Improve Your Posture to Improve Your Breathing

The Covid-19 pandemic is once again leading to soaring numbers of infections and deaths worldwide.  Since Covid-19 attacks our ability to breathe, this crisis demands that we learn what breathing is and explore the intimate connection between breathing and posture.  Understanding this connection should allow us to improve the quality of our posture and our breathing simultaneously.  With our well being hanging in the balance, the Alexander Technique is the perfect vehicle to embark on this important effort.  The [...]

By |2020-12-02T12:36:22-04:0011/30/2020|Categories: Alexander Technique|0 Comments

Breathing and Posture: The Critical Connection

It seems obvious that breathing is vitally important.  But what's obvious often commands little attention, and so it was with breathing before the onslaught of covid-19.  Most of us didn't really focus on our breathing before the pandemic -- we "just breathed."  As the crisis unfolded, however, we all learned that shortness of breath is a major symptom of the disease. This growing awareness spurred great interest in breathing efficiency and in exercises alleged to enhance it.  Despite this [...]

By |2020-06-07T19:16:31-04:006/07/2020|Categories: Alexander Technique|0 Comments

Preventing Pandemic Posture Problems

The Poor Posture Epidemic Meets the covid-19 Pandemic The covid-19 pandemic is severely testing our society. Those who remain healthy and employed -- and can work from home -- are lucky indeed.  However, growing numbers of these fortunate people suffer from needless pain, strain and tension induced by their own poor posture. Poor posture was already at epidemic levels before the pandemic began.  Yet covid-19 "shelter-in-place" orders have amplified our society's preexisting posture problems.  Many office workers have been [...]

By |2020-06-07T17:54:39-04:005/14/2020|Categories: Alexander Technique|0 Comments

Habits, Feelings and the Alexander Technique: Part 1

People studying the Alexander Technique learn a lot about their own habits.  This occurs because habits are the primary obstacle standing between how Alexander students are and how they want to be.  How do AT students want to be?  Many people take AT lessons to improve their posture.  Others want to reduce back, neck and shoulder pain while preventing future injuries.  Another group seeks to move more easily, conserving their personal energy.  Still others want to better manage [...]

By |2019-06-22T20:04:10-04:006/22/2019|Categories: Alexander Technique|0 Comments

All About Squatting

Judy Stern in Conversation with Tim Tucker This is an interview I conducted of Senior Alexander Teacher Judy Stern about one of the most important and misunderstood parts of the human movement repertoire, squatting.  The interview took place in August 2017. Tim Tucker:  Judy, what is squatting?  How would you define it? Judy Stern:  The first question you’re asking is the most straightforward one, but as usual the answer isn’t quite so straightforward.  I would say it’s a way [...]

Body and mind, together at last

I'm currently re-reading Dr. Oliver Sacks's famous book "The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat."  Chapter 3, "The Disembodied Lady," tells the fascinating tale of a woman who lost her ability to sense her own body.  Christina went overnight from a state of vigorous health and youthful activity to one in which she could not function at all.  Without her 6th sense (her proprioception as Charles Sherrington named it in the 1890s), Christina could not even [...]

Heads up on Renaissance art

The Alexander Technique has helped many people to move and breathe more easily, to stop pain and to heal injuries. To obtain these benefits, Alexander practitioners must pay special attention to the relationship of the head, neck and back. F.M. Alexander's discovery F.M. Alexander discovered that keeping the neck free of undue tension is a fundamental component of human well being. He discovered this after losing his voice while reciting on stage. Observing himself carefully, Alexander noticed that he [...]

Working mindfully

Recently, I spent nearly three weeks at the Village Zendo’s summer meditation retreat. While on retreat, my day started around 4:30am and ended around 10pm with lots of meditation, working on the cleaning crew and, when we were not in silence, intense group discussions. During one such discussion, a longtime practitioner commented on our demanding retreat schedule, saying “If it was easy, it wouldn’t be worth it.” Working hard... or hardly working? That comment made me think about [...]

Freedom and the Alexander Technique

Today, the United States celebrates the 241st anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Our Declaration famously asserted that people are endowed "with certain unalienable Rights, [and] that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."  Because the 13 colonies were being denied those rights, the colonies declared themselves to be "Free and Independent States." Although we remain free and independent as a country today, Americans are deeply divided in their opinions and priorities.  Politicians, [...]

Save your neck (literally) with the Alexander Technique

People everywhere appreciate what they deem to be "good posture," but news reports indicate that the North Korea has taken this appreciation to an extreme.  The message seems to be, "Watch your neck when employed by radical dictatorships." Crime and Punishment It seems unbelievable, but a certain Vice Premier Kim Yong Jin, 63, was executed in July with an anti-aircraft guy for having a "disrespectful posture" (Huffington Post) or, alternatively, "for not keeping his posture upright" (Reuters) at the Supreme People's Assembly in June.  Mr. [...]

By |2017-07-12T23:28:43-04:009/03/2016|Categories: Alexander Technique|Comments Off on Save your neck (literally) with the Alexander Technique
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