Tag Archives: alexander technique

No School for Kepler Today!

No school on voting day. Easy peasy. Daughter will be here to take care of Kepler if I need her to.

Except THE HIGH SCHOOL IS NOT OFF TODAY.

Now what??

This chart is pretty accurate when it comes to me figuring out the logistics of my life. In a bold and uncompromising move 🙂 I decided to take Kepler along with me.

My Alexander Technique lessons take place is a huge mansion, which seemed like it would be really cool for Kepler to see but maybe a little bit of a worry for me if he didn’t want to just sit and wait for me. Not to worry! Ellen, my teacher, met Kepler with enthusiasm and immediately invited him to ride her “inclinator.”

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And then he and Ellen controlled the inclinator while I took a ride:

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And then he explored the first floor a little bit, and then contentedly settled onto her parlor couch while I had my lesson.

After the lesson, we all piled in my car and drove over to the home of a 94-year-old man who plays the clarinet and wants a pianist to accompany him for a couple of hours each week. I had the extreme privilege of stumbling through the accompaniment and playing with him. He may not have much short-term memory left at 94, but he sure can play the clarinet.

While we were busy making beautiful music, Kepler disappeared for a few minutes. He had gone out to the car, found the bag with his new shoes, and managed to get them on his feet. He normally doesn’t like to put his own shoes on, but he was seriously motivated to get these cool new shoes onto his feet. The toes light up every time he takes a step.

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We did several more errands in the afternoon and just had a wonderful time. I guess my time in Alaska really did refresh me. I hadn’t been up to such a thing for quite some time. Just to give you an idea of the extent of the errands: post office, bank, mall to return clothing, stop at the Stride Rite store because SALE, Alexander Technique lesson, accompanying, back to AT house to drop off friends, IKEA, dance, home to feed and pick up Toast, Smoothie King, Kroger, home for a bath and bed. Remember that every one of those stops requires strapping into booster seat with seatbelt etc., so it’s not quite like just running errands alone!

At the end of the day, we were tired and happy and had had a memorable day off school.

My First Alexander Technique Lesson!

I’ve been thinking about the Alexander Technique for a few months, having heard of it from a fellow blogger, Patrick Smith. You can read some of his writing here. Patrick is a guitarist who has utilized Alexander Technique as a musician. My motivation is a little more basic, I think. I’ve noticed that I hold a tremendous amount of tension in my shoulders, neck, jaws, and face. And the AT sounded like something that might help me address that.

The wonder of the interwebs! There are several teachers here in Cincinnati, but I knew this was my lady when I saw her website. Here is Ellen’s website.

I almost missed my lesson. I nearly agreed to do something for someone else instead of going to my lesson. I realized the better choice would be to help the person out after my lesson if possible, but to keep my appointment. This is something I have needed for months, and knew intuitively would be good for me.

One of the things I have discovered in my library adventure with Kepler this summer is that I can be confident driving to all kinds of areas of Cincinnati. So, I confidently navigated the more unfamiliar west side roads and made my way to her amazing home.

If I never went back for another lesson, I could say that I had gotten something priceless from her. Not only is she a wise and caring woman with a wealth of life experience, she knows of what she speaks when it comes to posture and muscles and all those juicy things.

Basically, my AT lesson was another step along a path I have been on for some time. A path of joyful discovery of freedom. At one point in the lesson, Ellen instructed me to tell my brain, “Let my neck be free.” That resonated with me instantly, and has become a phrase I am using often as I become aware of that tension I have carried for so long. I am certain there is much more for me to learn, but that one line has already helped me understand the difference between using my “outer” muscles to hold  myself up, and allowing my “core” (I think these are the terms, but don’t hold me to them exactly) muscles to do what they are designed to do, while my outer muscles are relaxed. I was partway there in understanding the need to relax before I got to my lesson, but I got way, way closer to being able to actually allow my body to do what it’s designed to do.

My next lesson is in a couple of weeks, on the first day of school for my kids, actually. So, yeah, Alexander Technique. The interesting thing is that every person I have told about my shoulder/neck/jaw tension has said the exact same thing. “I experience that, too.” Maybe some of them will decide to check out an AT teacher for themselves! I’d love for others to have the joy of feeling this type of relief.