In this discussion with Eileen Troberman, Alexander Technique teacher Robert Rickover (the son of the founder of the nuclear navy) names Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama as two presidents with the best use of themselves.
“We can find a really bad use one in Jimmy Carter. He was a big neck tightener. You watch sideviews of him in his big debate with Reagan, and he was scrunching down like crazy while Reagan was floating up as cool as a cucumber.
“George W. Bush had bad use. He had this weird holding pattern in his torso.”
“Politicians as a group tend to have better use.”
Here are links to conversations about how to improve your life through Alexander Technique:
In their first conversation, they suggest ways of learning just what you’re doing to yourself that get in the way of efficient movement and offer specific strategies for letting go of harmful movement patterns. The advantages of having lessons with an Alexander Technique teacher is also explored. Click here to listen to or download this conversation.
More details about what you can do on your own: the importance of lightness of self-direction and the benefits of gently saying “no” to patterns you don’t want. There is a reference to Missy Vineyard’s book How you Stand, How you Move, How you Live
as well as to William Conable, co-author of How to Learn the Alexander Technique – A Manual for Students.
Both these books are available at the Alexander Technique Bookstore
(listed under Introductory Books). Click here to listen to or download this conversation.
Here Robert and Eileen address the thorny topic of feelings (the physical sensations) that come to the surface when you make changes in your posture and movement patterns. How to respond to these feelings is one of the biggest challenges new (and experienced!) students often face, and several useful strategies are outlined. This issue is also very nicely covered in this video
of the late Marjorie Barstow
. At one point in the interview, Robert makes a reference (much to Eileen’s chagrin) to the Kenny Rogers song The Gambler
and the verse that advises a poker player: ……you don’t ever count your money when you’re sitting at the table, there’ll be time enough for counting when the dealings done
. Click here to listen to or download this conversation.
Applying the Alexander Technique to ordinary daily activites
Robert and Eileen talk about some ways to use the Alexander Technique when you’re with other people. There’s a short discussion ofmirror neurons
and a discussion of unconscious imitation that will be especially interesting to parents. We’re hoping to post the photo of Eileen as a 3-year old with her grandfather mentioned in this conversation. Click here to listen to or download this conversation.
Benefiting from Alexander’s Discoveries Without a Teacher
In this conversation, Robert and Eileen provide some specific suggestions for using mirrors, or better yet a camcorder and tv monitor, to provide reliable feedback. Quite a bit of the discussion is devoted to the danger of trying to get a “right position”, and the harm done by most posture advice. Click here to listen to this conversation