by Cate McNider
As an Alexander Technique teacher in training, we are introduced to what is called a ‘lie down’. With the right number of books placed under our heads so that our heads are in right relationship with our backs as if we are standing, and our knees are bent to the ceiling and our feet on the table. This horizontal position put me in visual contact with the external pipes running longitudinally and laterally six or so inches from the ceiling at ACAT. As the teacher directed my thinking to allowing my spine to lengthen and my back to widen, I was seeing these criss crossing symbols above me.
At the beginning of my first term I wished, along with my ‘neck to be free’, to have something more stimulating to look at, but soon I realized the simplicity and beauty of the pipes, the functional details of their construction and the shadows they cast. So in the spirit of awareness, inhibition and direction I created these replicas of various perspectives of the ceiling pipes at ACAT. I decided to photograph them with my iphone and paint them in charcoal and water color, to celebrate my overhead surroundings.
Taking time to have a 5 or 10 minute ‘lie down’, we give ourself the gift of deepening our awareness of ourselves and seeing what ease can follow with that practice. (see Witold Fitz-Simon’s post on how to do Constructive Rest) Next time you do that for yourself, notice the ceiling, see what is above you and if you can let go more into what is underneath you, and you might find when you return to vertical, you most likely are more up than when you went down!
[author] [author_image timthumb='on']http://www.acatnyc.org/main/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/McNider.jpeg[/author_image] [author_info]CATE MCNIDER is a third year trainee at ACAT and has been a bodyworker since 1991. She came to NYC as an actor in 1985 from studying at the Drama Studio in London for two years after graduating from Sweet Briar College. She performed Off-Broadway as well as solo dance performances from 1986 -2013. In 2002, she became Body-Mind Centering® practitioner, which brought her closer to understanding movement patterns. She produced two one hour improvisational dance evenings in 2005 about her past-lives, ‘RISK, It’s Really All One Dance’ (excerpt on youtube). In 2010 she published a collection of her poetry: Separation and Return. She began painting in the early 1990‘s as a means of expressing experiential states and concepts where words fell short. Paintings are for sale, contact Cate: www.thelisteningbody.com