Alexander Technique
Mahopac, Putnam County, New York
with Laurie Currie, Teacher of the Alexander Technique
                                                                                                                                   Let Your Body Be Your Ally
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Laurie Currie
16 Red Brook Road
Mahopac, NY 10541

845 621 4677

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What Is The Alexander Technique,
And What Does It Have To Do With Quilting?

Human beings are designed to move easily, freely and comfortably. We have a built-in capacity to maintain balanced, effortless posture. Yet how many of us really feel balanced, light and free in our bodies? Instead, here are some examples of what a lot of us experience as quilters. Do you identify with any of the following situations?

  • You slouch or slump at you sewing machine (or computer or desk), even though you try not to.
  • You become uncomfortable standing over your work table or ironing board, or while waiting in line at the fabric shop.
  • You feel stiff bending down to the floor (Picking up dropped pins? Basting a quilt?) and then groan as you haul yourself back up to standing.
  • Your sewing time is increasingly limited due to stiffness, pain or discomfort; perhaps from back, shoulder or neck pain, tension headache, pinched nerves, repetitive stress problems or other symptoms.
  • You react to situations with excessive tension (I've got to finish this quilt/project by tomorrow!)
  • You reach a creative standstill that you cannot seem to break through, no matter how hard you try.
  • You have a vague sense that you could be feeling and functioning better, but you're not quite sure how to get there.

Many people believe that there is little we can do, short of medication, surgery or exercises, to change the way we feel in our bodies. That is simply not true. Those approaches can be valuable, but there is another option available. If you identify with any of the previous situations, you may want to consider having some lessons in the Alexander Technique.

What is that, you ask?

The Alexander Technique is a proven learning process that says this:

  • Each of us has developed our own personal set of postural and movement habits (how we sit, stand, bend, walk, etc.). Those are our habits of use.
  • How we habitually use ourselves in daily activity bears a close relationship to our overall state of health and well-being. In other words, our use affects our functioning, for better or worse.
  • It is possible to change poor habits of use and feel significantly better as a result.

For over 100 years, the Alexander Technique has been helping people change poor body habits, improve their functioning, and tap into their built-in capacity for natural ease and poise. Once a well-kept secret among actors, dancers and musicians, the technique is now becoming more widely recognized by the medical profession and the general public, as a legitimate and useful approach to maintaining and improving health and well-being.

The basic principles governing good posture and movement discovered by F.M. Alexander can be easily learned through a series of lessons from a qualified Alexander teacher. New students start to feel the benefits right away, and soon discover that they are developing practical tools that they can apply to everything they do. They acquire a valuable skill that lasts them a lifetime.

When I first learned about the Alexander Technique over 20 years ago, I was not yet a quilter. Now that I am a quilter (and over 50-Shhh!), I want to be able to keep making quilts for the rest of my life, and I'm sure you do too. I know the Alexander Technique is helping me to do just that. Although it's not just for quilters, for me it is a practical, accessible and immeasurably valuable tool that applies beautifully to the activity of quilting I now so love to do. What's more, it helps me deal with other everyday situations in a more calm and tension-free way. How fortunate for me that it can be both. It can be that for you too.

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