Thinking in Activity, Back into Balance

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About Stella

I returned from vacation with a vestibular virus in my inner ear which affected my balance whilst walking. I tripped and fell badly and thereafter experienced whiplash, leaving me with persistent neck tension and very painful lower back pain.  

I came to the Alexander Technique with postural and co-ordination habits developed since childhood. Reasons for my shoulders being as they were for sure also included carrying a heavy bag of books at secondary school in addition to other loads. I came to appreciate that all reactions are so closely connected with our postural habits in all of us, and our responsibility lies in respect of ourselves, our own thinking when it comes to our head, neck, back relationship working together as a unity, which in turn informs everything else.

Whilst having lessons I restored 5cms to my height and, importantly, discovered I never encountered any criticism, even though I was aware my habits were always being observed. I don't think I really appreciated the enormity of what was occurring, although I certainly noted gradual improvement. I recall feeling a sense of lightness and indeed relief as I walked out of my lessons, for me I think it was very much a gradual learning process. Just a year into taking lessons, I underwent thyroid surgery, thankfully all went well without any vocal loss and my voice has definitely improved. I very much believe that the underlying reason was for this was my forward and down head balance caused by unreliable sensory appreciation.

I went on to train with Ruth Murray and Alan Philps at The Constructive Teaching Centre and began developing muscle tone. Working with the Technique continues to greatly help when it comes to considering head balance especially, it's ongoing work which just continues. The reactions I had as a youngster brought about complete misunderstanding, frustration, exhaustion and pain, as well as being at a loss as to why I was as I was.  For one thing I had no idea I had grown up having dyspraxia until I began to train.

Following my teaching terms, I have continued to attend The Constructive Teaching Centre to further develop my teaching as well as my own understanding and teaching of the Technique.

I have previous experience of having worked at LAMDA, ArtsEd and the City Lit with performing artists.

I have completed the Developing Self Education Training Course  run by The Developing Self which provides specialist postgraduate study to Alexander Technique teachers working in schools and colleges.

Leigh Farmer Photography