Rate of Change

Rate of Change

8/8/2005: When people begin studying something new (especially if it's helping them feel better), it's natural for them to want to learn all they can, right away and be a model pupil. Often, my clients get a great deal of relief when they first start to study, and because they have been in discomfort, they want to do all they can to hold onto the new state they are in. Unfortunately, you cannot hold on to a release. I am not just referring to a muscular release, I'm also referring to a release of a pattern or habit of attitude, perception or behavior.

 

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An Approach to Training Teachers: start with Alexander's means-whereby

An Approach to Training Teachers: start with Alexander's means-whereby

by Brooke Lieb

This week, a student on the ACAT training course (trainee) commented that there didn't seem to be specific instruction on the nuts and bolts of teaching: where to put hands, what to say, and the sequence in which to do things.

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An Interview with Alexander Technique Teacher Pamela Anderson

by Brooke LIeb

Pamela Anderson was my second Alexander Teacher. I studied with her for about 2 years before entering ACAT’s Teacher Certification Program in 1987, when she began serving as Director of Training. I see her signature on my teaching certificate daily. Pamela just celebrated her 40th anniversary of teaching. Coincidentally, in a “six degrees of separation” fashion, I have been in dance class since this past summer with Pamela’s first teacher’s (Maya Clemes) daughter, who also knows Pamela. I had the chance to interview Pamela on this milestone anniversary.

Lieb: How did you learn about the Alexander Technique?

Anderson: I graduated from college with a degree in modern dance and psychology.  Although I was aware of the technique and had attended an introductory workshop, it wasn’t until one of my former dance classmates walked in for a drink at the restaurant where I worked and I saw her transformation, that the idea of studying the Technique became an imperative for me.  Her pronounced lordosis was gone as well as radiating from her was this easeful presence.

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Back in the Studio: Applying Alexander Technique in my return to dance

by Brooke Lieb

For many years, I found myself unable to find the motivation to exercise, whether it was yoga, strength training or cardio. I had also been thinking about revisiting modern jazz dance classes, in the Simonson Technique, which I had studied in high school and college. Within the past 5 or 6 years, I had even gone online and located beginning classes. For some reason, I couldn't overcome inertia so never got to a class.

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Training Journal: Classes with Judy Leibowitz (Part 1)

In this series, we will share excerpts from Idelle Packer's (ACAT, 1979) Training Journal, October 14, 1977 - Wednesday, December 13, 1978. The classes were taught by Judy Leibowitz, who was a founding member and the first Director of Training of ACAT from 1967 to 1981. Judy was the original Alexander Teacher in Juilliard's Acting Division, joining the program at its inception in 1968 by invitation from John Houseman. Judy taught in the Juilliard Acting Division until her death in 1991.

October 14, 1977:

"...a discussion about change. You can't change what you don't know. Two elements seem to be vital for making change. One is awareness of what it is you want to change and, secondly, the means or know-how to change. So these two elements make change a possibility and assure that we do not become victims of change.

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Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Squatting... But Were Afraid to Ask

Judy Stern in Conversation with Tim Tucker

Tim Tucker:  Judy, what is squatting?  How would you define it?

Judy Stern:  The first question you’re asking is the most straightforward one, but as usual the answer isn’t quite so straightforward.  If I had to be glib about what I think squatting is I would say it’s a way for any human being to take themselves all the way down to the level of the ground by folding their joints…  we’re talking about hips, knees and ankles.

And it’s an activity that’s no longer used very much because of chairs having been introduced at some critical point in our evolution.  But there are cultures where people still squat in order to do many things, including eating.  And, the thing I’m most recently struck by in relation to squatting is that it’s something children do completely spontaneously; I watch my 18-month old granddaughter who is as comfortable squatting as she is standing up.

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7 Computer Posture Tips

by Mark Josefsberg

Tip #1.  Don’t slump, and don’t sit up straight.

Sitting up straight doesn’t work. You know cause you’ve tried it.

Forget all that “stomach in, chest out” “tuck your chin in” junk.

It might work—for a second. It adds unnecessary tension, and it’s unsustainable.

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Advice for a New Alexander Technique Teacher

Karen Krueger, ACAT ’10

1.  Trust your instincts.
Having completed a rigorous training course at ACAT, you are well-equipped to teach the Alexander Technique.  If your instinct suggests a particular approach with a student, or a particular insight that you think might be helpful, go with it, and see if it works.  If it doesn't, try something else. (See #2 and #3.)
2.  Throw out your agenda.

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Strategies for a Lie Down #1: Expand, like rising dough

by Brooke Lieb

During many Alexander lessons, part of the lesson is spent with the student resting on her or his back on a table as the teacher uses verbal guidance and hands-on assistance to help the student expand her or his back onto the table, release arms and legs away from the trunk, and ease mental and physical tension and stress.

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