by Cate McNider
As a soon-to-graduate Alexander Technique teacher, my time at ACAT, and why I embarked on this Alexander journey, has crystallized into this realization: I love epiphanies and live for them! I love that moment when ‘I get it’. That is in the direction of the UP for me. That realization is the inner up that supports the physical going up. Getting out of my own way, and allowing my head to go forward and up is what allows the space to receive information from my consciousness. We focus a lot on the physical habits and procedures to enliven our dynamic oppositions in this biomechanical suit we call a body, and it works. What underlies the physical is our curiosity, our innate impulse to rise, to evolve, to discover who we are, to be ourselves. That journey is a process, the process is a journey. It is the best investment we can ever make, to take that journey consciously, to think in activity, to be aware of what we are doing to and with ourselves, and how those habits are reflected back to us in the world.
It is this love of deepening understanding that makes me curious about how can I help this person, this student, realize they are compressing themselves and that they can stop whatever the habit is and dis-cover the un-ease and allow the ease to reveal itself.
Words are always a problem. For example, how I mean these words and how I am crafting them to communicate a feeling to you may not be what you hear or understand, which is where the hands come in to give you an experience of the AT principles and how that applies to you personally. Most of us share some variation of the ‘back and down’, but how that manifests in our neural network is unique and individual. Many books are written about the AT and the authors themselves struggled to various degrees to describe what FM was doing and what the principles point towards.
The quality of the touch is what takes three years to ‘get’, to just begin this ‘teaching’ journey, to allow the energy of the thought to be transmitted to the student’s whole wedded self. The epiphanies come more often after 3 years of study because I am pausing enough, thus more available for what comes through me and to me, the result of ‘getting out of the way’.
And this communal moment of ‘inhibition’ when the teachers hands are on me, and we are thinking together, powerful change occurs. This ability to change is within all of us. If we don’t let go of the old that no longer serves us, we wear it on our body, as the wind shapes the sand, and our lives repeat old outcomes. Breaking out of a cycle of any psychophysical habit is enhanced by practicing the principles and like a run in stockings, it runs both ways.
How you read this is how YOU read this. What I wrote is what I have real-ized. Take your own trip and find out for yourself!
[author] [author_image timthumb='on']http://www.acatnyc.org/main/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/McNider.jpeg[/author_image] [author_info]CATE MCNIDER is in her final term at ACAT and soon to graduate (all requirements being completed)! She has been a bodyworker since 1991, also practitioner certifications in Body-Mind Centering® and Deep Memory Process®. She is a dancer, poet and painter (see youtube). She most recently performed a piece called: ‘Habit and Non-doing‘ at Dixon Place. Her art can be seen at: www.artsicle.com/Cate-McNider and contacted thru her website: www.thelisteningbody.com. Many thanks to all my teachers, volunteer teachers and fellow trainees at ACAT.[/author_info] [/author]