Dynamic Exercises in Sitting Posture

Dynamic Exercises in Sitting Posture

Evolution and devolution - the challenge of work and sitting posture

We did not evolve to be sitting creatures, and certainly not sitting in chairs and staring at a computer screen. Yet so many of us spend so much of our time doing just that, and most of us know that we don’t do it in an optimal way. We don’t need a physical therapist or a mom to tell us that there is something wrong in our sitting posture: we can feel it in our aching backs and sore shoulders and necks (though we may need a professional to point out to us that our so-called repetitive strain injuries are also linked to the way we work at our computers).

The key to improving your sitting posture lies not in the position in which you sit, but in the way you move while you sit.  Not just how you move your hands as you reach for the mouse (though that’s important too) but how you organize your back and move your pelvis, how you breathe, and how you receive the support of the floor through your feet and of the chair through your bottom.

This series of Awareness Through Movement lessons will teach you how. We’ll learn to relax our shoulders and reach easily with our arms, and we’ll also learn a few movements inspired by Sounder Sleep® Day-Tamers® that specifically work to counter the stress most of us experience during our sitting times. Some of the lessons will be in sitting, and some will be mostly on the floor, sitting only at the beginning and end as reference points. We’ll even do some lessons with a table, which you can use with your desk at work.

All lessons will be recorded for review at home, but there will also be time in class to review and/or jot down parts of the lessons that seem especially useful as “awareness breaks” to be practiced during the day.


The Secrets of Ease-Full Sitting

The Secrets of Ease-Full Sitting
Perfect posture baby
Sunday, September 21 2-4:30pm
At The Arlington Center

Whether you sit to meditate, to work at a desk, or, as I do, to play a musical instrument, the quality of what you are doing is deeply affected by how well you sit. We don’t need a physical therapist or a mom to tell us that there is something wrong in our sitting posture: we can feel it in our aching backs and sore shoulders and necks (though we may need a professional to point out to us that our so-called repetitive strain injuries are also linked to the way we hold ourselves as we sit).

The key to improving your sitting posture lies not in the position in which you sit, but in the way you move while you sit. Not just how you move your hands as you reach for a mouse (though that’s important too) but how you organize your back and move your pelvis, how you breathe, and how you receive the support of the floor through your feet and the support of the seat through your bottom.

In this Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement® workshop you will begin to discover a balanced and dynamic approach to sitting posture and learn some tools to practice and improve at home.

For a more in-depth exploration, join my weekly Awareness Through Movement class.


YOUR MUSIC UNBOUND – a Feldenkrais movement class for musicians

YOUR MUSIC UNBOUND – a Feldenkrais movement class for musicians

ATM classWhen: Tuesdays at 6 pm
March 3-April 7, 2015

Where:
Watertown Center For Healing Arts
22 Mt Auburn St, Watertown

Cost: Special introductory rate:
 $90 for six-session series

register button shiny blue

This class uses the unique process of Feldenkrais® Awareness Through Movement® to address issues of specific concern to musicians. We will cover a wide range of topics, from the anatomy and ergonomics of music-making to the more elusive areas of performance anxiety, stage presence, inspiration, and creativity.

The class will help you:

  • learn to overcome and avoid injury
  • reduce tension
  • improve posture and breath support
  • relieve performance anxiety
  • increase stage presence
  • practice more efficiently
  • develop healthy, effective warm-ups
  • refine your technique
  • expand your musical expression

Geared towards serious students and professional musicians, this class is open to singers and instrumentalists of any genre and any level.

Just fill out this form to register:


THREE KEYS TO REDUCING TENSION for musicians and other students of refined movement

THREE KEYS TO REDUCING TENSION for musicians and other students of refined movement

Tense pianistWhen: March 15, 2015  5-6:30 pm

Where:
            Watertown Center For Healing Arts
17 Spring Street, Watertown

Cost: FREE!

 

“Just RELAX!”

How many times have you heard a teacher or coach say this? Maybe you’ve heard it so many times, you say it to yourself. Or maybe you’re a music teacher and have resorted to saying this yourself when you could see your students working against themselves.

And how do you (or your students) respond to this exhortation?

“What do you mean?”

“I’m trying!”

“Yeah yeah, I know…”

“But how do I make a sound if I’m relaxed?”

“Where do I even start?”

There is no question that a certain amount of muscular tension is necessary for making music. And it can’t be denied that to be expressive we need a certain amount of tension in the sound itself (what would music be without the interplay of tension and release?) What we’re talking about here is unnecessary, involuntary and often unconscious tension.

These unnecessary and involuntary tensions (what Moshe Feldenkrais referred to as “parasitic actions”) get in the way of our music, causing problems such as:

  • repetitive strain injuries
  • fatigue
  • difficulty creating consistent, rich, and expressive sound
  • limitations on technique
  • slower learning of new music

I should know. Unconscious excess tension nearly cost me my music career.

But it doesn’t have to cost you yours.

In this presentation I share my story of the work that allowed me to recover from debilitating pain to complete a Masters in Music, and launch a career helping other musicians to recover from injury, avoid injury, and generally reduce tension.

In particular, I will also show you how to:

  1. Recognize unnecessary tension before it gets in your way
  2. Become aware of your tension-producing habits – and experience how
    awareness itself can effortlessly ease the grip your habits have over you
  3. Explore new ways of moving that avoid the tension in the first place

 


YOUR MUSIC UNBOUND II: The Martial Art of Musicianship

YOUR MUSIC UNBOUND II: The Martial Art of Musicianship

ExperieATM classnce Your Music Unbound

with the unique process of Feldenkrais® Awareness Through Movement®  customized for musicians:

 

 

When: Tuesdays, 5:45 – 7:15 p.m.
April 21 to June 16, 2015
(no class June 9)

Where:
Watertown Center For Healing Arts
22 Mt Auburn St, Watertown

Cost: $145 for 8 wk series


  • Improve your understanding of body mechanics and movement patterns where it matters to you: in making music and in other challenges you face in your daily life.
  • Develop a healthier relationship with the challenges of music-making. We all get in our own way by trying too hard. This class will help you notice when you efforts are inefficient, and, most importantly, lead you to discover ways to free yourself from those habits!
  • Acquire tools to take care of yourself. Learn how to shed unnecessary tensions and ‘reset’ yourself to move with more fluidity and focus.

 The Martial Art of Musicianship

This series will draw on my years of study of Tai Chi and on the martial roots of the Feldenkrais Method to help you:

  • free the power of your breath
  • cultivate a sense of your physical and mental center so you can keep calm and grounded under performance pressure
  • develop soft, yet powerful arms, hands and fingers, while leaving your neck and head free and relaxed
  • refine the connection between slow, controlled practice and fast, agile execution

What is your musical kung fu? 7 lessons for musicians from the martial arts


THREE KEYS TO REDUCING TENSION for musicians and other students of refined movement

THREE KEYS TO REDUCING TENSION for musicians and other students of refined movement

Tense pianistWhen: June 21, 2015  2:30-4:30 pm

Where:

Cambridge Music Consortium
315 Broadway, Cambridge, MA

Cost: FREE!

 

“Just RELAX!”

How many times have you heard a teacher or coach say this? Maybe you’ve heard it so many times, you say it to yourself. Or maybe you’re a music teacher and have resorted to saying this yourself when you could see your students working against themselves.

And how do you (or your students) respond to this exhortation?

“What do you mean?”

“I’m trying!”

“Yeah yeah, I know…”

“But how do I make a sound if I’m relaxed?”

“Where do I even start?”

There is no question that a certain amount of muscular tension is necessary for making music. And it can’t be denied that to be expressive we need a certain amount of tension in the sound itself (what would music be without the interplay of tension and release?) What we’re talking about here is unnecessary, involuntary and often unconscious tension.

These unnecessary and involuntary tensions (what Moshe Feldenkrais referred to as “parasitic actions”) get in the way of our music, causing problems such as:

  • repetitive strain injuries
  • fatigue
  • difficulty creating consistent, rich, and expressive sound
  • limitations on technique
  • slower learning of new music

I should know. Unconscious excess tension nearly cost me my music career.

But it doesn’t have to cost you yours.

In this presentation I share my story of the work that allowed me to recover from debilitating pain to complete a Masters in Music, and launch a career helping other musicians to recover from injury, avoid injury, and generally reduce tension.

In particular, I will also show you how to:

  1. Recognize unnecessary tension before it gets in your way
  2. Become aware of your tension-producing habits – and experience how
    awareness itself can effortlessly ease the grip your habits have over you
  3. Explore new ways of moving that avoid the tension in the first place

 


Moving Music Lab

When: Sundays,  2:30-4:30 pm
July 12, 26, August 16, 30, 2015

Where:

Cambridge Music Consortium
315 Broadway, Cambridge, MA

Cost: $18 pre-registered, $20 at the door 

Join me for this exciting experiment! Part Awareness Through Movement class, part masterclass – YOU set the agenda!

What do you want to work on? What’s holding you back as a musician?

At each meeting I will work with one or more musicians with related questions in an improvisatory, master-class format that will include the other students present. Do you all have versions of the same question? How does it come into play for you? I may work hands-on with the master-class student, or we may spend the entire time at the instrument or with the voice, doing “awareness through music making.”

We will then pull out the blankets (or pull up the chairs) and do a full movement lesson with the entire group, arising organically out of the first part of the class.

And finally, we’ll come back to the brave soul who presented their question at the start, and all get to hear what has changed! We will also discuss what happened to bring about the changes, so we can all apply them to our own music-making.

 


Embody Your Music:
A Feldenkrais workshop for musicians with Aliza Stewart, GCFP

Embody Your Music: A Feldenkrais workshop for musicians with Aliza Stewart, GCFP
Aliza Stewart giving a feldenkrais workshop for musicians

The relationship between movement and sound will be made explicit in this special Feldenkrais workshop for musicians. Through gentle Awareness Through Movement lessons you will learn to listen to your body and use what you have learned to improve on your own. We will spend some time working with participants playing their instruments or singing to see how the movements apply to performance. (more…)


YOUR MUSIC UNBOUND – a Feldenkrais movement class for musicians

YOUR MUSIC UNBOUND – a Feldenkrais movement class for musicians

ATM classWhen: Wednesdays at 7 pm
     October 7-December 23, 2015

Where:
The Cambridge Music Consortium
 315 Broadway, Cambridge, MA

Cost: $245 for 12 sessions
$20 drop-in 
(space permitting)

register button shiny blue

This class uses the unique process of Feldenkrais® Awareness Through Movement® to address issues of specific concern to musicians. We will cover a wide range of topics, from the anatomy and ergonomics of music-making to the more elusive areas of performance anxiety, stage presence, inspiration, and creativity.

The class will help you:

  • learn to overcome and avoid injury
  • reduce tension
  • improve posture and breath support
  • relieve performance anxiety
  • increase stage presence
  • practice more efficiently
  • develop healthy, effective warm-ups
  • refine your technique
  • expand your musical expression

Geared towards serious students and professional musicians, this class is open to singers and instrumentalists of any genre and any level.

Just fill out this form to register:


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