by Karen G. Krueger
Last fall, and again this spring, ACAT faculty member Judy Stern shared her wisdom and experience as an Alexander Technique teacher with a small group in a series of weekly post-graduate courses at ACAT. Having recently retired from her private practice, Judy is now devoting her teaching time to certified teachers and trainees in ACAT’s teacher certification program, passing along the teachings of ACAT’s founders and her own ways of working developed during her three decades of teaching private students, trainees and teachers.
In one class, we explored different ways to enliven feet and evoke a newly dynamic relationship to the ground. Robin Schiff had one of those memorable moments that we all treasure. She describes it as follows:
Judy put her hands on my feet and ankles while I went up on my toes. Having her hands there as I moved gave me a clear sense of knee forward.
I have huge bunions with the typical accompanying collapsed metatarsals. My habits in gait are derived from a combination of my own use, genetics, pain avoidance and now-antiquated therapeutic methods. I have never experienced an up from my ankles in walking.
But in that short moment, I could sense how clearly moving through my big toes while directing forward and up from my ankles at the same time would give me the opposition I needed to let my back back and up through the full gait cycle. Having Judy's hands on my feet and ankles while standing on my toes was a powerful experience for me.
Robin shared her experience with the entire class, and we all went away with a deeper understanding of how this way of working would enhance our own use and our students’ lessons.
For future opportunities for post-graduate study at ACAT, see the on-line catalog at https://www.acatnyc.org/browse-the-catalog.
KAREN G. KRUEGER practiced law in New York City for 25 years before training at ACAT, and has now been teaching the Alexander Technique for more than six years. She is the author of the recently published book A Lawyer’s Guide to the Alexander Technique: Using Your Mind-Body Connection to Handle Stress, Alleviate Pain, and Improve Performance (ABA Publishing). Buy the book. Website: http://kgk-llc.com.