AT Post lessons March 2019

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This particular blog is aiming to be a compilation of ideas that came out during the past few weeks of lessons.

Hands on Back of Chair

Think one gram up/ one gram out/ one gram up. Do you fall into the chair as you gently push a few grams away?As you move chair away can you continue with a few grams up and spread that up throughout your entire self?


Hands on Back of Chair is an AT Procedure: investigate reaction to touching an object.

As your arms lift… can they assist your back in also rising?

Are your feet opposing your head?  We want this opposition, the whole person thinking.

Maybe the name of the procedure is a trick to show you that if you think hands on back of chair…. Your hands and the chair will grab most of your attention….

All activity is for thinking. AT Procedures are quantified activities to investigate your ability to think, direct, maintain, notice a lack of maintaining, summon directions back into play…..

Appeal to the Great Spirit

For years I have looked at this image of this fantastic person on his horse.

This image appears in Body Learning by Michael Gelb, this was the first ever book I read on AT. This statue stands proudly in front of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston MA, so while I was in AT Training School I would visit this statue and the MFA as often as possible.

My most recent visit back to my AT training grounds early this month I went to the MFA and saw this familiar statue from a different perspective. HIS SIDE!

For years… decades in fact had been thinking/feeling /experiencing this man’s  stance as a backbend looking up to the Sun.

I saw that he is merely extending himself while he leans back just a bit….. Look at that extension.

This extension before arcing is what I think, do and teach to my yoga (and AT) students.

Had this statue subconsciously taught me to extend up along my whole self before going into a backbend?

Learning… revolutions from within… levels of understanding rarely go in a straight line. They spiral around and around. I can now hold in my mind the first time I saw this image in Body Learning, the first time I saw this statue in all its glory in front of the MFA where I was  living and studying AT,

AND this most recent visit back to Boston and the MFA. All of my seeings of this statue have informed my thinking, and my relationship to this statue is somehow very deeply integrated in my understanding up thinking up along my spine. Thanks you Appeal to the Great Spirit for being a touchstone of my seeing and thinking of my Use of my Self.

Learning a new skill as a way to describe thinking AT Directions

Charleston type foot moves for getting idea of direction into legs for this particular movement skill, and then being able to think and sense the flow of the ideas in the legs. This is a way of experiencing what the AT concept of Directions are.

So as I sit at my computer trying to explain in written words the concept of conscious thoughts AT calls directions… I am thinking them in my legs. So while I am writing I am thinking Directions with and through my legs… Everything we do is thinking in activity.

Thinking directions through our legs can keep the back from over or under working….

Ruth Kilroy director, teacher, and Diva of Alexander Technique Training Center in Newton Center MA

I go to my Alexander School a few times a year to continue my AT studies. This most recent trip I got a huge new understanding of my feet and legs and how to release bundles of directions so my legs wrap around themselves for more support and more ability to direct up for more connection to the Earth.

These pink arrows make sense to me… and I see way more arrows and thoughts. See Ruth’s hand on my left leg? She is directing my thinking and that contact set off thousands of connections in my hips, legs, knee ,feet.

I do not intend to have these pink arrows explain much of anything to anyone seeing the above image. The image and the pink arrows are for me to remember, for me to release the thinking those arrows represent. Since I have had that experience I am able to summon that thinking……

wrap your legs and torso all around /in/up and like and envelope yourself in that web.The directions wrap around you, they support you Working so gently, so pervasively, so together ,so supportive, so internally foundationally

Alexander Technique Durham’s first professional video offering

And super big shout out to Bob Moore for being my student/model for the video made for me this past week. Bob is an effectiveness coach specializing in people running companies with 20- 57 employees. Bob heard about AT from his vocal awareness teacher who talks of stature as a key to owning your voice and therefore your power. here is the link to the videohttps://vimeo.com/325042652

Screen sot from my 90 second video made by BigDogLittleBed about my Alexander Technique Durham with Bob Moore as my super start student.

Developing a Constructive Rest Practice

I have been recommending some of my students listen to this audio file made by fantastic AT teacher Constance Clare-Newman. I have not made an audio for my students to use during guided rest. I am sure it took time to write the script… say it with such soothing expressions, and then to offer it to the world for all to hear. This audio is a good way to get yourself into the habit of constructive rest.

I am impressed with her offering the audio to the public. Thank you Constance for this great audio file to get students started in developing their own constructive rest practice.

do we have blog status?

aim up
aim up

The sound of the train AND the sun has come out. This day is really shaping up.

Today I have taught an early morning yoga class, taken a Pilates private lesson, had a fantastic soy late from JoeVanGogh, walked my chihuahuas, introduced Alexander Technique to a small group at The Durham Center for Senior Life, sent out a few emails, and smiled at myself in a store window while walking downtown because I liked my outfit and I was aiming up. It/I.. looked good and felt good. I adore my new downtown Alexander office/studio/salon.

Very soon, like next to now, I must go home get my chihuahuas and get to our yoga studio to teach our evening yoga class.

It is amazing to me that my sense of the pace of a day is so out of whack. I was 20 years a waitress. Waitresses/servers hustle the entire shift. Serving food is WAY more than serving food. Lemons to be cut, tables to be scrubbed, take out boxes to folded, coffee to make, salt and pepper shakers to either empty and wash, or fill and put out on the freshly scrubbed tables, sweep the patio, bring the chefs an iced tea, tell everyone about the specials, and then cut more lemons.

I was also 12 years a public school special education teacher. Public school teachers hustle the entire day, teaching, teaching, teaching, and also often working well into many night with lesson planning, grading, calling parents, setting up meetings, doing paper work, making lunch for the jam packed day that is too fast approaching.

My idea of how much work goes in a work day has been dramatically pulled to the side of the spectrum where construction workers and stone masons live.

Here is sit in my AT studio…. I somehow feel I have not yet really worked.

I am not saying that I love my work so much that it does not feel like work. What I am trying to say is that my gestalt of work confuses me when the work is thinking, minding, attending, organizing, being thoughtful, kind, open. My mind is blown. It has been over 10 years since I have waitressed, and over 6 years since I have put my public school teaching aside for my focus on Alexander Technique… And it still feels a bit strange, a bit wonderful, a bit like I am going to get in trouble for not reporting to work…

My sensory awareness of what my work is… is still catching up to what my work has become. I am my work in progress. My body of work, my whole body of thinking work.. will take me a few more years of getting to feel like my home…

And now to yoga class where I will suggest, investigate, ponder, explain, consider, and think with and for and to my students. No one needs me to bring them a lemon. Life is strange, and I love it.