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This video is a great visual way of showing how wrong we can go whilst involved in different activities. The difficulty comes when we lose ourselves in what we are doing, we are busy concentrating on what we are typing on the computer, what we are watching on the telly etc…. taking a little time every now and then to just come back to ourselves and think about how we are sitting whilst typing on the computer or watching the telly. This doesnt have to be a long time, for example if you have just opened an email and are waiting for it to appear on your screen take that time to have a think about how you are sitting. When the adverts come on, rather than forwarding through them use that time to think about how you are sitting have you become slouched.

The more you practice this the more you start to change your habits.

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The Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique will be appearing at Your Horse Live 2012 to promote the benefits of the Alexander Technique to horse riding. Your Horse Live 2012 has a wealth of expertise on show, from top riders such as Charlotte Dujardin and Carl Hester to new and innovative products for the equine market as well as the Alexander Technique which will be featured in the Improve Your Riding Zone.

The society funds this stand and all the teachers kindly volunteer their time to show the horse riding public what the Alexander Technique is all about and how it can help you as riders.

This will be my second year volunteering on the stand and Your Horse Live 2012 is my first year of being chief organiser. Last year was a great success and we managed to give people a real experience of the technique.  As in previous years the teachers on the stand (including myself) will be offering taster sessions to people who want to know more about the Alexander Technique, how it can help improve their riding or find a teacher local to them. The Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique’s stand is number M42 and can be found in the Improve Your Riding Zone.

Also going on in the Improve Your Riding Zone is a timetable of talks / demonstrations on a variety of topics, including the Alexander Technique. Sally Tottle will be giving demonstrations on Saturday at 11:30 and 15:15 and I will be demonstrating at 11:30 and 16:00 on Sunday.

This is a great opportunity to observe the Alexander Technique in action and I’ve even got my own page!

 Sarah Witkin At Your Horse Live 2012

 If you are planning on attending Your Horse Live this year then please come and visit us on the stand, maybe try a taster session and discover how the Alexander Technique can release tension, enable you to rediscover balance of mind and body, ride with less effort and a better position in the saddle. The stand is M42 in the Improve Your Riding Zone .

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A small child, naturally walks, sits and generally uses themselves well.  However, they are not taught this and it soon disappears.  This is due to the habits that they start to develop, the situations they are put in and with the speed of today’s life.  The last thing a child thinks about is how they are sitting, walking or how they are actually using their bodies to do day to day activities.

When a child develops the wrong way of using themselves as with adults it starts to put undue and excess strain on their bodies causing problems such as back pain, neck pain, repetitive strain injuries, general aches and pains to mention a few.

We have all seen children slouching in front of the telly or whilst playing on their Wii or Playstations, huddling over their work whilst doing their homework. By the time we are young adults our bodies and spines have already been contorted into a bad shape and start to pay for the habits that we have unknowing developed.

So how can we stop our children having back pain, neck pain RSI and general aches and pains?  By giving your child Alexander Technique lessons you are getting them to invest in themselves and their future to prevent back pain etc… The beauty of children is that they are like sponges and learn very quickly, learning the Alexander Technique at a young age means that they have the tools and the knowledge to prevent these problems and to start taking responsibility of their own well being.

As well as the physical aspect the Alexander Technique can help with the emotional side of well being.  Learning the Alexander Technique can help a child recognise when they are stressed or anxious, how to deal with that stress and anxiety.  This can help massively with exams and tests at school and the general pressures and strains as they go through life.

Learning the Alexander Technique can help your child find their way through life without the stress and tension.  It will be something that they can use throughout their life.

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New Year – normally means new year’s resolutions. We start out with the best of intentions going on a diet, quitting smoking, cut down on alcohol or get fitter. January can actually be the toughest and most depressing time of the year for many reasons and then we go and set ourselves resolutions. It can really bring up a lot of familiar feelings of failure, shame and guilt which will pull us down.

Applying inhibition to your New Year’s Resolutions may mean that you actually succeed!!!  The thing about the Alexander Technique is that you can apply it to many aspects of your life not just the physical but also the mental.

Inhibition in Alexander Technique terms is giving our self the space to pause, stop, notice our reaction to whatever is going on in our life.  We rush around in our frantic lives with the daily stresses and strains without a thought of what is going on inside us mentally and physically.  We continue on our daily hamster wheel and then wonder why we feel exhausted, down and want to reach for that chocolate bar , cigarette, glass of wine that is calling to us.  Quite often, we are so caught up in our daily lives we lose sight of what we are actually feeling.  The chances are that we have the chocolate bar, cigarette, glass of wine and then wish we hadn’t because now we have failed, we have not kept our New Year’s resolution. 

If at the point we reach for the forbidden thing (chocolate etc…), we remember inhibition, stopped and just took a look at why we wanted it, we may find something out about our self at that moment.  Is it that we are really craving the thing that we cannot have,  is it just the fact that we have told our self that we can’t have it? Is it that we are feeling something else?  Is it because we are actually tired, upset,  had a hard day and this is what we always do when we feel like this, rather than address how we are feeling we reach for that comfort?  By applying inhibition and stopping or pausing for a moment to notice our reaction to that thought of having a glass of wine, a cigarette or chocolate, give our self space, a moment where we can make a choice, to become aware of our self. We can then decide whether we really do want that forbidden thing or whether we need to find another way of dealing with how we are feeling at that moment.

Try inhibition to stop that initial response to grabbing the wine, chocolate or whatever else it is that you want.  Take the time to notice and become aware of what is going on inside you at that moment.  You may be surprised by what you find!!!

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Just a quick note to wish all my pupils past and present a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Remember to try and make some time for yourself and lay in Semi-supine to undo all the hubbub of family visits, kids arguing and cooking Christmas dinner.

Please visit the events page for future offers and workshops for new and existing pupils in the new year.

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STAT (The Society Teachers of the Alexander Technique) have a stand (M38B) at the Your Horse Live Show which is on between 12th and 13th November 2011 at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire.

The STAT stand will be staffed by a variety of STAT approved Alexander Technique Teachers including myself and Sally Tottle throughout the weekend. This is a great opportunity for people to see what the Alexander Technique is and how it can help to improve your riding by giving you better balance, coordination and a better seat.

Come along to the stand and see us, have a chat and demonstration of what the Alexander Technique can do for you.

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