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

THE REAL REASON THAT YOUR NECK & SHOULDERS ARE SO TIGHT

VIDEO: FREEING THE MOBILIGNMENT™ POINTS BETWEEN HEAD AND ARMS

We brace our head and arms against each other in almost every gesture we make, like brushing our teeth, striking the keys on our computer, tying our shoes. If you don’t believe me, try doing one of those things now and see what you find out.

Because our neck and shoulders are basically all of the territory between head and arms, that’s where the bracing is happening, and that’s where we get tight. Even if we have some idea of the anatomy involved, when we do pay “attention” to it, it just tends to make the tension worse. It’s a horrible cycle really. It should be called At-tension!!!!

Mobilignment™ refreshes your innate ability to pay attention to yourself with ease. It’s based on my work as a teacher of the Alexander Technique, and influenced by my many years ofexperience as a dancer, choreographer, and teacher.

It’s amazing to me that many people go through 75% of their day not really paying attention to themselves at all – because they can! Our movement system carries us down the street and around the corner, up and down stairs, preventing us from running into to each other or getting run over by a car, horse, or bus, even if we are looking at our cell phone the whole time.

If this is you…please don’t jump to a negative judgement of yourself too quickly. It’s actually good news! If your movement system can take such good care of you even when you aren’t paying “at-tension,” surely there must be greater heights it can carry you to.

Mobilignment™ is a system for investigating movement that makes the best use of this intelligence. It uses spatial attention (where we are in space as a whole, and where one part of us is in relation to another) – and kinesthesia – the sense of movement internally and in space.

In my view, our neck and shoulders include all the territory between:
1) our head
and
2) our arms.

How can you make a change in the bracing between them?

It’s much easier for me to show you than to write about it. Watch the 7 minute video above to free the relationship between Mobilignment™ points for your skull and your lower arm. It feels so good, and your neck and shoulders will have no choice but to come along for the ride.

This is one example of the kind of investigations we make in Mobilignment classes. I believe that through returning to an open minded investigation of movement – larger, more basic movements like walking, running, rolling, and just moving for the pleasure of it – your movement system will return to sanity in all the small things of life, the more refined movements like those done in a yoga class, in your kitchen, at your desk.

If you are hungry for more, you can

1) Attend the worldwide class online or the live class in NYC. Classes are once a month, online the last Sunday of every month 11 – 12:30 EST; or live in NYC on the first Saturday of every month from 3 – 5 pm, and you can register here on the workshops page for the next class.

2) Go here to view more videos on Mobilignment™.

3) Try a private lesson.

Enjoy!

February 4th, 2019 • No Comments

DEAR BODY, PLEASE FORGIVE ME, LOVE, YOUR CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM

 

 

I’m feeling humbled today. I was going to write an article about my dermatome mapping process for publication in the American Society for the Alexander Technique Journal.

I’m going to miss my deadline. It’s too important to rush. Though I know the practice really works, that people gain ease and more coordination, I don’t know enough about why yet.

I do know that our body schema – our self image – is profoundly affected by both movement and touch. What I don’t know is how well the dermatome mapping process really reflects the actual structure of our CNS, or why learning this approximate map (because there is no one “accurate” dermatome map) through touch is effective in improving coordination.

I learned something on a non-cognitive level this weekend from all of my somatic colleagues, though. Something about not rushing, not pushing.

If you are interested in ease and fluidity, you are talking about waves. You can’t push a wave! Sound waves, light waves, the movement of fluid inside your body which is 60% water.

All that water, however, is contained within a structure that’s guided by your central nervous system, which is “controlled” by your brain. You are in constant dialogue with water. When water can’t flow, your tissues will feel the stress and strain.

And that will start calling your attention.

The more you pay attention to the strain, the more you will feel strain. It’s a nasty loop. But that’s what your brain is designed to do, so that you will pay attention to problems within the body, take care of them, and survive. Please forgive it! It’s just waiting for you use one of it’s hidden assets more skillfully: paying attention.

If you pay attention to ease, you will still feel discomfort, but you will have a larger, more fluid frame for your experience. That larger frame is much more supportive and calming to your CNS. It just requires a conscious choice on your part.

It takes patience and a slowly built stamina to make conscious choices about attention and movement. We know now that over-training can screw up your coordination big time. It’s called “maladaptive plasticity.”

Learning conscious choice is a delicate, fluid process. It requires a good, quiet, clear, supported space in which to practice and learn at a workable, fluid pace. That’s what I’m teaching in my classes, workshops and online gatherings.

Yes you can learn to guide your fluid self with clarity out into the world, into life-affirming movement. You just can’t push it!

I’ll be restructuring my Tuesday evening Movement Lab to focus more on the needs of dancers and movement educators (including Alexander Teachers!) who wish to explore developmental movement form (via the Dart Procedures) with ease! Without structure and form, it’s not possible to move.

For now, the Lab will stay open to any topics at all – through the end of December. So come on over if you’ve been wanting to give it a try!

Lots of love,

Clare

 

More Ways to Study:
1) FREE!
My video channel (the videos will give you background on the anatomy of the central nervous system, from which I’ve developed Kinesthetic Thinking.)

2) $14 per class:
Open Group Class every Wednesday 2 – 4 at Movement Research, through December 20 (No class Thanksgiving week).

2) $25 per class:
The NYC Tuesday evening Movement Lab

3) $110 per hour
can be split with a friend!
Private Study: go here for information

November 14th, 2017 • No Comments

WHY YOU NEED TO UNDERSTAND YOUR KINESTHETIC INTELLIGENCE: #5 in a series on how to use your kinesthetic intelligence

Hello Friends! I’ve been so surprised at what’s emerging as I write every day to you!I may not write every day – in general, I need to take one or two days off a week, usually Saturday. But otherwise I’ll keep on going.

The key point that pops out for me so far is this:  your kinesthetic or spatial intelligence is separate from your “feeling sense.” Your spatial intelligence is what creates ease in movement – it’s what you use as a pre-curser to movement. I know “effortless movement” sounds corny, because we all know that movement requires effort. But if it’s coordinated movement, where all parts of your body are working in concert with one another, you don’t feel “tension” per se because coordination = harmony in action. No part is fighting another part and preventing you from going where you want to go.

If you’ve been following along, you now have 6 points of awareness to play with:
head
tail
left knee
right knee
left elbow
right elbow
(go here for specific info about all those points)

Today, I felt that I could reach you more directly by making a video – warts and all! I hope you will make the extra click and watch it, because I talk you through my own process of applying the 6 points in that most basic of dances: going down and going up!

The material that is emerging will become part of a new workshop I hope to be offering soon, Creative Process Lab for Actors and Dancers. Stay Tuned.

 

June 8th, 2017 • No Comments