Changing Habits

Category Archives

The “Means Whereby”

When we talk about the “means whereby,” we are talking about what happens from the start of an activity to the end of the activity.  This is usually the time when we are implementing unconscious movement and it’s the time we need to be more aware of.

Some examples are:

  • How do you we hold our toothbrush while brushing?
  • What happens when we run late?
  • How do we take the time while putting on our coats, boots, gathering our keys, closing the door?

We need to be more aware of these moments and how we’re using our body. We have more time than we think we do.

When we’re not being constantly pulled down and in during these activities, we have more space for our bodies to work more efficiently. This creates more body awareness (in space) as we go through these small movements. These movements are the “means whereby.”

Educating Speakers & Singers

Vocal health Un-slumping:

Singers and executive speakers think your body as a large container that the sound moves up & out of. Undo the slumping and lengthen up through that whole container. It’s elegant not because we are trying to be elegant but because we are unslumping and the sound carries up & out.



So it comes back to your being able to make a choice. Not that this technique give you the “right answer” but it gives you something different than what you’ve been doing and it also gives you a means for choosing.

Becoming organized in the body

As an Alexander Technique teacher my job is to teach my students how to become more organized.  Meaning to have them notice their habit, own it & let it go.  What happens is they then get organized by not doing their habit and the “right ” thing does it self,  ie: organization.  More on this later

student on ball

Spine, Part 2

So now we know more then we did before about the spine.

More fact about how we might “use” ourselves around posture and uprightness.

I like to think of the spine a a long beautiful pole that has 3 curves, moves & has flexibility.

WE want to think about LENGTHING through the spine, not pulling down and collapsing.

So what do we mean when we say that.    It is usually when we feel back pain, compression and are folding in 1/2 under our rib or any other place through the spine.  We want to un-do that and length up, out through our heads.  Like a whale with a spout!!! UP TO THE HEAVENS!

more to come…..


Vertebrae and ribs

Welcome to 2017 Your Year of Healthy Spine

With the over use  of our devices we have developed unhealthy habits around our spine.

Tips for the year regarding our spine are:

1- there is no hinge in our spine, meaning we all collapse under our ribs trying like “mad” to put a hinge where there is none.

2- good new, we have a hinge it is where our legs meet our torso, pelvic girdle.

3- Still good news: we can pivot there to move through space to reach our computer, to reach  across the table to get the salt, as we stand at the sink and wash our dishes or fill the dishwasher, or pick up the baby.

4-Now we are getting it… more later



Gwynne Marshall Alexander Technique Movement Specialist NYC upper west side manhattan


Some more food for thought:  this teaching, Technique does not give us/you the right answer but it teaches/gives you something different then what you’ve been doing and it also gives you a means for choosing.

What this means is you now have a choice  you can do the old thing, habit or you can make a choice not to.   And in doing that you undo the old and something new/different is available.  More about that later…..

student on ball

Dare to be Wrong

Dare to be wrong.   Take a chance to find out what you do that is causing the discomfort/habit, and allow me to give you an experience that you don’t know nor  feels right.

Students often say “I feel crooked, I feel uneven” at the end of a lesson.  I then ask them to look in the mirror and to their surprise they are upright and straight.  The new experience is now in the body and possible for them to find again.

“Taking Time”

Working with my student this week I am reminded something Walter Carrington talked about something called ”taking time”.

When we go to do something we often are rushing what if we came back to ourselves (here is jargon) so I am going to explain to you what I mean. We want to stop/pause whatever we are doing in our rushing and notice the tension we are using and do it with less tension undoing our habit. One moment a millisecond, I promise this takes little time to notice. It is the noticing that we then can free ourselves to direct out our heads and go on our merry way doing our task. It will happen with less effort/tension and much more joy.