Free to act, Free to Be, Free to take the ‘road not taken’ – Workshop 5/14 ~ Berkeley

Body Project Blog ~ Where thought is the active ingredient, by Elyse Shafarman

Notice the moment before you engage in action (or speech). See if you can sense how your body prepares. What are the habitual gripping spots?

Then pause. In the pause, tell yourself that you are:

  1. Free to act,
  2. Free to just be,
  3. Or free to do something different.


Observe how you (whole self, body and mind unified), reorganize when there is no pressure.

Then make a fresh decision.

The pause is enhanced when you expand awareness to include both self and environment together.

There’s more specific body cuing in the Alexander Technique, but the mindfulness piece, the pause to stop habitual reaction, is what distinguishes the technique.

To learn more about this process, join me for an introduction to the Alexander Technique at Berkeley Rep this Sunday 5/14, 10 – 1pm $35. Bring your mom for Mother’s day!

Want to sing with more freedom? Move with less effort?

Sounding the Depths of the Organs

Sunday, December 4, 10am-1pm
The second workshop in this series

Explore the qualities of your organs and how they support the authentic expression of your voice!

The Singing Body
Embodied Voice & the Alexander Technique
with Francesca Genco & Elyse Shafarman

Sundays, 10am-1pm
November 6, December 4 & January 15
Jeffery Bihr Studio in Rockridge (a few minutes’ walk from BART)
  • Learn to support your voice from a place of ease, power & relaxation.
  • Enjoy skilled hands-on guidance.
  • Learn songs & how to sing them from an embodied state.
  • Discover how the Alexander Technique engages choice over habit.
Topics include:
November 6 ~ Respiratory diaphragm & breathing
December 4 ~ Organs as resonators & supporters
January 15 ~ Muscles of the pelvis, abdomen & vocal folds

Cost is $75 for single workshop, $200 for the series (save $25).
Feel free to share this invite with a friend!

Francesca Genco, MA is a singer and sound healer, yoga instructor, bodyworker and interdisciplinary arts teacher. Her singing was featured in Ryan Amon’s score for Elysium, Neill Blomkamp’s science fiction film starring Matt Damon and Jodie Foster released in August 2013. She is the founder of Song of the Body, which offers classes, workshops and retreats in embodied voice, sound healing, yoga and creative expression. Her classes and private sessions are based in creating an intimate relationship with the body as we learn to listen and respond to its natural intelligence and resonance.

Elyse Shafarman holds a Master’s Degree in Physiological Psychology and Alexander Technique Teacher Certification from Frank Ottiwell (2003). Elyse is on the faculty of American Conservatory Theater’s MFA program and Berkeley Rep School of Theatre. She maintains a private practice in San Francisco and Berkeley. Her background as a modern dancer and professional training in psychology, yoga, and Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction influence her work.