I’ve been getting some very positive feedback from the participants in my recent Shoulder Injury Solutions workshop at the AmSAT Annual General Meeting. Here is a quote from one email I got this morning:
“I found your teaching to be truly fascinating and was inspired by your enthusiasm. Thanks also for speaking to me briefly about my arms and the difficulties I have encountered with them as a cellist…your insight was helpful. Images work well for me and thinking of my arms as wings makes total sense!”
It was really an honor and pleasure to work with Alexander Technique teachers in training, and long time professionals. Here are some pictures of a spine that we made out of our shoes – our goal was to get the curves of the spine to balance each other out in order to support the weight of our “head” – which was a chair. At first, our spine was kind of flat! But we worked together, looking always to feed the flow of the curves up towards the head, and eventually the movement started to flow easily through the whole room:
Then, we lay on the floor in a “prone” position, allowing our arms to widen like wings so that the shoulder blades flowed easily across the backwards (or primary) curve of the thoracic section of our spine. The Alexander “lingo” for this supportive relationship of arms to torso is “lengthening the torso” and “widening the arms” in relationship to the torso. It’s an expansive movement that happens reflexively when you give up shortening and narrowing yourself. With the support of the floor, it is very easy to observe and let go of “narrowing” tension and generate movement without crunching the very delicate shoulder joint.
I’m especially grateful for the support of the American Society for the Alexander Technique, which is dedicated to supporting the training of new teachers and the education of the general public about the benefits of this amazing work.