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Early morning after a frost. The bird feeders were refreshed with new seed. I was watching the daily arrival of the pigeons, doves, blackbirds and sparrows as they cautiously began to rest in the trees surrounding my garden deciding if it was safe enough to come closer. The sun was warming everything and the neighbours shed roof had a gentle stream of rising steam. The closest tree was magical. The frost was melting. The droplets of water from the melt steadily got bigger and as they did they twinkled and changed into many colours, reds, greens, blues before they dropped off. I’ve tried to capture that with a camera but the magic just isn’t there. I marvel at how my eyes can see natures version of twinkling Christmas lights. I feel blessed that I can be present enough to witness those seemingly ordinary but oh so profound moments. I am thankful that the Alexander Technique opens up my awareness to be there when it happens.
Certified Alexander Technique Teacher (Pocklington, East Yorkshire)
The eyes still have it
I have been reminded that what one sees is in the eye of the beholder, including beauty. I gave that some thought and realised how one sees is also the same. Do you notice how you look at things. Do you notice some of the ways that happens? I’ve spotted myself looking for safety, curiosity, pattern recognition, body language. Looking close up with mouse eyes, looking at the big picture with eagle eyes. What do you notice about the way you look. Does it make a difference? How does it affect your body and what you notice as you stay present?
This week I have been marvelling at how thinking about my eyes leading movement has an effect on my neck movement. It started off by doing an exploration described in Elizabeth Langford’s book Mind and Muscle, an owner’s handbook. I am grateful for her explorations of the eyes and have developed another version on similar lines. In the book, one exploration is done on all 4’s and the other is done with walking and changing direction. Both are fun to do. It’s adaptable to all sorts of activities and I have been doing my version in sitting and standing.
For those of you with neck problems might I suggest you do the exploration when you are with your Alexander Technique teacher? Either way, go as far as is comfortable and as few repetitions as is comfortable. You can chose to do only part of the exploration too, instead of all of it at once.
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