Category Archives: Alexander Technique in Brighton and Hove

Singing, Health, Happiness 2

COMMON STRESSES OF THE “ELASTIC SUIT”

LACK OF BODY AWARENESS
Perhaps the most common cause of vocal difficulty lies in a lack of awareness of how we use our body in daily life. We are experts at screening out sensory information that is not directly connected to achieving our goals. This is a blessing that allows us to achieve our objectives without being swamped by irrelevant sensory information. An activity as simple as making a cup of coffee would become unmanageably difficult without this ability.
It can also become a curse. As we focus more intensely on goal directed behaviour our body can become increasingly filtered out of awareness. Day by day we accumulate small, seemingly insignificant amounts of tension without even noticing it. Just as constantly dripping water can distort the hardest stone, these small accumulations of tension have a detrimental effect on both body structure and voice.
Illustrations (to be added)

An ‘Evolutionary Map” = Our shrinking focus From Hunter Gatherer to Smart phone user
Hunter Gatherer ‘Wide focus/ the world’s room’
‘Homo Smart phone-us’

MISCONCEPTION
Most people have only the vaguest of ideas about how their body is put together. And many of us simply have wrong ideas about how the body is structured. How many of us, for example, can accurately locate the full length and circumference of the spine; where the head and spine join each other; where the larynx is; where the jaw joint is; and where the ribs and diaphragm join with the spine? All of these parts, to name but a few, are part and parcel of the singers stock in trade. Misleading ideas have a direct bearing on how we use the voice. It is possible to get a sound out of a trumpet by blowing in the wrong end but the process is wasteful of effort and the sound produced is disappointing.
the startle pattern

FEAR AND ANXIETY
Many people who are confident in all other respects would do just about anything to avoid singing with or in front of other people. In situations of perceived threat a group of responses called the “fight/flight” syndrome comes into force. Adrenalin is released into the blood stream. Breathing and heart rate speed up. The muscles become more tense. The shoulder and neck muscles are among the first to contract, pulling the head down, tortoise fashion, towards the centre of the body.
The person’s face might drain of colour or they may blush. The pupils dilate heightening visual acuity and leading, in some cases, to tunnel vision. For the primitive hunter/gatherer this whole pattern was discharged by actual fight or flight after which everything returned to normal. It is not appropriate, however, to “fight” with your audience or to take “flight” and lock yourself in the lavatory, tempting as both options may seem at the time! Fortunately there are many ways of creatively channelling the energy of the fight/flight pattern to enhance vocal confidence which we will explore in depth in the following chapters.
PRECONCEPTION OF EFFORT
Consider the image of someone lifting a heavy looking suitcase only to find it empty or lifting a light looking case and finding it full of bricks. If the lifter does not pause momentarily to truly consider the weight of the case, they may sustain an injury. Singing, like lifting the case, is equally a muscular activity. Taking time to pause and consider appropriate effort, during practice or before starting to sing, is one of the single most important elements in freeing the vocal and breathing mechanisms.
IMITATION AND MODELLING
How often is grown son or daughter’s voice mistaken for that of their father or mother on the telephone? Why is it that we can recognise certain individuals from a distance? Why do some dogs look like their owners? Young children, especially pre-verbal children, learn a vast amount through imitation and mimicry. The child adopts, to a greater or lesser degree, the postural, movement, breathing and vocal patterns of her carers. Models of vocal excellence are scarce, however, and only the most fortunate of children will find them in their immediate family. This book endeavours to present standards of mind/body and vocal excellence for the aspiring singing student to continuously develop.
HABIT
When you are exposed to a constant unchanging stimulus you will automatically, assuming it is not too painful, screen it out of conscious awareness. If you live next to a busy road you may have to make a conscious decision in order to actually hear the traffic. The author and Aikido teacher George Leonard talks about this in terms of homeostasis:
“Our body, brain and behaviour have a built in tendency to stay the same within rather narrow limits, and to snap back when changed- and it is a very good thing they do.
… if your body temperature moved up or down by ten percent, you would be in big trouble. The same thing applies to your blood-sugar level and to any number of other functions of your body. This condition of equilibrium, this resistance to change is called homeostasis. It characterises all self-regulating systems, from a bacterium to a frog to a human individual to a family to an organisation to an entire culture- and it applies to psychological states and behaviour as well as to physical functioning.
The problem is, homeostasis works to keep things as they are even if they aren’t very good”
F.M. Alexander, the creator of the Alexander Technique, mentions a case in which he gave a lesson to a young girl who had a severe scoliosis- an asymmetrical sideways bend of the spine. After the lesson she was considerably more balanced and symmetrical in appearance. Rather than being pleased with these changes the young girl complained bitterly about feeling all twisted up! That which was habitually twisted felt normal. And that which was balanced felt twisted and abnormal.
Although this was an extreme case it is still something that we all, to a greater or lesser degree, have to deal with across the range of our activities. Given time the experiments in this book will allow you to “re-tailor” your elastic suit into a more spacious and freer fit. This re-orientation may feel unfamiliar or even wrong in the short term. A basic willingness to familiarise yourself with the unfamiliar will accelerate the ease with which you can reset your homeostats. This will encourage a freer, more confident and dynamic use of your voice and body, regardless of your starting point.

Rhythm, Business Management & Self Maintenance

There is an old Japanese Zen story in which the master is asked the secret of his enlightenment.
“When I am hungry I eat. When I am tired I sleep.” the master enigmatically replies.
“And?” …image.jpeg … you may be thinking. But think a bit longer. Who in the world of business do you know who can put their feet up when they feel the need? At the very least it requires an office with a lock on the door and perhaps a secretary to hold your calls. There are the lucky few in upper management or those who work from home who can do this. Those who do it swear that it profoundly enhances their alertness, productivity and creativity.
Compare this to the energy cycles of an ordinary office. Bright eyed and bushy tailed one moment. Ten minutes later tempers, with colleagues and customers, are fraying, silly, avoidable, mistakes are made on the computer, coffee cups are spilled over documents on the desk, personal memory banks short circuit for no apparent reason. What causes these phenomena that do so much to interfere with a companies competitiveness?
Everyone is aware of the twenty four hour circadian rhythm of sleeping and waking. There are also other, shorter rhythms, of drowsiness and alertness which last from ninety minutes to two hours, known as “ultradian rhythms”- meaning that they happen many times a day. Most people are vaguely aware of this shorter rhythm- one famous example being the mid-afternoon “graveyard shift” which is dreaded by so many.
Research into the bodies ultradian rhythms started in the 1950’s and soon gained momentum as the American military establishment poured millions of dollars into researching how an enhanced awareness of the peaks and troughs of alertness and fatigue could affect the vital skills of key military and aviation personnel. The researchers found that the ultradian rhythms affected both mental and physical performance- concentration, memory, learning, creativity, physical co-ordination and reflexes and of course energy levels. It was also established that long term interference with these rhythms are associated with a host of stress related conditions including gastric problems, breathing difficulties, skin problems, alterations in heart rate, extreme mood swings all of which lead to mediocre performance.
These rhythms are unconsciously recognised in the way that a standard working day is organised i.e. with tea breaks in the midmorning and the mid-afternoon. This has traditionally given the employee a vitally needed break in which they can refresh and rejuvenate both mind and body. In the UK however many companies have slimmed down the size of their workforce with the result that a single employee may be doing a job that was previously covered by two or even three people. This leads to situations where employees, through a sense of guilt, fear or duty regularly override their natural rhythms- tea breaks and lunch breaks are skipped and with them the opportunity to follow the natural drowsy and rejuvenating aspect of the ultradian cycle.
At this point the famous Zen master of old would probably have lain down for twenty minutes or sat on his meditation cushion, stretched his spine and breathed deeply- and promptly have been fired for neglecting the job. (But then perhaps the Japanese are smarter at running businesses than we are.?)

SYMPATHETIC AND PARA-SYMPATHETIC
The alertness and drowsiness cycle reflects the activities of two branches of our nervous system – the “Sympathetic” branch and the “Parasympathetic” branch.
The sympathetic branch is concerned with arousal, external events and doing. It usually generates sufficient energy for us to move through our activities in a relaxed but vital way. When it is highly activated, however, it causes the heart rate and breathing to speed up, the muscles to contract and the blood pressure to increase. In extreme cases, such as battle ground terror, the bladder and the bowels may empty to prepare the body more effectively for fight and flight. You would be forgiven for thinking that the word “sympathetic” is something of a misnomer for this branch of the nervous system! Perhaps the “sympathetic” part is a reference to the strong survival advantages that it confers when one has to get out of the path of a car travelling at high speed.
While “battle ground” activation is less likely to happen within the working context it is not at all unusual for internal alarm bells to clamour loudly when staff are struggling against time to meet deadlines and targets.
The other branch, the parasympathetic, is concerned with more internal processes such as the heart rate slowing down, with drowsiness, a decrease in alertness, a release of muscular tension, with not-doing. It is associated with dreaminess, fantasy and building castles in the air. People may experience a “melting” feeling and a temporary dissolution of the usual boundaries of the personality when they are in this state. This state, which is wonderful for rest and replenishment, typically lasts about twenty minutes and corresponds with the energy replacement trough in the ultradian rhythms.

RESISTING REPLENISHMENT
Typically the rest part of the cycle either escapes our notice or is ignore. Stimulants such as sugary snacks, coffee or simply gritting the teeth are used to override our needs for rest and replenishment. This puts us into adrenaline overdrive. And adrenaline is a stimulant that can make people feel high even as they are damaging their body- think of the football players who fracture an ankle during a game and feel nothing until afterwards. These addictive behaviours eventually catch up with the worker in question through health problems and/or errors in judgement. One can only speculate that the enormous errors in judgement exhibited recently by some financial traders might be linked to this kind of adrenaline addiction.

RECOGNISING THE REST AND REPLENISHMENT CYCLE
So what are the signs and signals that can alert you to the need for an “energy exchange”? Yawning, drowsiness, mind wandering, fantasy and dreaminess, irritability, muscular tension, muscular slackness and even the need to visit the loo are all signs that you are approaching the energy trough.
In the best of all possible worlds one would then lie down for twenty minutes and focus on the most comfortable part of your body and let the comfort spread. This leads to a sense of spacing out that for many people is accompanied by pleasant dreamlike images- a state that hovers between sleep and wakefulness.
But not everybody works in a sympathetic context where it is possible to take a twenty minute break. Some people will go and lock themselves in the toilet for five minutes at this point and simply let their mind wander pleasantly as they breath deeply and easily. Or, more actively, they may go for walk around the block or walk from one part of the building to another or simply stand up for a stretch and a yawn. In all these cases their is a shift down in gear from a goal getting pace to a less hurried process orientated pace. It is at this point of detaching from the goal orientated tasks that many philosophers and scientists have the “aha!” or “Eureka!” experience when the solution to problems that they have been grappling with become amusingly obvious.
This is a more naturalistic approach to stress management that, with a little practice, anybody can incorporate into the midst of their working life.

ENTRAINMENT
There is a tendency within cohesive teams towards entrainment of ultradian cycles. In other words the energy peaks and troughs of well integrated teams will tend to dovetail. Remember the chapter on rapport? Co-inspiratur? Emotional intelligence?

BREAD, WINE AND THOU
“…by eating with another person, both of us reset our rhythms together and fall into mind-body synchrony on a variety of levels. This may be why breaking bread together is inherently such an important sociobiological act, woven deep into our genetic fabric.”
Ernest Lawrence Rossi – “The Twenty Minute Break” pg 87
Rossi continues to outline how, in many world cultures, such an emphasis is placed on shared meals over which business is often conducted. Because shared meals tend to bring the participants mind and body rhythms into synchrony

TIMING CRITICAL APPOINTMENTS TO COINCIDE WITH ULTRADIAN PEAKS
So how would the Zen master/manager organise staff and him/herself so that they were winners in the market place?
The Zen manager knows that they are getting their moneys worth from an employee who takes breaks- individual working rhythms are respected as the foundations of high performance.
Breaks will be taken in team meetings when significant numbers of employees show signs of going into energy troughs. “Spacing out” is encouraged during breaks as a way of generating high quality solutions to company problems.
Important meetings, phone calls, presentations and negotiations will be scheduled, wherever possible, to coincide with the employees high performance energy peaks.
Is this an example of Utopian thinking? I do not think so- the quality of a company can never exceed the quality of its workers and managers.
Winston Churchill, wartime manager of U.K. plc, was a great believer in taking naps in the middle of the day. He claimed that it not only gave him enough energy to do a day and a half’s work but that he could not possibly have fulfilled his responsibilities to the country with it.
Perhaps our true secret weapon was that we had a Zen master at the helm after all.

TIME AND MONEY
“Give me a long enough lever and a place on which to stand and I can move the Earth.”
Archimedes

Posture and Ageing Positively

Glenna Batson is an American Alexander Technique teacher and Physiotherapist. She carried out a research project  at the University of South Carolina on how the Alexander Technique could improve balance and prevent falls in the elderly.

Posture, balance and falls protection using the Alexander Technique
Posture, balance and falls protection using the Alexander Technique. Click on the picture to watch the YouTube video clip.

The participants in the study ranged from age 60 – 89 and received two weeks of group Alexander Technique instruction. The video clip shows, in a before and after format,  the participants going through a selection of balance tests.

Having myself just reached the age of the youngest participant in the study I found the results both interesting and encouraging…

 

Alexander Technique Brighton Hove – Photo Album

In a previous post I mentioned how I used to get tongue-tied or overly enthusiastic when someone asked the question “What is the Alexander Technique?”

Of course, it’ll always be difficult to describe an activity, any activity, that has such a large sensory component. So I promised to put up some photos, with comments, so you can at least get a fly on the wall perspective of what a typical Alexander Technique lesson might look like.

As a general rule, Alexander Technique teachers tend to work from the core of the body — neck, head and back – out towards the extremities ie the arms and legs. The major muscles that move the limbs, however, have their origins in the torso. So working with the neck, head back relationship automatically influences the movement of the arms and legs. The converse is also true – working with the arms and legs will reinforce release and expansion through the neck, head and back.

hnique Brighton BN1

“Allow your neck to be free”

Brighton & Hove Alexander Technique Hand on Neck

“Allow your neck to be free in such a way that your head can go forwards & upwards”

Hand on head. Brighton & Hove Islington Alexander Technique

“Allow your neck to be free & your head to go forwards & upwards so that your back can lengthen & widen”

Hands on the back. Brighton Hove Islington Alexander Technique

In practice most Alexander Technique teachers do not recite these directions parrot-fashion. The words and language tend to be naturalistic and tailored to fit the individual.

Arms & Legs– Although there are specific directions for the arms & legs often the teacher will ask the pupil to continue focussing on their neck, head and back relationship as they work with the arms and the legs.

Alexander Technique Brighton Hove London Islington. Taking arms during table work.JPG”

Legs

Alexander Technique Brighton Hove london Islington__Taking arms during table work

Chair-work

Alexander Technique Brighton, Hove & London chair work 

Alexander Technique Brighton & Hove - Helping pupil with bending. Also known as “Monkey”.
.
Alexander Technique Brighton & Hove. The deep squat.

It’s difficult to really capture the living, dynamic quality of an Alexander Technique lesson on a photograph. Young children often embody that Alexander quality unconsciously.

It isn’t just about moving in and out of a chair. It’s a convenient way of learning to move easily and efficiently. A convenient method that can be transferred into all sorts of everyday movements and activities. It’s a great method of learning to suspend habitual muscular and even emotional responses.

osteopathic cpd courses uk alexander technique

Osteopathic CPD courses UK –
Alexander Technique

Alexander Technique  based osteopathic cpd courses
Alexander Technique based osteopathic cpd courses

The next Alexander Technique CPD course for Osteopaths will be on 20th October 2013. This course is also open to physiotherapists, occupational therapists and speech therapists.

The course will run from 11 – 4.30pm in Central Hove, BN3, East Sussex

The cost for the day is £70 or £50 for students.

The course will be run by Alan Mars – a widely experienced Alexander Technique teacher. He has worked in higher educational settings for thirty years running many CPD workshops.

“I have been an osteopath and cranial osteopath in full time practice for 22 years. It has recently been my pleasure to have a number of treatments from Alan. I’ve been very impressed with the quality of his work. His skill and experience are evident in his touch and hands. I’d highly recommend Alan’s Alexander treatments to anyone requiring treatment for problems relating to their spine, pelvis or limbs. I have greatly benefited from his work and continue to do so. Alan’s work is deep, powerful yet gentle and supportive as is his personality and approach.’”
Andrew Bryant – Osteopath

Contact Alan Mars for questions about the next CPD course :

Alan Mars – 07930 323 057

Email – alan.mars@yahoo.co.uk

Osteopathic CPD courses UK –
Alexander Technique

osteopathy cpd courses uk

Osteopathy CPD courses UK

YouTube video – Placing a hand underneath the sacrum

Placing a hand underneath the sacrum is a procedure much favoured by Cranio-Sacral osteopaths.  Please scroll down to see YouTube video. In this class the process is being explored from a more Alexander Technique perspective. Alan Mars demonstrates the procedure and takes questions and answers before the participants pair up and explore the touch together.

Next course date:

11 – 4.30 pm on 20th October 2013
In a Central Brighton & Hove venue, East Sussex
alan.mars@yahoo.co.uk        07930 323 057

This CPD course presents a structured approach coupled with a relaxed and informal atmosphere. Class numbers are small allowing for plenty of individual attention.

  • explore the principles of the Alexander Technique
  • experiment with applying theTechnique in your daily life
  • explore applications for your therapeutic practice
  • experience hands-on work from Alan
  • have time for questions and discussion

We will work together in small groups, pairs and one to one. Participants will receive hand-outs and a certificate of attendance.

Alan has over thirty years of teaching experience in:

Teacher training
Private practice
Public workshops
Running CPD courses

View his website here –

Alan brightonalexandertechnique.com

Osteopathy CPD courses UK

online vocal & presentation coaching with Alexander Technique via Skype

 

Alan Mars offers vocal coaching – face to face via Skype

Alan Mars, voice coach & Alexander Technique teacher, is now offering online voice coaching via Skype:

Spoken voice coaching:

Has your voice, and confidence, ever faltered during a presentation, a meeting, an audition or a musical solo? Develop a reliably confident voice through the Alexander Technique, vocal coaching and specially adapted performing-arts techniques. Experience increasing poise – read more here …

Singing voice coaching:

I can help you to free your singing voice – to sing with greater ease, clarity, resonance and power. I can help you reduce performance nerves and to – read more here …

If you have a Skype account and a webcam we can get to work in the comfort of your own home or office. Payment is via PayPal. Pricing details for 30 minute, 45 minute or one-hour sessions are at the foot of the page.

What will you need to get started?

If you are based near Brighton and Hove and would prefer to meet person to person to have lessons please email me on alan.mars@yahoo.co.uk or call 07930 323 057 to arrange an appointment

Who is Alan Mars?

Alan Mars has taught voice-work, singing Alexander Technique privately and at many top London drama and music schools including – The Arts Educational Drama School, the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the Royal College of Music, since 1982.

He has taught presentation skills within many top British and international companies including – Abbey National, General Electric, Sainsbury’s, Lloyds of London and many others since 1992.

Alan offers individual lessons, group classes and in-house coaching. He is a member of the Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique.

Terms and conditions

  • Payments must be received via PayPal at least 24 hours before the lesson
  • If payment is not received the lesson will be cancelled automatically
  • No refunds will be given if you fail to log in for your lesson
  • Alan will not be held responsible for any connection or technical difficulties during the lesson
  • If you are late to log in for your session the lesson will still finish at the agreed time – extra time will not be added.

Alan Mars – online vocal coaching with Alexander Technique via Skype

Confidence Tricks – Presenter / Presentation Skills

product_thumbnailIt’s here! Everything you need to know about confident presentation and public speaking skills in one reasonably priced book. See table of contents at the bottom of this page!

For over thirty years, Alan Mars has coached individuals and groups of delegates from leading public and private businesses and organisations. He has also taught Alexander Technique and voice-work in leading performing arts schools. Alan has taken the best techniques from the world of the performing arts, Alexander Technique and NLP, and set them out in this book, with practical exercises, case studies and insights.

 Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.
Price:
£6.99

Confidence Tricks – Presenter

TABLE OF CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION

– CHAPTER ONE –
WHAT IF I WERE A BETTER PRESENTER?
WHAT WOULD MAKE ME BETTER?
2500 Years of Theatre
Anchoring
THE WISDOM OF INSECURITY
TOOLS FOR YOUR JOURNEY
GETTING STARTED
Terminology
Working with the exercises
Materials
A positive attitude

CHAPTER TWO
WHAT DOES BETTER LOOK LIKE?
STYLE
Practical Exercise
The singer and the song
Alive relaxation
Practical Exercise – Observe
VITAL INGREDIENTS FOR THE COMMUNICATION CAKE
OBSERVATION AND FEEDBACK
Visual
Vocal
Verbal
WHO ARE YOUR FAVOURITE PRESENTERS?
Practical Exercise – Your own radio report
Case Study – Maria
Practical Exercise – Mind’s Eye, Mind’s Ears
DELIVERY
Practical Exercise – The Grand Old Duke of York
LISTEN AND LEARN
The Home Ham-let
Case Study – Interview with Robin Prior

CHAPTER THREE
CREATING A COMPELLING GOAL
THROUGH POISE TO PURPOSE
THE VMBR STUDIES
AN INTRODUCTION TO ALIVE RELAXATION
YOUR CENTRE OF GRAVITY
Practical Exercise – Centring
Case Study – Robert
BALANCE AND GROUNDING
Practical Exercise – Footprints in the sand
Case Study – John
PERIPHERAL VISION AND PERSONAL SPACE
Peripheral vision
Practical Exercise – Walking with an expanded visual field
Practical Exercise – Personal space
Practical Exercise – Walk of Shame or Walk of Fame?
Case Study – John Bourke and his All Ireland golf medal
PERCEPTUAL POSITIONS & PERSONAL RELATIONS
PERCEPTUAL TOOLS
The radio reporter revisited
A little black book
Mental rehearsal ingredients
First perceptual position: your own viewpoint
Second perceptual position: the audience’s viewpoint
Third perceptual position: a detached vantage point
DEALING WITH DIFFICULTIES
Come Back Home!
Case Study – Paul Marwaha
STATE YOUR GOALS IN POSITIVE TERMS
Practical Exercise – State your goal

CHAPTER FOUR
HOW COMMITTED ARE YOU?
GO FOR IT!
Planning — Step One – Four
KISS – Keep it Simple and Straightforward
REDUCING FEAR & INCREASING CONFIDENCE
Keep your head
Posture, Impact and Confidence
How to ‘wear your head’ skilfully
How to keep your head
The Weight of your Head
Rocking Stones
Atlas Supports the Occiput
Delicate Levers
The Skull
The Spine
The ‘Through Line’
Practical Exercise – Your Puppet String/Through Line
Keeping it Simple – Centre, centre, centre
EMOTION, BREATHING AND YOUR VOICE
Exercise 1: Observing restriction
THE SIZE OF THE PERCEIVED TASK
Your emotional state
Practical Exercise – Hasten slowly and pleasantly
Chunking
SELF-BELIEF
Internal voices – talking your walk
Practical Exercise – No nagging
PERSON AND JOB — GETTING THE FIT RIGHT
Case Study – Phyllis

CHAPTER FIVE
BETTER THAN WHAT?
USING YOUR SKILLS
Confidence or Assurance?
HUMAN MIRRORS
Practical Exercise – Mirroring
EYE CONTACT
How long should eye contact last?
Eye contact starts at the feet
Sight lines
ENERGY APPROPRIATE TO THE VENUE
GET TO KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
Your friends and allies in the audience
Case Study – James Lawley
FEEDBACK – ELECTRONIC AND PERSONAL
But I hate the sound of my voice when it’s recorded!

CHAPTER SIX
STRATEGIES AND TECHNIQUES
GENERATING YOUR CONTENT
Right brain: The Creative Generator
Left brain: the Editor/Organiser
Key words
Mind Maps
Index cards
Practical Exercise – Key Words
WILL ANYONE REMEMBER YOU?
STRUCTURING A PRESENTATION
Introductions: purpose, benefit and structure
The End: Summary, Conclusions and Next Steps
Case Study – Cheryl Winter
A Structure for Presentations – The 4MAT System
Bribery – without the corruption
Practical Exercise – BRIBE
QUESTION AND ANSWER STRATEGY
STYLE
Air Sculptures
Case Study – Dave
Going over the top
Practical Exercise – Air Sculptures
MOVING EFFECTIVELY ON STAGE
The stage walk
Practical Exercise – The stage walk
Practical Exercise – Walking backwards
Case Study – The stage walk and adrenaline control
SPATIAL MARKING AND ANCHORING
Timelines
Practical Exercise – Timeline
Spatial marking in business
THE POWER OF COMMUNICATION

CHAPTER SEVEN
PRACTICALITIES
DEVELOPING ‘NOUS’
PRESENTATION STYLES
Formal or informal?
Large or small?
Tell or sell?
Mixing sell and tell
Participative
Coaching and training
Internal or external?
USE OF VISUAL AIDS
Visibility and clarity
Visual aid or handout?
Non-verbal relationship to visual aids
Low-tech longevity – the perennial flipchart
Projectors
Popular programs – go easy
Preparing slides
The T-shirt theory (less is more)
MICROPHONES AND PA SYSTEMS
PREPARING THE ROOM

CHAPTER EIGHT –
FEEDBACK
HOW DID YOU DO?
Case Study – Dr Brent Young
Evolving your own feedback form

CHAPTER NINE
BALANCING WORK WITH THE REST OF YOUR LIFE
Rhythm and the art of management maintenance
Rest and replenishment
Timing critical appointments
Case Study – Robin Prior

CHAPTER TEN
ALEXANDER TECHNIQUE HISTORY & BACKGROUND
What is the Alexander Technique?
The Alexander Story
Into the Looking Glass
The Principles
Direction
Sensory Appreciation
Pausing
Lesson Description
Application Technique

CHAPTER ELEVEN
SEMI-SUPINE POSITION BENEFITS
Preparation
Semi-Supine Position Equipment
Getting Into the Semi Supine Position
Bullet point Alexander directions

CHAPTER TWELVE
THE PRACTISED PAUSE
SILENCE, PAUSING AND PUNCTUATION
Who are you speaking to?
Practice Pausing
Practical exercise – The Sonnet Stepping Stone

CHAPTER THIRTEEN
A WORD ABOUT BREATHING
TAKE A DEEP BREATH?
Compressive forces
Expansive directions and managing the out-breath
The Diaphragm
Practical exercise – Breathing in the semi-supine position
Practical exercise – Breathing in the prone position
Summary

CHAPTER FOURTEEN
WILLING IT AND LOVING IT
CLOUD-WATCHING
The big picture
Planning your life

Resources

ALAN MARS

Alexander Technique for Horses part 4

The following day both Martha and Laura were due to have a lesson at their local riding school. I met them both afterwards. I do not know who looked more excited. Martha’s eyes and whole demeanour looked super awake and alert. She was holding her head and easily on top of her clearly lengthening spine. She appeared impressively open and broad cross her shoulders and upper chest. Her lower back had raised and filled out and her legs looked confidently planted underneath her.

“My teacher was really impressed with the way we both responded during the lesson today.” Laura told me. “She was particularly excited by the tight circles that such a big horse as Martha was managing, for the first time, to turn. Do you think the Alexander Technique could have helped that?”

“For a horse to be able to turn one side of its spine has to flex as the other side simultaneously extends. If even as few as two or three vertebrae are restricted by excess muscle tension then the mobility of the spine as a whole is reduced. Freeing those muscles and vertebrae should allow the horse to turn more easily. So, yes” I replied “the Alexander Technique could well have helped – particularly in that area at the base of Martha’s neck.”

Without suggesting that anyone can become an overnight Alexander teacher – in fact it takes three years of full time training- taking a little more time to consciously touch in the manner described above can, at the very least, do a lot to deepen the rapport between horse and rider. In human relationships the cool hand on the brow during emotional upsets and illness; the back rub after a physically demanding day can relieve stress and be of positive physical and emotional therapeutic value, The language of touch is perhaps an even more significant factor in the relationship between horse and rider.

NB It does have to be underlined that Martha is basically a hale, hearty and robust horse with no significant problems. The care mentioned above should not be thought of as a substitute for properly qualified professional advice.