Post by Category : Back Ache – Ease

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!

 

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My downloadable lessons –

Body Magic

Breathe

Walking with Your Horse

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Enough is Enough!

Do you read ‘enough is enough’ as a positive or a negative? An affirmation or a telling off? A plenty abundance or a never again?  A good enough or a not good enough?

 

If enough is a negative, is it is time to question whether you habitually give yourself a hard time? Thinking that your good enough is not good enough, or not enough, is possibly an unhelpful habit!

 

Is it time to be a little kinder on yourself and see your beautiful self as enough, just exactly as you are right now? Warts ’n’ all!

 

I am asking the question as I see in myself and others too much beating up on the self. Too much ‘Where is my big stick?’ syndrome that definitely tightens the neck and creates startle pattern in the system! Why are we so hard on ourselves? I don’t see horses or dogs behaving like that!

 

It seems that there are so many areas of our lives to juggle and keeping all of them up to scratch is nigh on impossible. Enough is enough on being hard on ourselves. Time to lighten up! Ease out and be enough right now!

 

If I decide I am doing my best, even though the results are not always fantastic, it frees me into a more comfortable abundance present. A trusting loving state. ‘I am doing enough, being enough!’

 

So, for now, ending this blog, enough is enough. Enough work for the day. Time to stop and smell the roses and choose ease instead. Time to be with my animals and then lie down in constructive rest!  Can one ever get enough or that?

 

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Body Magic, constructive rest link here

 

Art Work ‘Stop and Smell the Roses’ by Kirsten Harris, Oil on Canvas

www.kirstenharrisart.com

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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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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.

 

giraffe3

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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Ki – How I Discovered Alexander Technique

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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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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STOPPING – The Most Magical Gift of All!

Do you know how to rest constructively?

To stop, once a day, and give yourself the best gift of all?

 

To simply, quickly and effectively LET GO for a short period of time, so that you can bounce back into action with restored energy and vitality…

There is an old wisdom – Less is more…

 

Animals do!

My dog will power nap, she is not asleep.
In fact she is entirely alert but in a resting state.

Her body completely inactive, but her ears and other senses still listening.

She amazes me that after a few minutes she is full of beans again.

 

It is a great skill to learn.

And the best gift you can give yourself.IMG_6847

‘Maise and Me – Zoned and Boned’

 

HERE IS A QUICK GUIDE TO STOPPING CONSTRUCTIVELY AND CONSCIOUSLY –

 

 

GUIDE TO BODY MAGIC –

 

  • Know there is an optimum way to stop and rest. Lie as shown in the pictures – head resting on books so your head is not pulled back, nor are you giving yourself a double chin, knees up, hands on ribcage.

 

  • This constructive rest position provides maximum support and minimum stress for working muscles to release.

 

  • Putting your legs up on the sofa with your bum as close to the sofa as possible,  back on the floor, works well too. Be Warm.

 

  • We all need a bit of support now and then – give it to your self. Stop and lie down on the floor!

 

  • Like the childs game ‘Dead Lions’ (which I loved as a kid -the only one I seemed to be good at!) your job is to NOT move for up to 17 minutes! Stay still physically, but activate your brain in a new way mentally. We are finding a way to BE ZONED!

 

  • Being Zoned allows lots of wonderful magical things to happen in your body -intervertebral discs rehydrate (you will be taller when you stand up) adrenalin leaves the body (you will be less stressed) and your mind and muscles have a chance to let go into length. To really find neutral. Your happy state!

 

  • Five minutes resting constructively is better than NO minutes. Little breaks. YAY!

 

  • How do you get into the zone? Like an artist using a brush stroke loaded with magical paint,  brush mind attention through your own system, your muscles, your shapes, the curves and breaths of your body.

 

  • This will encourage your muscles to release into your NATURAL LENGTHENED EASE STATE.  You cannot do something to make your muscles LET GO, but you can think into them to trigger a release….. It works, the more you practise the easier you get!

 

  • Let Constructive rest BE YOUR DAILY EASE…. it is Body Magic and the Best Gift you can give your self. Mind about your self!

 

  • Stopping is a great place to start to ease out just about any situation.

 

 

TO HELP YOU GET ZONED…

GIVE YOUR SELF THE MOST MAGICAL GIFT OF ALL…

CLICK THE LINK HERE – BODY MAGIC

 

Enjoy resting!

 

MAY DOC002(23)

‘I Feel like I am floating!’

 

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Fancy That!

Fancy That!

by Kirsten Harris

 

‘When I say ‘I’m tired!’ I feel rather flat

But if I say ‘I’ve energy’ I do have! Fancy that!’

 

 

JULY DOC004(16)

 

 

‘Gently purring, resting easy

Neck a free releasing muscle stream

Body feels buttery and creamy

Letting go, a forward flowing dream’

 

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Animals know how to rest

How to let go

How to live the dream

 

Crazy Maisie, my darling cockerpoo, is currently passed out at my feet after a busy morning bossing me about to throw a ball.  Activity and rest, she knows the difference. Not so crazy Maisie…

 

But I can be tired and keep pushing myself to do more, silly human doing!

And then moan about being tired, and feel worse and worse. Daft person!

 

 

The two lined verse from the mouse reminds us that the words we say effect us…

 

This illustration from The Daily Ease 2017 calendar reminds us to let go…

 

What’s up? Asks a mouse….somethings wrong…

Ease up, feet up, rest easy….the mice advice…

 

Co-operation and friendship become easier…

The mice are not scared of the cat….

Fearlessly resting…

Do I fearlessly rest?

 

It is by learning to stop that we find change…

Stopping in the moment…

Stopping an unhelpful thought such as ‘I’m tired!’….

Stopping to rest…

Stopping to feel love…for one’s own loving heart….for the support around us…

Stopping to lie in semi-supine…

Stopping to love the feel of the releasing muscle stream available to all of us when we really allow ourselves to rest…

 

The cat knows!

Smiling purring puss..

The little mice know too!

Do you? Alexander Technique will show you how…

 

The Daily Ease reminds us how lovely it is to rest…

Hmmm, I fancy that!

 

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To buy a copy of The Daily Ease 2017 Calendar.

Alexander Technique wisdom for children, adults, cats and mice!

Click Here

 

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Bone Up!

NOV DOC008(10)

 

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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I Feel Like I am Floating

MAY DOC002(23)

 

Taking the time

To lie in semi supine

Is good for my spine

And helps me feel fine

 

17 minutes of time

On the floor is sublime

Let go to align

My bodies design

 

Think into my outline

Contemplate widening from my centreline

Radiating inner sunshine

To find balance’s forward and upward refine

 

Intelligent as Einstein

As refreshing as wine

Rejuvenating the discs of my spine

And it doesn’t cost me a dime

 

Alexander Technique semi supine

Easy DIY self care guideline

Release holding my lifeline

It’s quite simply divine!

 

The drawing is from the  2017 Daily Ease Calendar Available to pre-order now.

A fun reminder to bring Alexander Technique into your daily life every day.

http://www.kirstenharris.co.uk/calendar.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

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