night at a moments notice

He has choice

He is the observer and the observed

Master of inner and outer worlds

 

The branch is old but it is sprouting new leaves

The wisdom is ancient and timeless…

 

On a leaf a mouse is meditating … up up up to the big up …the cosmic up … up there!

He feels fantastic

Expansive

Elastic

A little mouse balancing on a big delicate shimmering leaf

Contemplating the vastness of it all

Connected

 

It might all seem a bit batty but who cares

Lets fly

Crazy bat

Be yourself

Accept yourself and all your battiness

Fly in the day

Fly in the night

Non conformity with all its bat whirls and twirls and swirls suits you

Be you

 

The spider weaves his web and connects us all

How lucky we are to have creative spider and his world wide web…

 

Another mouse eases on a branch in semi supine lighting his body with direction

Lightening his load

Whilst badger efforts his way over the branch…

 

What are you doing Mr Badger?

Think!

Could you find another way?

 

Two mice meditate, watched by a hedgehog

Today Miss Hedgehog hasn’t quite learned to let go

She is feeling a bit prickly

But definitely curious that there IS another way

 

Learning from the example of the calm, balanced, meditating mice

She contemplates her defences

Hmmm, interesting!

 

Golden leaves fall around the meditating mice, they see the abundance of it all

A pink moon is held within a dandelion clock

 

The bracken fronds remind us that all movement and growth spirals…spiralling dancing relationships

 

Mr Fox has been out running rings and now, like all dogs, knows how to look after himself – master of rest after activity and a master of active rest…

A comfortable, warm place for an afternoon snooze

Siesta time, dreaming time, to wake inspired ready to play…

Clever fox!

 

 

This image is from 2017 Calendar – The Daily Ease

A poem, an illustration and a quote about the Alexander Technique

Alexander Technique for every day as a talking point with friends, students, children….

Available to buy Click HERE

 

 

 

 

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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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The Giraffe

The Giraffe

by Kirsten Harris

 

Like us, giraffe have seven vertebrae in the neck.

I find this fact fascinating.

Graceful, long necked, elegant, beautiful, crazy giraffe – your design is much like mine.

 

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‘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!’

 

This image and verse is about self acceptance – the power of thinking up!

 

The baby giraffe hides shyly between his mother’s legs…

But hiding is not working…little messages are coming up from the ground…

‘man up’

‘up, up, up’

‘go up in the world’

‘choose up’

‘take me up’….

 

The little mice are comfortably nice…

 

I teach Alexander Technique to high school children, age 12 – 18

 

I want them to have a confident self image no matter what size they are…

Teaching children the power of up is a joy! I am teaching how to make a powerful choice.

 

Up they think and up they go…

Finding confidence, inner strength, ease, poise, laughter, happiness, lightness, feeling more themselves…

Little ones discover they are ‘less of a pushover’ than bigger kids with no understanding of the power of up…’Wow, thinking up gives you superhuman powers, miss!’ they report. Happy me! Another young person who loves the Alexander Technique as much as I do!

Tall gangly teens (me at school) start enjoying  their full height…

Being themselves without resistance and fear…

Unlimited potential….

Fearlessly up…

A valuable tool for life…. up, up, up, think up!

‘Why doesn’t everyone at school learn the Alexander Technique?’ The children constantly ask me….

 

This daft illustration reminds us that we have a daily easy choice …up

It’s easy to think up!

The bird words move the giraffes long back up, singing – ‘big it up!’

 

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Illustration and verse from The Daily Ease 2017 Calendar

To see more or buy the Daily Ease 2017 Calendar CLICK HERE

A bit of Alexander Technique fun for your teaching room….

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Forward and Up – Of mice and men…

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When you speak of love or something’s to be said

Brainbox, don’t pull back your wonderful but mighty heavy head

Balance your skull lightly, it’s a Universal Law

Listen well! Do less, using only lips and tongue and jaw!

 

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Commentary on the drawing –

 

Little mice point to the place of balance at the base of the skull….

They ask us to listen, listen for our own balance…

The co-ordinating principle of lightness is light….

We are asked to speak up, to speak our truth….

Is it true if we are pulling our heads back?

Does the balance of the head make our truth clearer?

Can we balance our head and speak our truth?

Can we speak clearly, precisely?

Can our voice be heard?

Listen to our own thinking… what needs to be said?

To be or not to be…

Doing less can we speak our truth without interference?

The primary balance of the skull on the spine, a universal law, true for mice and men…

The mice give us clear directions, both anatomically and spatially….forward…up…balance….

Use your brain….brain box!

The little mice are falling in love with balance…..

I love you…..

Balancing love for self and another being….

Speak of love says the little golden mouse.. speak up.. speak the truth…

Are you a man or a mouse? Squeak up!

The house mouse swoons, it’s head in the clouds….

Bathed and balanced in the golden light of love…

High on love….

Love and balance are in the space between ….

 

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Words and illustration from The Daily Ease 2017 Calendar

available HERE AND NOW!

CLICK TO BUY…  Would yo like an Alexander Technique calendar and some daily ease for 2017?

 

 

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Mystical Creatures

JAN DOC012(5)

 

The Unicorn

by Kirsten Harris

 

In Ancient Myth lived a beautiful Unicorn

A fabulous horse with a pointing uni-horn

What is the symbol of this mysterious feature?

Forward and Up points the mystical creature!

 

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My thoughts about the illustration..

 

The unicorn balances on a ball…

Planet earth…

A planet in balance…

The unicorn invites us to look for and find our own balance…..

‘Forward and up’ is the key he gives us….

Hares fly around the planet…we are spinning…

Man moving so fast he forgets to think, to listen, to respond…

The hare in flight…

Fright and flight or forward and up?

The unicorn maintains his direction, serenity, awareness, feet on the ground, spine lengthening, an inner smile….

Forward and up into cosmic space…

A mystical direction….

An invitation into the mysterious….

‘Giddy Up!’ says the little mouse, enjoy the ride…

 

Illustration for January from my gallop around Alexander Technique in verse and cartoon.

The Daily Ease 2017 Calendar available to buy here. £10

Click this link

 

Very limited stock.

I hope you like it

: )

Kirsten

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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65 Life Lessons from My Dog

65 Life Lessons from My Dog

by Kirsten Harris

 

1. Have a good stretch and yawn first thing in the morning. It feels great.

 

2. If there is a human being about lie on your back and get your tummy tickled. Tickling is happy.

 

3. Morning grooming sessions make you feel good for the day. Nobody likes a smelly dog.

Especially look after your feet. You can’t walk without them.

 

5. Eat your food with gusto and pure pleasure.

 

6. Drink plenty of water.

 

7. Be totally delighted to see your friends. Greet them with enthusiasm and joy.

 

8. Be fascinated by the sights, sounds and smells around you. The best things in life really are free.

 

9. Playing or going for a walk with someone is better than on your own. Run for Fun.

 

10. If you need to howl. Do it!

 

11. Smile and wag your tail a lot, it will keep your back free. Dance like a dog everyday.

 

12. It is OK to have a snooze in the day time. Dogs loves it when you lie on the floor. Be more dog and rest inbetween activity. It’s good for your back.

 

13. Get some training. Practise makes perfect. Being skilled is pure pleasure for you and the people around you.

 

14. It is possible to be totally relaxed and alert at the same time. Alexander Technique’s constructive rest (semi-supine) is the human equivalent of your dog sleeping with one eye open.

 

15. Worry Less. Muddy floors can be cleaned. Enjoy getting muddy feet in the first place.

 

16. Dont compare yourself with the other bitches! Be accepting.

 

17. It feels good to give and get strokes from others. Give and receive praise.

 

18. Make yourself pant breathlessly from having fun in the world at least once a day.

 

19. ‘NO!’  is a really important word. Use it.

 

20. Go outside several times a day to refresh yourself.

 

21 Have boundaries. Your space is your space, protect it from invaders.

 

22. Don’t pick fights. Stand up for yourself if necessary. Don’t cower, but exiting fast or going around something to avoid confrontation is often the best strategy. Fighting doesn’t occur if you know how to look after yourself.

 

23. Commitment brings joy.

 

24. Trust your instincts.

 

25. Everyday is an adventure. Going on trips is an adventure. Trust the unknown. Dogs never know what you have planned.

 

26. Ball games are fun.

 

27. Have a sense of humour and be a bit naughty sometimes.

 

28. Bugs, flies, moths and bees are fascinating.

 

29. Staying a dancing hands length away from being captured is a good game.

 

30. Have your own space, where you find peace and ease.

 

31. Sofas are great but sometimes it really is more comfortable to lie on the floor. Rolling around on the floor is really really good too.

 

32.  Different dogs have different energy levels and personalities. They are all loveable. Accept yourself.

 

33. Develop your listening skills.

 

34. Sitting at someone else’s feet is a mark of respect.

 

35 Be aware.

 

36. A little treat for a job well done makes life flow and brings happiness and joy.

 

37. Keep a little treat ‘up your sleeve’ at all times, you never know when you might need a reward.

 

38 Be loyal and honest. Dogs don’t lie.

 

39 A good companion and friend is the best thing in the world.

 

40. Walking everyday keeps you in good shape.

 

41. Some humans make better leaders than others and get more respect.

 

42. Slippers are great.

 

43. Toys that squeak must be destroyed as fast as possible.

 

44 It is important to respect cows, sheep and horses, but it is OK to chase crows out of the garden.

 

45 Some ‘cats’ are weird and need assessing before approaching.

 

46. Humans are a bit slow and clumsy but are generally nice and like to be loved

 

47. Humans that spend too long on the computer are boring and missing out on great opportunities for adventures and walks.

 

48. Humans don’t like arse licking.

 

49 Don’t chase cars.

 

50. Always look for the most comfortable place to sit. Sit nicely.

 

51 Find a favourite relaxation spot outside to watch the world go by.

 

52. Dogs are happy when you are happy. Be happy

 

53 The countryside is freer than the city.

 

54. You can communicate with everyone, even if you don’t speak the same language. Be friendly to strangers.

 

55. Don’t hurt people. People don’t like being bitten.

 

56. Don’t steal other people’s stuff. Slippers are fair game!

 

57. Trust people unless they hurt you. Then refuse to go near them.

 

58. Breathe out deeply with contented pleasure when letting go into rest.

 

59. Explore your surroundings with new eyes and enthusiasm everyday. It is full of wonder and delight.

 

60. Respect the environment. Don’t ‘shit’ in someone else’s paradise. If you do, clear up the mess.

 

61. It is possible to be poised in activity. The eyes lead the body follows, watch a dog catch a ball, it will teach you how the body is co-ordinated.

 

62. It is OK to drop the ball.

 

63. Don’t worry. If you think it’s a dog’s life, be more dog.

 

64. Get messy. Use your body. Explore. Get your feet wet. Run into the sea. Dig in the earth. Enjoy Life.

 

65. Love is unconditional.

 

(65 Life Lessons from my Dog – copyright Kirsten Harris July 2016)

 

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What dogs teach us about back care!

 

 

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Try Mooing

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Try Mooing

I just did!..

 

Went for a walk with the dog, mooing!

A really good grounding sound

Made me smile

 

Moo to anchor the voice into the body

Moo to let go

Moo to make yourself happy

Moo to open your breathing

Moo to let go of all that horrible old stale air

Moo to activate the diaphragm

Moo to reenergise your blood

Moo to vibrate yourself into more energy!

Are you going to MOO TOO?

 

Go on be a silly cow and MOOOOOOOOO!

 

 

 

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Dancing Spine

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Let your spine dance today

Get some loud music on, something that really makes you want to wiggle and wriggle and let you spine have some freedom

 

It’s so good for all the multi faceted joints of your spine to move

 

Be a snake

Be a snake charmer

Who cares if you look like a silly cow!

Dance dance dance

Let go and enjoy!

 

NO-ONE’S LOOKING!!

 

(and it’s SPRING!!!!)

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The Zone

The Zone

 

I know when I am in The Zone

Letting go bone by bone

Happy to be on my own

Exploring realms of the great unknown

Easing open muscle tone

Unearthing my own safety zone

Lengthening snake like intelligent back bone

Amazing ideas I’m being shown

Inner strength, I can hold my own

Balanced in my comfort zone

Even let go of my phone

When I visit my inner home

Who needs to get drunk or stoned

When you know about The Zone!

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Sometimes Life’s a Bit Complicated

Take it easy…

Sometimes life is just a bit complicated…

No need to get yourself in a tangle, in a pickle, worried…

You can figure it out…

Breathe…..

Moo if necessary!!!

 

 

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Great diagrams of the skeleton and skull

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3 Easy Tips for Sitting at Your Computer

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1. Are you off your rockers?! Like the skeleton in my sketch

In other words are you sitting on your sitting bones?

Sit on your hands for a moment and feel your sitting bones. These are bony rockers at the base of your spine.

You are sitting on a bony rocking chair. Anywhere on these rockers is OK. Have a little rock. You are mobile even when sitting.

Rock On!

 

2. Are your shoulders up around your ears. Let go, do less. Have a thought ‘Let my neck be Free’ It might surprise you! Let me know!

 

3. Can you soften your hands. Soft light fingers. Be light! Lighter!

 

More soon!! x

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Kids Body Mapping the Skeleton

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These fantastic drawings by my first and second year students at the Edinburgh School of Music at Broughton High School are not copied from any picture of the skeleton. They are done from talking through the anatomy of the skeleton with them to create there own body map, developing X-ray vision as they observe each other and thinking about the size, shape and feeling of  there own bones under the skin and muscle.  I think the results are amazing. A good bony body map greatly improves understanding of movement towards greater poise.

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Human Being – Stop and Smell the Roses

Human Being or Human Doing?

Have you spent any time today just being.

Being present, being aware, being comfortable, being here?

Have you stopped to smell the roses?

To be or not to be?

 

Human being or human doing?

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Space

Space around me

Space within me

Living in space

Living with space

Thinking about space

Spaced Out Day!

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