Wishing everyone a very happy holiday and a peaceful, enriching New Year!
Monday 23rd December – Thursday 2nd January
With all the stresses around with the election and preparing for the holidays, it is a good time to use the lying down procedure even more than usual. It’s a great way to help us keep calm !
Another sad notification, this time for Misha Magidov who died on 28 May ’19 aged 90.
Misha ran the North London Teacher Training Course where I qualified as an Alexander teacher back in 1987. Misha had trained with Patrick Macdonald, who in turn trained with FM Alexander himself. Misha was always so caring towards his students and his valuable teaching gave me a wonderful basis from which to work on myself and to teach the AT to others. Misha ran his course for many years with his lovely wife, Judith, until she went to Israel for cancer treatment but sadly died in 2005. Misha continued to teach in Israel but he visited the UK occasionally to run some workshops for AT teachers. We were always so pleased to experience his work again and he will be missed by many people.
I took this photo of Misha in 2008 when I participated in a Workshop that he ran in London.
It was with great sadness that I learned of Kevin Saunders‘ recent death. Kevin came to me on and off for many years for Alexander lessons and during that time he trained firstly as a yoga teacher then, I’m happy to say, as an Alexander Technique teacher. Kevin went on to develop an approach to yoga teaching that utilised his Alexander training and he wrote an excellent Blog on the topic.
This lovely photo of Kevin by Ron Cox shows him in 2003, about the time when he first came to me for AT lessons. Kevin thoughtfully explored new ways to incorporate the AT into his daily life, whilst playing the guitar, working in IT, improving his eyesight and fine- tuning his yoga.
The only photo I took of Kevin was during a lesson when challenging his sense of balance whilst on a wobble board, performing a deep version of the position of mechanical advantage (2012). Not something every pupil is asked to do, or could even think of performing!
Kevin always came to lessons with an intellectual curiosity and gentle thoughtfulness about the human condition, discussing theories and exploring different ways of using the AT. Teaching Kevin was always stimulating for me and I also learned a lot from him over the years, for instance about different approaches to the AT. He will be missed by many.
My next Introductory Workshop is on Saturday June 22nd.
This offers you a chance to find out about Alexander classes and how they can help you. As this will be for a small group, it is essential to enrol in advance. Further info and Booking.
There will be some simple experiential activities, in which you can begin to develop awareness of the way you use your body. You will also learn the Active Rest Procedure, which you are encouraged use every day, to help you to become calmer, reduce tension and look after your back.
The photo shows participants at a previous workshop, as they are getting up from using this procedure. They are pausing midway, so they can be aware of how they are moving whilst gently maintaining a lengthened head neck and back. AT work is about how we move and act in the world, whatever we are doing, rather than just performing exercises at specific times.
This workshop could form the first part of a short course if enough people would like to attend.
What better time to explore the AT than on F M Alexander’s 150th Birthday on 20th January 2019!
Special Offer – A limited number of Reduced Rate private lessons of one hour are available, only during January, for just £30. Just 4 are left……
Here’s a chance to discover what Alexander work is all about and just how it can help you throughout your life, when you use it during your daily activities.
Let go of old habits that don’t serve you and start afresh for the New Year.
Stress? Take it Lying Down
Candlelit event in London’s only surviving Elizabethan Church
I am running this event with four AT colleagues, as part of International Alexander Technique Week 2018. Jessamy Harvey, Caroline Sears, Natasha Broke and Daniela Sangiorgio
all trained at LCATT
where I am a visiting teacher. The event is also fundraising for local charity Safaplace, which was formed to promote the positive mental health of children in Stoke Newington School and in the local area.
- Come and hear about Safaplace charity
- Learn how the Alexander Technique can help you manage stress
- Experience the wonderful Active Rest procedure
- Try a mini hands-on turn with one of the 4 local AT teachers
- Support Safaplace by your generous donations
SOLD OUT! However, we have a waiting list, so do book a free place below and we will contact you if tickets become available.
This is a 14+ event. Get your free tickets from Eventbrite, with suggested donations on the day to Safaplace, at entry and at the bar (yes, there will be a bar, run by kind volunteers!):
Safaplace on the BBC
There is an interesting article about the sad reasons behind the formation of Safaplace on the BBC website. If you cannot attend this event, you might like to make a donation to Safaplace: https://bbc.in/2NY8AkH
* Six Week Course for Beginners & Returners
Mondays: 10 September- 15 October ~ 10.15am – 11.45am
Earlybird Fee by 20 August: £80 ~ Later Payment: £90
Hilary will be assisted by Jessamy Harvey MSTAT.
Complete beginners need to have attended an Intro Workshop or had a 1:1 lesson before joining this Course.
NEARLY FULL – please phone to see if places are available.
Venue overlooking Clissold Park:
3 Queen Elizabeth’s Walk, Stoke Newington, N16 OBF
Clissold Park Tennis Pavilion
The Club Room has a lovely view over Runtzmere Lake and the woodland area by Queen Elizabeth’s Walk Gate.
GDPR and Privacy
At the moment I am still refining this policy, along with information about Cookies and Terms and Conditions. This information will soon be completed and will also be available on my website.
Use the Alexander Technique While You Walk
Winter brings rain, fallen leaves, ice and sometimes snow on
the ground, which can make our footpaths very slippery and treacherous.
Icy Newington Green
You can see how quickly snow compacts into slippery ice, here on Newington Green – making it so easy to skid, slide and lose your balance, if you are not careful.
Observe Your Reactions and Walk Mindfully
How do you cope with slippery surfaces and paths? If you are aware, you can notice your reactions as you think of going out into the cold – do you start becoming tense at the mere thought of icy conditions? Perhaps you can say ‘no’
to bracing and choose not to do that, so that you can avoid building up unnecessary tension. Observe how you walk on slippery surfaces and experiment by relaxing and being thoughtful about how you move – and you may well experience a different, easier way of walking on slippery surfaces so you feel more secure and confident.
Try Ice Grippers on Your Boots
Adding ice grippers to your footwear is a practical aid to helping you cope with icy condititions. They make it much easier to balance and to avoid tensing up if you have a fear of falling.
I know from my own experience that it is
very tempting to tighten up our legs, feet and ankles, the muscles
around our hip joints and even our neck and shoulder muscles when walking on slippery surfaces. Most of
the tightening is the result of anticipating a possible fall and this can
be tiring plus restricts our movements and circulation – and it’s a waste of energy!
Say ‘No’ to Bracing!
We really don’t need to brace ‘just in case’ we might slip and fall. This
doesn’t serve us. In fact, tightening our neck muscles reduces the
information we can obtain about our balance, and locking our ankles and
hips also interferes with our ability to fine tune our balance. A recent Research Trial
concluded that Alexander Technique lessons aided older people with their balance and fear of falling, so that they felt more secure.
I remember an occasion when I was walking tentatively on an icy pavement and I was gradually getting very tight muscles around the tops of my legs – then a teenage girl sprinted down the icy road in front of me with beautiful grace and freedom of movement. Seeing her easy running skills reminded me to keep freeing up
my neck muscles and my whole body as I moved and I felt a lot more comfortable as a result! When we do this, we are able to obtain more information about our balance, not only from the structures in our ears but also from the tiny movements our heads make as we walk and the AT can help us to do this. It is always helpful to walk mindfully but it is particularly important when paths are slippery.
International Alexander Awareness Week 2017 9-15 October EVENTS
EVENT 1: Free Lying Down Day Workshop 9 Oct ~ Now Ended.
EVENT 2: The first 6 people that contacted me have had a FREE 1/2 hour semisupine table-turn during IAAW week!
Chill out and relax with the SemiSupine Lying Down Procedure, something that you can use throughout your life.
EVENT 3: One Reduced Rate 3/4 hour private lesson at £30.
Available during October to participants of the workshop and to those having a table-turn session. Bring your diary….
Small Group Introductory Course: 30 October ~ 20 November ~ £60
Four Mondays: 1.30 – 3.00pm
Limited Places so please enrol in advance