THE POWER OF TRANSFORMATION

On the 19th of November I had the privilege to present the SBAT/APSTA CH-Forum 2016 in Neuchâtel. Helped by my co-director Nathalie Sandoz and colleagues Kate Kelly, Marta Baron, Paolo Frigoli and Colin Beattie, I was able to share my experience and understanding of the Technique with a group of over 50 attendees, mainly teachers and a few trainees. A big thank you to Council for this opportunity and to Karin for being so helpful with organizing this event.

In a relaxed and friendly environment, the Forum was an opportunity to revisit and explore together the Alexander Technique procedures we practice and teach at the Centre Technique Alexander in Neuchâtel.

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Being able to observe without judging is an important skill when practicing the Alexander Technique. In that quiet awareness, that transforms our perceptions and allows for a new state of being, we find the space to create new ways of thinking.

When I stop, I take the first and most important step in that journey that will take me from the old Self to the new Self. In the here and now, in the present moment, I can begin the process of Inhibition, Prevention and Direction which constitutes the structure of our work.

Stopping is allowing me to become aware of the unconscious, habitual me that controls the way I think, act and feel. When I stop I choose to be quiet and still, I give myself time. In fact, I need to go beyond, and be bigger than, my usual perception and understanding of time, myself and the environment. In this new project, judgement, self-judgement, is not allowed. I observe in order to understand, I don’t observe in order to do something about it
by direct means.

The new Self I’m looking forward to, the one I wish to be, it’s an expanding, dynamic Self. My project is to lengthen and to widen, it is to fill and to take my space, a space that is available and belongs to me. My feelings are a manifestation of the old program and they only tell me where I am in relation to my habits. Therefore, if I want to have a chance to being creative and not repetitive in my thinking, I need to go beyond them allowing myself
to be in a new and unfamiliar place.

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In my experience, posture doesn’t transform posture, only a new mental attitude can transform posture. The monkey, as well as the act of sitting and standing in and out of the chair, challenges that quiet awareness I am choosing for myself.

We know that anxiety is not compatible with a free neck. A protective mood is not compatible, in my opinion, with a free neck. A free neck is only compatible with constructive emotions like awe, joy, curiosity and love. Only they can allow and support the process of growth and development so essential in our work.

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© 2017 ETTORE ARCAIS