Posts for Tag : alexander technique for children

Is it useful learning Alexander Technique at School and if so, why?

Every now and then I check in with the school children I teach to find out what they are learning from Alexander Technique. Here are some answers from class –

 

‘It is useful learning Alexander Technique at school because it teaches me how to go from really hyper to really relaxed quickly. It helps me stay calm and not react. When I do sports and things it helps me not get aches and pains. It also keeps me calm for exams, because I can switch off nervousness and get focussed instead.’ Alisia, age 13

 

‘My mum’s started to say my posture is better and I notice in the mirror I am not slouching.’ Josie, age 13

 

‘It trains your mind whilst you are still learning so you can get into good habits while you are still young.’ Anna, age 13

 

‘It’s changing habits for the younger generation, so that they don’t inherit the previous generations flaws. It is good to start at a young age at high school because we then have guidance as to what will benefit you most, what is right for you, which makes it easier to live a day to day life.’ Josie, age 13

 

‘Alexander Technique helps you let go. It gives you another perspective. So it is not so stressful dealing with annoying people at school, or people who find you annoying.’ Josie, age 13

 

‘It slows everything down and helps you appreciate every second. You notice everything, all the senses and sounds. Maisie, age 14

 

‘School is stressful and when you do Alexander Technique it helps you remember how calm and open you can be.’  Esme, age 13

 

‘If you have done Alexander Technque in a room in the school and then you go back into it another time the room reminds you to feel calm. That is why it is good doing it in school.’ Josie, age 13

 

‘You feel more responsible for your body and you get the gist of how it works more. That makes you feel safer and more comfortable.’ Marie age 14

 

‘I find I concentrate more after Alexander Technique and stay focussed in class. I find  am kinder and nicer to people after doing Alexander Technique.’ Xander age 13

 

‘It is tiring and busy at school. Alexander Technique gives you half a period to put things into perspective and think about keeping yourself healthy. It doesn’t take long in Alexander Technique but it helps it make possible all the things we have to do. I get better results when I take a break and gather my thoughts.  Xander age 13

 

‘It helps you concentrate. It helps you learn a different way of learning.’ Mika, age 14

 

‘It’s fun learning about your body.’ Lucy, age 14

 

‘It teaches you awareness, it helps you pay attention and listen to your body and be in the moment. It helps you let go and unwind.’ Dominic, age 14

 

‘It makes me think about things I’ve never thought about before about my body. It makes me aware of myself which is useful because it makes me more interested in how I am.’ Stephanie, age 15

 

‘I think Alexander Technique helps you mentally and physically. For example, if you have aches – people don’t realise that it is yourself that is making it happen!

It makes you self aware with your interactions with other people and your interactions with yourself. It makes you strong minded or strong willed enough to stand your ground when you are confronted with people or situations that can be tricky or difficult to deal with, especially at school when there is the stress of peer pressure.’ Hannah, age 16

 

‘It helps me be less reactive. You become more open minded to new ideas and different ideas, rather than saying ‘no that won’t work.’ You don’t jump to conclusions as easily. Esme, age 13

 

‘It helps you be more comfortable with your decisions.’ Dominic, age 14

 

‘I helps with your confidence speaking to people, you look and feel more confident.’ Mika, age 15

 

‘When I open up my body, I open up my mind’ Xander, age 13

 

If you are interested in Alexander Technique for your children, here are two things that I have produced that may be of interest

 

Body Magic, audio download for semi supine

The Daily Ease – A Walk in the Woods, a colouring story book

 

 

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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)

 

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I am interested in presenting the Alexander Technique in ways that children will hopefully enjoy and remember. I don’t claim to be the worlds greatest poet, far from it! However, a rhyme can be a quick and easy way of presenting information to discuss. It always seems to engage the teenagers I work with. They particularly remember the words ‘hard cheese’ when I teach this bit of anatomy.

 

The late Don Burton used the description of hard cheese to describe the change of consistency that occurs in intervertebral discs as we get older. I have stolen his description as a title and idea for this verse. Thank you Don, for your continued inspiration!

 

More stuff from me –
I have recently made an Alexander Technique colouring book CLICK HERE.

 

You don’t need to be into colouring to buy this. It is a teaching resource – an artists perspective on the Alexander Technique.

The colouring in bit just adds another dimension of interactivity and interest.

All profits will be used to plant trees.

 

The Daily Ease – A Walk in the Woods Colouring Story Book

CLICK LINK HERE TO SEE SAMPLE PAGE
Free postage in the UK
Email me for international postage – kirstenfharris@btopenworld.com

 

Body Magic – Link to audio for semi supine to help you take care of yourself.

Breathe link to audio lessons

 

COLOURING BOOK KH-1         BodyMagic_mobile

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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Why an Alexander Technique Colouring Book?

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

What people are saying –

 

‘Within the words and magical illustrations are lots of wonderful reminders of the wisdom and teachings of the Alexander Technique and how they can be so easily incorporated into our daily lives to bring us ease and flow. Kirsten’s book combines her wonderful warmth and humour with her gift for art, her love of nature and her passion for the Alexander Teachings in a way that is accessible for everyone. This is more than a colouring book. It is a delightful, gentle, joyous book of wisdom for all ages.’

Sally, Scotland

 

 

The Daily Ease A Walk in the Woods

Written and illustrated by Kirsten Harris

Hand drawn and written with love

All profits will be used to plant trees

 

Link to buy here

 

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

kirstenfharris@btopenworld

 

COLOURING BOOK KH-1COLOURING BOOK KH-2

Front cover                                   Back Cover

 

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Sample page

 

 

 

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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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‘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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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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Kids quotes on Alexander Technique

When we let go we get more energy – Lola age 12

 

Semi supine uncrumples you – Mia age 14

 

If everyone did the Alexander Technique there would be no more wars because everyone would be controlled and calm and in the right mind.’ Jack age 15

 

The Alexander Technique is a peaceful science – Kier age 14

 

The Alexander Technique is a relaxative! – Sean age 12

 

Semi supine makes you feel happier and be confident with your body. Mia age 14

 

Semi supine feels like it will help you cope. Victor age 13

 

If you’re depressed and you think ‘forward and up’ you may feel a bit better. It’s also a good position to think. For example if you have two periods of maths it’s really good to think’ forward and u’p so my back isn’t sore and my neck doesn’t get cramp. Victor Age 13

 

Semi supine makes me feel more ready to do stuff – Lola age 12

 

Semi supine takes your mind off worries. – Lucy age 15

 

It’s more than just lieing on the ground because my brain feels more ready to learn, less resistant. Saskia – age 12

 

Resting in semi supine empties my mind, it’s time to process so I can take more in – Anna age 17

 

Things you might like –

Alexander Technique inspired colouring book – Click here

Body Magic, Audio for letting go in semi supine – Click here

 

 

 

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