A friend wrote, “Send me a “Frank” quote.” He was referring to Frank Ottiwell, my mentor and the director of my Alexander Technique (AT) teacher training course. I wrote back, I can’t think of any particular Frank quote right now, but I am remembering how he would arrive every morning at the AT school (we […]
About Elyse Shafarman
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Entries by Elyse Shafarman
Rest in peace dearest Rome. I am so sad to learn of your passing and so grateful for my time with you. Rome Roberts Earle was one of the last first generation Alexander Teachers, having initially trained at Ashley Place in London with FM Alexander. She was my trainer on Frank Ottiwell’s course and my […]
Practice the Alexander Technique pause to prevent touching your face. Research* shows that people touch their face 23 times per hour. The most common reasons for face touching are: A desire to focus A desire to self soothe An itch. See if you can identify the urge and use your mind to STOP. Stopping does not […]
I’m not sure why I thought it would be ok to teach after a dental extraction. Mind over matter only goes so far. Why do I think it’s a good idea to push my own body through pain and exhaustion when I am constantly counseling my Alexander Technique students to listen to the body, find […]
Here’s a Reembody Method sequence that I used to help a duck-footed (feet turned out) saxophonist with sore feet and low back pain. If you have similar issues while standing, you might try it too. But what is the Reembody Method, you might ask? It’s a new somatic modality that looks at how our inborn tendency […]
The Alexander Technique, A Skill for Life, by Pedro de Alcantara is one of the best introductory books on the technique. It’s a bit shorter and deeper than most starter books. Students have found used copies on eBay. If you’ve already covered the basics, here are two books that might be enlightening. 2. An Examined […]
A bizarre evening. Transferring at MacArthur back to SF a tall red headed woman and I looked a few beats too long at each other. Something about her caught my eye. She looked like someone I knew but had since misplaced all identifying details. Later, I went to sit at SF Insight, something I rarely […]
When students used to say to my teacher Frank Ottiwell, “I carry a lot of tension in my shoulders.” He would say, “Well, why don’t you put it down?” With the Alexander Technique, we look at posture as a reflection of habits and behaviors, not as an inherent feature of genetics or identity. Over time, […]
Turtles pull their heads in to their bodies when they are scared. Do you do the same thing? Notice the triggers, and then invite a sense of ease in your neck, so your head can can lengthen away from your body. If you are finding this hard, look around you and make sure that you […]
Dear Friends, I’d love to see you at my next Alexander Technique workshop at Berkeley Rep on Saturday July 13, 1-4 pm $65. Get ready to feel light and free. Learn skills to release tension to improve movement and mood! Content is appropriate for actors and non-actors alike. Info here Other news: I’m giving a public workshop […]
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