Balance in the seven realms

Balance in the seven realms

I’m happy to be back running again. I had stopped for about three months and I had a hard time making it a priority again. I had all these other important things to do. But I started to realize that I was missing something in order to have balance in my life. (But...
My struggle with how to hold my violin

My struggle with how to hold my violin

I’m going to go out on a limb with this blog. I don’t know how best to hold my violin and I’m frustrated. What I do know is that if I keep doing what I do know, I won’t be able to do something I don’t know, to paraphrase the words of F.M. Alexander. I don’t know how...
Are you scrunching your neck to look down?

Are you scrunching your neck to look down?

Looking down without getting a crick in your neck The other day a woman coming for Alexander Technique classes remarked that everything we do at home and at work involves looking down. And she showed me how she has to look down at everything, from the phone on her...
Inner coordination to do what you love doing

Inner coordination to do what you love doing

Have you ever had to play an instrument or do another activity with an aching back or tense shoulders? All the musicians who came to the Alexander Technique for Strings Players the other day either had some kind of pain or injury, or had had the experience of playing...
Upwards and onwards

Upwards and onwards

For me, the greatest part of traveling is getting to see friends and family and build new friendships. Once I get where I’m going it’s great, but the getting there part sometimes isn’t so fun. Have you had to travel for a really long time in a car, plane, train or bus...
Dealing with the stress of driving in snow and heavy traffic

Dealing with the stress of driving in snow and heavy traffic

The other day I drove to Helena, MT, in the rain and snow for some DiscoverEase in Movement classes I was teaching. I passed a lot of trucks spitting up more water onto my windshield along the way, and it was snowing as I approached MacDonald Pass, at 6,300 ft. The...
Pushing a vacuum and other chores that get you down

Pushing a vacuum and other chores that get you down

Every kind of movement you do is fair game in a DiscoverEase in Movement with Alexander Technique class. Just the other day, I explored with someone how to push the vacuum cleaner without having her back hurt and ending up so exhausted. We realized that her focus as...
The “biodiversity” of movement

The “biodiversity” of movement

I recently participated in a permaculture workshop, and one of the classes I attended was about how to build beautiful soil from hard ground. The teacher was passionate about her subject, and I couldn’t help reflecting on the similarities between her advice on soil...
Looking up

Looking up

I’m often asked how can you look up without scrunching your neck and compressing your spine. I agree that tasks that involve looking up are challenging, whether it’s looking up at a screen, painting your ceiling or gazing at the stars. When looking up or looking down,...
How to protect yourself from chronic pain

How to protect yourself from chronic pain

Lately, mainstream news has told us that yoga and other types of exercise do just as well as physical therapy to improve chronic pain. Why is that? In this series of blogs I’ll talk about what pain is, how it works and why it’s so important to understand it. Solving...
You can protect yourself from chronic pain

You can protect yourself from chronic pain

Chronic pain can be present without actual tissue damage, or even after tissue damage has healed. It can be triggered when your brain weighs all the factors and determines that you are in danger. You can protect yourself from – and reduce – chronic pain by...

Alexander Technique Video

Last year I wrote a blog on what the Alexander Technique is (I just fixed some typos). Here is a video from the American Society for the Alexander Technique on the benefits of the Alexander...
Cognitive behavioural approach recommended for back pain

Cognitive behavioural approach recommended for back pain

The UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has decided to limit prescription drugs and to encourage a combination of exercise and mind-body options incorporating a “cognitive behavioural approach” for low back pain. General...
So you want to improve your posture

So you want to improve your posture

You’ve been told, or you think you should, improve your posture. Maybe you’re experiencing back pain or a stiff neck but there’s nothing physically wrong with your neck or back. Everyone probably knows now that poor posture leads to pain and...

Research on the Alexander Technique

If you’d like to read about some of the research that’s been done on the Alexander Technique, here are links to some studies. Alexander Technique lessons or acupuncture sessions for persons with chronic neck pain: A randomized trial MacPherson H, Tilbrook...
Relief for chronic neck pain

Relief for chronic neck pain

Good news for people who suffer from chronic neck pain. A new study shows that Alexander Technique lessons lead to a significant long-term reduction in chronic neck pain and improve self-care ability to reduce or manage pain without medication. People in the study who...
Unwanted postural habits–the weed in our garden

Unwanted postural habits–the weed in our garden

A weed is a plant growing where you don’t want it. That’s what unhealthy postural habits and other unwanted habits are like. Weeds aren’t necessarily bad, they’re just not helpful in your garden or your lawn. They take over everything, and if you don’t pull them out...
Alexander Technique classes this summer in Montana

Alexander Technique classes this summer in Montana

This summer, treat yourself to a mind-body re-education to improve posture, undo unnecessary tension and discover new possibilities of effortless balance, coordination and movement. Alexander Technique helps us to increase our awareness of postural and other habits,...

Squatting

Squatting continues to be a common form of sitting in many cultures, including many Asian cultures. In many countries, however, sedentary life since childhood leads us to lose the ability to squat comfortably and to become accustomed to slumping. When we try to squat,...
Parkinson’s Disease and the Alexander Technique

Parkinson’s Disease and the Alexander Technique

A study with patients with Parkinson’s Disease compared the results of practicing instructions given to “lighten up” based on the Alexander Technique to those of “relaxing” and those of “activate core muscles to pull yourself...

“Turning off” the criticism

We perform best when we “turn off” the parts of our brains that criticize ourselves. https://www.theguardian.com/education/2016/feb/20/how-brain-freestyles-music

Body language

Our body language is often the result of our attitude or how we feel, but changing your body language also changes your attitude and the way you relate with others. But do we really know what we’re saying with our body language?...

Present and available

“You’re present and available, and everything is part of the picture. If something starts to go wrong, then you notice.” Luc Vanier Video by Luc...

Stop doing with the neck

“So, in our work, it’s not just a question of relaxing the neck. That is the wrong point of view. The point is to stop doing with the neck what needs to be done with the arms, legs, etc.” – F.M. Alexander
What is the Alexander Technique

What is the Alexander Technique

What is the Alexander Technique? It is a way of re-educating ourselves to be genuinely who we are, of letting go of unnecessary effort, unconscious tension and habitual reactions that interfere with our ability to be at our best, healthy, integrated in body and mind,...
We are always in movement

We are always in movement

Yesterday we were observing, among other things, how the body is always in movement, that the idea of holding still means to hold and to work much harder, and it doesn’t even give us greater stability. Balance is something dynamic. The head balances on top of...

Being present

In my study of the Alexander Technique, it seems to me that it is the thing that’s most similar to meditation without being meditation. Because it’s about being present in the moment, in your body, in your mind, in your activity here and now, with all of...
Constructive rest

Constructive rest

This week I’ll be sitting at the computer a great deal, and the computer is a very strong stimulus to push the head forward toward the screen. This makes the actual weight we have to hold up much greater and makes the back work overtime. Our bodies aren’t...

I’m lazy!

I think that I like the Alexander Technique because I’m lazy! I don’t want to use more energy than necessary. I like the idea of minimum effort for the maximum result. The Alexander Technique doesn’t guarantee us any particular result, but it does...
Alexander Technique group class summer 2016

Alexander Technique group class summer 2016

Fridays at 19:15 join us to explore, investigate and play. We observe our habits and investigate the relationship between the stimuli of our daily lives and our automatic reactions, exploring possibilities of letting go of unnecessary effort in all our activities. We...

Directions

Today I remember that the directions are not something that I do, they are something that I think. All of our thoughts, including thoughts we have about our bodies, appear in our bodies in the form of tension and in how we hold ourselves and how we move. We also...

Sitting at the computer

Sitting at the computer, we tend to move our heads forward toward the computer. The computer is a very strong stimulus to which we tend to react by pushing our heads forward. This compresses the vertebras and shortens our neck, shoulder and thorax area. In order to...

Doing things right

“You are not here to do exercises or to learn to do something right, but to get able to meet a stimulus that always puts you wrong and to learn to deal with it.” – F. M. Alexander
Children

Children

Children sit, stand, squat, jump and run with ease. It’s possible to regain balance without effort and ease of movement with the Alexander Technique. By observing small children, we can learn a lot about an optimal and efficient organization of...

Group class series of 4

New small group class beginning May 23 Dates: May 23 and 30, June 6 and 13 Time: 11 to 12:30 Where: La Casona de Uriarte, Palermo Viejo (Plaza Italia) Information and registration: alexander@marihodges.com. ...
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