The Power of How: A journal about The Alexander Technique and Movement

How can we talk about happy bodies when the world is burning?



I’m thrilled about the new Mastermind group that’s forming in May – if you are a movement or embodiment teacher and you’ve been thinking about it, now is the time to jump because the early bird discount will be ending March 31. Here is a link to information about the offering, and here is a link you can use to book your free 45 minute interview if you want to explore joining in.

Now, for my educational content.

Do you ever get so upset about violence in our culture that you start to shut down and tune out? I think it would be pretty weird if you didn’t. As a person with considerable privilege, I understand that I have a particular responsibility to stay present and not check out, but the fact is I still do.

I lose contact with that creative part of me that can imagine things being different.

The kind of ideas and actions I come up with when I am in shut down tend to be fear based, crisis driven, and pessimistic. I can’t dream a better world when I can’t feel my body. Access to a vivid imagination is the best, and most indispensable part of what we call “embodiment.” It’s like, the essence of life! Ladies and gentleman, we really need some wild dreaming right now.

I woke up this morning pretty upset about the most recent violent events in the USA, which are only the latest manifestation of deep problems in our society. I know these are systemic problems, but each event happens to specific and particular people, and I feel it. The violence aimed at all kinds of Asian people, and Asian woman in particular, is close to home for me because I have so many Asian family members and friends and can’t understand the lack of respect for Asian cultures which have given us all so much. So I shut down and push on, or I can breath, take a little time, and ask…..How can I accept my role as a “happy body person” in circumstances like this? I find that I do have the skills to reconnect with myself. Please know I’m not saying you should be able to do that…but I’ve practiced long and diligently, and…

I can breath, I get into my body, and I can dream.

Here is my simple educational prompt for the day:

1) Stop, breath, and listen to your body. Everyone knows how to do this.

2) Choose one Mobilignment™ point to focus on: nose, tail bone, top of your tibia bone are a few. Let yourself organize around this awareness.

2) Stop, breath, and listen to the world outside your body. Locate your whole self, and one particular point in yourself, in a larger, more global awareness.

Spend a couple of minutes alternating between the two.

Do you feel better, or worse?

If you feel better, it’s self-reinforcing and you’ll probably continue. If you feel worse, hopefully having listened to your body you will take some kind of self-loving or kind action for it (and one thing you could do is book a free 15 minute consultation :-). Once it’s heard, your body will probably be a little bit happier.

A body (and bodies include brains) that is listened to – either through touch, or sound, or empathetic witnessing – tends to soften, open, and ease. It gives imaginative and sensory gifts to the listener.

So if I ask myself hmmm, I wonder what it would be like if my body was easy…
My feet…
My tongue…
My throat…
My inner thighs…
(insert space here for some part of your body that is speaking up)

….. my body mind starts to spread its wings. Recently I started to think…what if I just imagine ease out into the world? What if it wasn’t just me?

Here are some questions my brain came up with when I turned my eased mind outwards:

It would feel sooooooo good. Now, that’s embodiment!

These are just a few of my big dreams. What are yours? Cheer me up and send them to me! It’s hard to act when you feel truly helpless and hopeless, but how many of us can really honestly say that there is no hope? I’ll help you, if you’ll help me.

March 26th, 2021 • No Comments

Why the longer road leads to quicker healing

Happy Spring!!! First, I’ve got a new offer to share with you:

I’m now offering mini-courses in Mobilignment™. The mini-course includes:
– Free 15 minute consult to discuss the specific areas of your body you want help with
– two curated (pre-existing) videos to watch that hone in on that area
– one 50 minute private lesson
– unlimited email dialogue

You can book your 15 minute consult here to get started.

I’ve received so many emails and phone calls over the last 20 years of my teaching life with the same basic question:

“Is there hope that this can get better? Can you help me?”

Usually, when someone says “this” they are referring to a very specific physical issue like a neurological problem, an injury, chronic ache or pain. My answer is always yes, I can help you, as a person. You, as a person, can get better. As an educator, not a doctor, I can’t know what will happen with the specific problem you’ve been told you have. I do know from long experience that the route to healing may be more circuitous than direct. Sometimes the circuitous route is the best compliment to direct diagnosis or treatment anyway, because it provides more joyful way of creating meaning around what is happening in your body.

Mobilignment™ is circuitous in the most wonderful way.

Whatever activity you use in your healing process needs to amplify life-affirming energy. If your explorations are fear based (as treatment can often be from the patient’s point of view), you will be amplifying fear. Amplifying fear slows down the healing process because your body is flushed with stress chemicals.

If the problem part of your body has no joy left for you, we can use the Mobilignment Points™ to travel to a happier, nearby neighbor. When the neighbor starts moving and gets energized with curiosity and joy the life affirming vibes start to spread and amplify. This happens partly because the design of the Mobilignment Points – where they are on your body – does not match any map you have previously learned. They are novel and help you slip secretly past habit and fear.

An example would be, if you have lower back pain or stiffness, try working with your pubic bone point.

“Using Mobilignment, you can get away from your pain and stiffness automatically, without trying. It doesn’t matter how stiff I am, the work mysteriously motivates movement. Every time I tune into one of those Mobilignment Points™, it generates energy and I want to move. It’s crazy! It’s like wait – how did I get out? Even when class starts slowly, It’s not boring or repetitive, it’s fascinating and fun.”

      – Susan Arthur, Alexander Technique Teacher

Isn’t it interesting that the one part of your body that you can’t actually see, your back, is the most common source of pain in our culture? How long has it been since you touched your own back just to feel what the skin feels like? Does it speak, and do you listen? Have you ever paid attention to the top of your pubic bone or thought of it as the front of your back?

For instance, just sitting here right now, I realized that my pubic bone was kind of – stuck. I have pain in my hip joints, so that part of me often immobilizes itself as a matter of habit. As I bring my attention to that part of my body I felt it move very slightly, which actually rippled through my torso and mobilized the tiny joints between my ribs and the back of my spine and I got the most delicious breath – wow! Wonderful! That’s never happened before! I’ve been working with this point for quite awhile but it always has something new to show me if I’m able to listen.

March 22nd, 2021 • No Comments

How to free your lower back


Mobilignment points for pelvis and femur bones transfers muscle tone from the outside to the inside of your legs, freeing your sacrum and lower back


You know how shocking it is that first moment when you get out of bed, and you try to put your pajama pants on…and you can’t do it?

I hope none of you youngsters are experiencing this yet… let me help you head this problem off at the pass.

Me and my friend Paula Macali (the best masseuse I know and so much more than that really) were laughing hysterically about this after I got off the massage table last week. It’s like, I can lift my foot, but I can’t get it in the pant leg because my sacrum is stuck!

I probably shouldn’t be telling you this – aren’t body workers supposed to have no body problems? NOT. Ever since I had arthroscopic surgery on one of my hip joints about 12 years ago, I’ve had intermittent pain in that joint and a tendency to tighten from the top of my sacrum all the way down the outside of my legs. This month’s video (see above) should give you some great tips on how to be easy and strong in your legs without bracing.

The Mobilignment Points are a different way of accessing your kinesthetic sense. Hip joints are very difficult to “feel.” If you think about it, they are actually a kind of big area as well, very deep inside us and shaped like domes. It’s not that mapping them or imagining them are not useful, but when you are in motion, you need something more specific to help you organize motion in space easily, without have to “feel around” in your mind. The top of the femur points are very helpful for this, because you can imagine how they would move as you walk or dance or even just sitting in your chair. You can feel what happens when they brace, and when they are mobile. Here is a picture:


Hope this information helps you get your pants on in the morning!



March 6th, 2021 • No Comments