Like a bird, I walked into a glass door this morning, right before my first class of the year at American Conservatory Theater, where I teach Alexander Technique to MFA actors. My aim was to arrive early, but events *conspired* against me. The outfit was wrong. I needed to bring lunch. I couldn’t find my […]
About Elyse Shafarman
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Entries by Elyse Shafarman
In August, I travelled to Cuba with Susana Arenas to study dance with the world acclaimed Afro-Cuban folkloric company Raices Profundas (Deep Roots). I was amazed by the vitality and beauty of the Cuban people walking on the streets of Havana. (The photo at the top of this page is a casual snap of everyday […]
I crossed some boundary in minimalist footwear yesterday. I clambered over Bernal hill in my flimsy sandals, whilst purposefully stepping on rocks to massage the stiffness out of my overtaxed dancer feet. Back when foot reflexology was in fad, I remember reading advice to hike barefoot. The rocks and gravel were supposed to stimulate key […]
Today I helped a dancer with foot pain using Reembody Method. She had pain in the balls of her feet from dancing in heels. The pain was more intense in her left foot, which was her non-dominant (ND) side. As she described her situation, I was forming a picture in my mind about what her […]
Been observing the effects of emotional anxiety on my digestive system. Guts tangling like snakes. High fear alert system from my body and difficulty distinguishing what is present time threat, and what is historical. Current commitment is to trust the sensations of my body, with the caveat that the interpretation of the meaning of these […]
Stand up. Find your hip joints. Locate your “bikini” line, and find the place where, if you press into it, your pelvis will shoot back in space. That’s where your hip joint is. Note that this is just the frontal plane. Your hip joint is a 3D structure, and exists on the side and backplane […]
Think back to the last time you were anxious. Do you remember the conversation you were having with yourself before the anxiety hit? Probably not. Most likely, you can only remember how you felt. The fear. The panic. The worry. And that’s normal. We can get so overwhelmed by the feelings that anxiety brings on […]
Eyes free and wide to see from the point of vision — Countess Kitty Wielopolska Sometimes, the Alexander Technique eye direction is described as a Zen Koan. What is the point of vision? No one knows. I imagine that the point of vision is the occipital cortex, the location in the back of the brain […]
Getting minimalist shoes is something to think about – but certainly not a requirement. I wrote this for a student with osteoarthritic knees. We’ve been working on correcting the way her leg bones spiral when bending and straightening. The correct direction of spiral removes the pain completely. This has been going well, so I felt […]
Pause for a second and visualize the soft palate space, and even up above into the oral and nasal cavities, which are located just behind the cheek bones. Imagine these spaces like the dome of a cathedral ceiling rising over the throat cavity, carrying the head up. Imagine the neck muscles melting, releasing any downward […]
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