Alexander Discovery, Alexander Technique

What’s your quality of contact?


The quality of contact with others is very important and if you contact without thought things will generally go wrong. This is not just about touch, it’s all forms of contact.

Following on from my previous post https://alexanderintheforest.co.uk/2019/10/28/why-do-i-keep-tripping-myself-up/ I mentioned non-doing, you may be wondering what that is.

It was something that was impossible for me to discover then one day someone said the right words to me and there I was with non-doing hands. It’s an exquisite place to be, neither doing too much nor doing too little, balancing on a knife edge in non-doing space.

I’m having difficulty in explaining this, as it is a non-verbal space hence my difficulty. Perhaps an example is when you master riding a push bike and can cycle without holding the handles, you are at one with your bike and the space and ground around you.

Non-doing is a quality of contact, it not just touch, it is all ways, speech, visual, energetic contact and the contacts I don’t know or understand. Years ago when we only had landlines without caller display, yes they did exist once. When my mother phoned I knew it was her before the phone rang, I picked the phone up and said “Hi Mum”, I was always right, she did the same to me when I phoned. So I assume contact can come in many forms.

From my understanding and experience non-doing isn’t available unless your in balance with yourself. An awareness of where I am physically, allowing my reflexes respond to gravity whilst I sit here writing, not trying to balance myself another way. An awareness of the room I’m in and my dogs enjoying the quiet energy that is allowed to manifest from my awareness. Knowing that I only have a single moment to enjoy and this is this one, now it has gone and now can enjoy the this one, these moments never stop and never stay.

Of course you need to plan and dream of things else you’ll be frozen by the moment, though it is beautiful to be permanently in the moment, it’s not productive, it doesn’t buy you food or pay the mortgage.

Being in the moment in activity with the awareness of yourself and the environment non-doing naturally becomes available, it cannot be done else that would be doing!

If you are intrigued and want to experience this, then perhaps contact me or another Alexander Technique Teacher.

I worked with someone recently and they said this awareness is like smoking dope, everything becomes extremely lucid, calm and beautiful.

Alexander Discovery, Alexander Technique

Why do I keep tripping myself up!


I’m writing my body of knowledge of what I understand the Alexander Technique means to me. I’m deliberately not going to write in this blog using the accepted principles and concept of the Alexander technique as I feel you will leave at the end of this sentence: I’ll put them in my own words!

I plan to use my body of knowledge as the backbone to my teaching, adding to it as and when discovery something.

Today’s topic my be a little deep for some, the intention of the topic is on the lines of “why do I keep tripping myself up!”.

My understanding is that we model from past experiences, good or bad, onto an activity we are about to perform, the quality of the performance depends on past experiences. I think that is generally true however you can learn how not accept past these marring past experiences onto your activities. This is one aspect that the Alexander Technique can help with.

The Alexander Technique works by being indirect to the issue you are having. Meeting an issue directly you will no doubt do something else to work around the issue and from my experience make if more complex and more difficult to manage. This is true for businesses and you personally.

Going indirectly you have the opportunity to look at the issue from the outside, you’re not stuck in issue fighting to resolve it. Working indirectly is good to a point, you might see the resolution to the issue, then jump in and fix the issue. Fixing makes it more complex, it may work for a while however will fail eventually.

If you add a non-judgmental demeanour to viewing indirectly, a deeper knowledge of the issue can be seen, however this is not quite enough to stop tripping up. Most people can get to this quality of demeanour, the next level takes some practice, hundred of hours of practice. You can shortcut the practice by engaging with an Alexander Technique Teacher who will help you.

At a certain point during an activity you will decide, you may not notice the decision as it may be subconscious, to get on with the activity and finish it, At this point past experiences will be called to complete the activity. You will revert to habit. Fear may raise its head, a tightening in your stomach perhaps, you wonder why you’re doing what you’re doing, it wasn’t my plan to behave like this, what’s going on, I’m out of control!

What the Alexander Technique Teacher will teach you initially is to notice the critical point, firstly you might not be able to stop yourself from continuing but you can notice the critical point. Then it’s time for practice, noticing the critical point, then continuing or stopping what you plan to do. This takes practice and even more practice. What the Alexander Technique Teacher give you is their skill to notice your critical point and more importantly a non-doing support for you to experiment with your activity.

I not aware of any teaching, coaching or modality ( I’d like to know if this is true) that provides this type of deep understanding of why you do particular things in a particular way, and then help you change your way if your choosen way doesn’t met your intention.

How to get things right without trying too hard.
Alexander Discovery, Alexander Technique, direction

Non-thinking thinking


Again I’ve not been writing, this time it has been deliberate, I needed time to reflect and also to great some inspiration from somewhere or someone. Last week they arrived at the same time.

I was at the ATI (Alexander Technique International) conference in Ennis in Ireland and Megan Macedo presented for a couple of hours, she’s the story writer.

I’ve been stuck in not writing as I don’t want to write about my troubles and how the Alexander Technique helped me in that particular trouble, the Alexander Technique did, that’s not my problem, I was bored of writing the same sort of thing.

My problem was what to write instead?

The Alexander Technique works for all; it raises your consciousness and awareness in how you move and life your life. Some people have problems raising their consciousness and awareness without loving support. I’ll put my hand up to this.

The Alexander Technique is seen as something to do with posture, a good straight back, sorting lower back pain out; physical sort of stuff. The secret it isn’t any of that stuff, the side effects are those things. The Alexander Technique is about thinking, non- thinking thinking.

Confused, let me explain.

To do something, like writing this blog, there is a series of thoughts I have to generate to build this sentence and then turn this sentence into keystrokes to make it visible on my screen.

Writing this blog starts way before I get to my keyboard, I need an intention to write using my learnt skills to form sentences in English and manual skills to touch the correct keys. There is also emotions that generate intention, in the past I wouldn’t be writing as my emotions would be saying NO WAY! I’ve agreed to differ with that emotion that I’m rubbish at writing, and even more rubbish at writing from the heart, the emotion hasn’t gone, i choose not to engage with it. This week I stood and recited in front of an audience, again I choose not to engage with the emotion that was saying I’ll be rubbish at that. Emotions get empowered by other people agreeing with them, again I can choose not to engage with their comments. The crux of the Alexander Technique is that you can empower your power of choice.

You may be thinking what is choice to do with non-thinking thinking.

There is a point of balance with everything, thinking included, in fact thinking is the heart of our balance. If we try we over balance our thinking and force something to happen you may get away with it in the short term but it won’t be your best option.

There’s a sweet spot in our balance where no effort is required, just like balancing a fork across your finger, too much one way our another and the fork will fall off.

Emotions are the same, there need to be some energy in the emotion but not to much, enough energy with start the flow of emotion > feeling > thought > then into the conscious realm > behaviour > activity. If an inappropriate emotion starts this flow, the behaviour and activity may well be inappropriate or sub optimal.

So how do you stop your emotions running away with you?

From the Alexander Technique view, it is about the teacher being in balance observing in a non-doing non-judgmental way on what you are doing, noticing the critical point when your activity starts to go awry, pause at this moment and work out an alternative indirect way to achieve the activity.

These Alexander skills don’t come cheap, it is many hundreds of hours of practice, more like several thousand hours of practice to develop the skill to notice and understand what is noticed, learning how to be fully aware of yourself and what’s happening around you in each moment are skills needed to help others to develop their consciousness and ability to choose.

Don’t underestimate the skills of an Alexander Technique teacher, that may appear to the quiet and keep to themselves, that is because they respect your space and energy and will not trespass across your boundaries. This makes it very difficult as we can see your pain and troubles, your hubristic way hiding your difficulties. Why not be brave and discover what we have to offer.

Alexander Technique, anxiety, attention, breathing, depression, habit, happiness, intention

Who’s Bonkers?


I’ve been working with a couple of therapists over the past few weeks, offering them a series of 6 free Alexander Technique sessions, another therapist is joining next week the 6 free sessions, The objective of these sessions is firstly for me to practice on willing volunteers who wouldn’t normally have Alexander sessions, and also to demonstrate to them through their experience what the Alexander Technique is. Part of the deal is to produce 7 short videos for them to reflect back on their changes and also for myself to use to for promotion of myself and the Alexander Technique.

I’ve never quite worked out what the definitive definition of the Alexander Technique is, my definitions change as quick as the clouds pass over me. What I do know is that I feel lighter, freer and more alive when I apply my Alexander thinking.

I let my dogs be close by, normally near my feet, if my client is content. My dogs seem to love the session, they are a mirror of the energy in my studio. They are all busy when the session starts and very soon rather chilled; all on their backs chilling.

Not quite so chilled but having fun

Helping others to raise their own awareness is key for a successful Alexander session, I’ve got several methods to help; firstly by talking about what they notice in the room and the spectacular view I have from my studio. Noticing is important, noticing naturally brings awareness and quiet, instead of being busy about the future and or the past. Awareness of your environment brings about a change in quality of your use with a wonderful calmness.

This awareness itself is fantastic but its only cracking open the door very slightly; my goal is to introduce total awareness whilst in activity, this is the power of the Alexander Technique.

The difficulty with total awareness is that your habits will be resistant to what you are being taught; we have safety in our habits that protect us from feeling different even if these habits are not so good for us.

We are all bonkers!

Letting habits go is the key to change however you and I have many devious ways of maintaining out habits even if they aren’t helpful. we build habits to protect ourselves then hold onto them and use them even when they are no longer needed.

We are all bonkers!

There are several ways to attempt to change habits:

  • deep meaningful conversations with others or yourself
  • getting fit
  • being busy
  • getting help from others

I guess you have all used one or all of these methods, I have, some have helped but generally I slowly gravitated back to my old habits.

I work differently, you will have fun, you will laugh, you will feel free, you will feel light, you will be buzzing with life.

These feeling will last for sometime, with one session you will discover what is available to you but it will fade as you try to recreate the feelings. With further sessions you will increasingly discover what is needed to maintain your freedom and aliveness that allows your old habits fade.

I’ll be posting these short weekly videos once my clients have finished, then they will be able to tell you how it was for them.

If you want to know how they got on, please follow me on WordPress or on social media.

Alexander Technique

Asthma and how the Alexander Technique helped me


Interesting what I was thinking about 4 years ago. I now think the asthma I had was nothing to do with fight or flight but of the reptilian freeze response we all all have when things get really, really bad. I just couldn’t move out of fear. Horrible times!

Alexander in the Forest

In 1995 I had a very bad year, some of the most stressful events in my life appeared at once, then I got the flu – asthma struck me with a huge bang.

I could only walk a few yards before I needed to stop to get my breath back, it was just horrible, I seemed to be permanently using my inhaler. On one event I was admitted to hospital, the paramedic prepared me for a drip in the ambulance, I thought I had some medicine through the drip and instantly recovered.

I thought, asthma is psychological? A needle in my hand connected to nothing and the symptoms stop!
I’d neverreally thought whatasthma was, here is a definition
•a respiratory condition marked by attacks of spasm in the bronchi of the lungs, causing difficulty in breathing. It is usually connected to allergic reaction or other forms of hypersensitivity.
•from Greekasthma…

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Alexander Discovery, Forest Naturals

Have you lost your gazelle!


Ever feel flat and weary, that Boxing Day tummy that is full and wallows that stops you from moving like a gazelle? Well today that is me…

It may be a combination of good food, too much of it and the being over heated with the beautiful sun. Yesterday felt like August and it’s only April, today is supposed to be the same.

I guess many will feel the same, all I just want to be is wallow and enjoy the sunny weather, the gazelle inside me seems to have gone hiding in the tall grass for the moment.

This is hard; tempting my gazelle out so I can enjoy my aliveness fully whilst wanting to slowly and aimlessly wallow in the mud. Perhaps today is the day to contemplate and do little more.

Yesterday evening I got a message that there is stand available at a show, would you like to attend. In a flash, yes, but what should I do, is it Alexander Technique, I’m not too sure how that could work or is it our beauty product business. We opted for Forest Naturals.

We are off to Stroud on the 6th May, this is our first stand since Christmas, it’s strange how things know when your ready, My wife how who leads on Forest Naturals has been off work for the past 4 months, unable to do very much at home, this week things changed, she has more energy and is returning the way she was before Christmas, then a call from nowhere just at the opportune time. Perhaps my wife has now done her wallowing and her gazelle is ready to spring to life!

Developing the products for Forest Naturals has taken sometime, deciding what to make, attend training courses, not only how to make the soaps, creams and balms, there were the legislation course on how to provide products that are used on skin. Engaging a chemist to review our recipes and then the worrying wait when samples were tested in the lab. We now have certification to produce our products, that’s the ones that have been certified. More need to go away for certification before they are available for sale.

Deciding what raw ingredients to use has been problematic. We only wanted the best, none of the low quality or doctored raw ingredients that are available.

  • Where are they manufactured,
  • where in the world,
  • who manufactured them,
  • are they ethically sourced,
  • does the manufacturer abide with high environmental standards?

Sourcing raw materials to meet our standards is expensive, there are plenty of cheap options that we disregarded. We now have a range of products that not only smell good, they have best essential oils.

The feed back from our customers is fabulous.

I seem to have digressed, that’s because I believe what we produce is fantastic.

Not much about the Alexander Technique today, it’s always there, it’s there when making conscious decisions which recipe to create, measuring out the ingredients, stirring the recipe, there’s a lot of stirring. Potting creams or wrapping soap.

Believe it or not the hardest and most difficulty part of making our products is creating and putting labels onto the products. Please have a look and like our Facebook page.