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Your Springboard for Learning in Bodywork and Movement

View sample pages here
Paperback, eBook
978-1-912085-85-9
1
376
About 260 line drawings and photographs
246 x 189
Published
23 March 2021
18 May 2021
Handspring Publishing

£45.00 GBP / $62.00 USD

Somatics, Dance, Movement

The Alexander Technique

Twelve fundamentals of integrated movement

In this comprehensive text and manual on The Alexander Technique, Penelope Easten offers a broad, new theoretical framework of how integrated movement occurs, including ideas from recent science and practical explorations. The explorations are simple techniques that build on one another, to enable practitioners both to look after themselves in life and practice, and for use with clients to help them understand and integrate what Alexander Technique offers them.

The book emerges out of lessons taken by Penelope Easten between 1990 and 1994 with Miss Goldie, who worked alongside Alexander for thirty years and was closest to him. It presents a new interpretation of how Alexander developed the technique, and what happened next. Taking an evolutionary theme, Penelope Easten considers what movement capacity we have lost in Western culture and how we can re-access it by reawakening older, more balanced movement patterns. The twelve fundamentals of integrated movement described are all practical: biomechanics is one structural fundamental, while many others are aspects of perception and thinking. These are much more part of movement than is mostly realised, because optimal movement is organised around our awareness, focus and goals.

Part 1 introduces the twelve fundamentals, and how natural breathing emerges when they work together. Part 2 uses body-play, conscious guidance and control and physical pulls to bring all the musculature back into play. Part 3 explores how to let previously unknown integrated movements emerge out of a quiet system. The new scientific theories described and woven together explain how we can live in a flow of dynamic balance and help the reader accept these very different physical experiences.

Penelope Easten joined Elizabeth Larkam for Moved to Learn! in February 2021. Watch her fascinating presentation here.

 

Foreword

Preface

Acknowledgements

Part 1 The basics of fundamental movement

What has been lost and the twelve fundamentals of movement

The fundamentals of structure

The fundamentals of awareness and thinking

The autonomic nervous system – why we need to work from quiet presence and awareness

Finding the innate movements of breathing and walking

Part 2 Linking brain and body with explorations of physical integration

The Initial Alexander technique, and a new model of postural alignment

Single leg balance

Spatial relationships and use of the upper body and arms

Toned sitting – integrating the core muscles

Walking as you’ve never walked before

Alexander’s biomechanics for expansion of the upper body

Precise, springy alignment in sit to stand and “monkey”

Freeing the neck, and Alexander’s primary directions

Part 3 Living in a flow of dynamic balance

Catching a ball – inhibition in action

New models of coordination and learning

Embodied speaking

Relating and attuning to people for putting hands on others

References

Index

Janet L Kadlec, Massage Therapy, Northwestern Health Sciences University (via Doody’s Medical Review Service)

While there are many books on the Alexander technique, I have not found one so focused on going back to the basics of the very beginning of the teachings of Alexander. The author takes Alexander’s understanding of 100 years ago and backs it up with new scientific theory and research. Step by step, the book takes readers from the fundamentals and builds through movement and into the possibilities of unknown integrated movement. This book is easy to read, and the author’s passion and knowledge pull readers in and keep them turning the pages.

This book does an amazing job of covering exactly what the title states: the Alexander technique and the fundamentals of movement that are important for anyone working in an environment that instructs others on muscles and movement, such as physical therapy, rehabilitation, massage, or personal training.

The purpose is to present a complete, in-depth understanding of the teachings and techniques of Alexander. The author has done her research and studied under the people closest to Alexander, making this an amazing, easy-to-read and follow book, not only to study but to explore. This book is long overdue and desperately needed. Modern science is learning more about the mind-body connection, exactly what Alexander addressed 100 years ago with his first teaching. This book not only addresses the ‘what’ and the ‘why’ of his teachings and backs it up with modern scientific findings, it goes on to instruct in the “how” with pictures and video links for students and teachers. It meets its objectives on all levels and goes above and beyond in the wealth of information.

While the author states, ‘this book is offered to the AT profession as a contribution toward filling the gap for trainees and for teachers’, it goes beyond this as a handbook for everyone interested in improving their own movement or the movement of those they work with in any occupation involved with rehabilitation or improving muscular function. The author has spent a lifetime “living” this book. Her passion has led her to study, travel, learn, and then study more until she found the answers to the Alexander technique. She has put all that information and knowledge into an amazing package that everyone can benefit from.

The book lays out a wonderful framework, flowing from fundamentals of movement into how the brain and body are linked, and then how to take all of that and live in balance. The book takes readers step by step through the understanding backed up with new scientific theory into the application, with a natural progression through lessons focused on each different area of the body and then combining all into flowing movements as simple as catching a ball and speaking. Unique features of these lessons are scannable links to videos with the author presenting the movement lessons. The index makes it easy to pinpoint a topic readers may wish to find quickly. The only shortcoming of this book is that readers will not be able to put it down and they will never be able to ‘just move’ again without marvelling at the intricacies of the body, mind, and movement.

What Alexander Technique teachers say about Penelope Easten’s work:

‘My copy of Penelope Easten‘s groundbreaking book arrived a few weeks ago! I am blown away, and will need months to let it all sink in. Wow… If you don’t have it yet, get it! Years of her experience, knowledge and in-depth research on teaching integrated movement is explained comprehensively, yet accessibly, with practical applications, and plenty of wonderful movement explorations. Alexander Technique, movement science, neuroscience, and so much more; importantly, clarifying the so-easily misunderstood areas, such as the ‘psychophysical’ concepts, spatial awareness, ‘inhibition’, biotensegrity, muscle tone, directions, fascia, proprioception, Body Mapping, interoception, embodied consciousness, etc, all well-referenced. A masterful assimilation and a treasure of missing puzzle pieces, very beautifully presented, and charting exciting collaborative ways forward.

Dr Bridget Rennie-Salonen, flautist, lecturer, and Performing Arts Health practitioner and researcher

‘Alexander Technique has come a long way. In her book Penelope charts the journey so well both in her words and her pictures. This book is a wonderful resource for everyone who is interested in their get-up-and-go vitality. Whether dipping in or studying long term, there is something for every ‘body’. For students, teachers, lay people and professionals, yoga and Pilates teachers and all disciplines working with the body. Penelope has brought her years of self-exploration and self-work to it. For newbies and experienced teachers alike, she has covered all aspects to provide a self-study manual with step-by-step, easy to understand exploration. She has presented great illustrations of which most are her own modelling; in short, she is her own words personified in her pictures. Penelope demonstrates her many years of practical application of the technique. She includes easy to understand explanations of modern concepts e.g. fascia, making the complex simple in non-technical language. I give this book and Penelope 20 out of 10 for her tenacity and commitment to writing a book with so much wisdom in it. Well done Penelope.’

Jann McMichael, Alexander Technique teacher and trainer (www.alexandertechnique.co.nz)

“Penelope is a humble genius with an incredible depth of knowledge and creative flair, making her innovating work exciting and irresistible!”

Chris English Bristol, UK Alexander technique teacher and classical dressage rider and coach

“Penelope´s deep understanding of functional anatomy and complex brain processes are explained candidly and many anecdotal stories enliven the book making it easy and enjoyable to read.”

Sara Robledo, Mexico. Teacher of AT, Yoga and Pilates, singer/dancer

“An experiential, dynamic re-framing of FM Alexander’s principles, rooted in biomechanics, neurophysiology, decades of experience, and PLAY!”

Rebecca Poole c.AmSAT, m.ACAT, New York, NY.

“Alexander’s concepts of direction are taken to a new level, bringing about an incredible coordinative strength in carrying out activities.  No other course of study has influenced me more in how I approach teaching my trainees, groups, and private students.

Brian McCullough, Director, Minnesota Center for the Alexander Technique and faculty Alexander Technique teacher at the University of Minnesota

No musician should be without this book. Read and study it and you will have the keys not only to wellness and reduced performance anxiety but also to enhanced musical technique and performance through an integrated and responsive body.

Alison P. Deadman PhD, teacher of the Alexander technique, Professor of Music at East Tennessee State University

This will become the modern encyclopaedia for Alexander Technique teachers, bodywork practitioners of any kind, for the performing arts and for anyone interested in human nature.

Annedore Kleist. Berlin. Actor and Alexander Technique teacher

£45.00 GBP / $62.00 USD Free delivery in the UK and USA

Buy now

Buy eBook >
Penelope EASTEN

Penelope Easten has been teaching Alexander Technique internationally since 2004.

Read More ›

Bulk discounts
for course
instructors
Ordering for
your class?
Get in touch >

You may also be interested in:

The Alexander Technique

Twelve fundamentals of integrated movement

£45.00 GBP / $62.00 USD Free delivery in the UK and USA

Buy now

  Buy eBook >
View sample pages here

In this comprehensive text and manual on The Alexander Technique, Penelope Easten offers a broad, new theoretical framework of how integrated movement occurs, including ideas from recent science and practical explorations. The explorations are simple techniques that build on one another, to enable practitioners both to look after themselves in life and practice, and for use with clients to help them understand and integrate what Alexander Technique offers them.

The book emerges out of lessons taken by Penelope Easten between 1990 and 1994 with Miss Goldie, who worked alongside Alexander for thirty years and was closest to him. It presents a new interpretation of how Alexander developed the technique, and what happened next. Taking an evolutionary theme, Penelope Easten considers what movement capacity we have lost in Western culture and how we can re-access it by reawakening older, more balanced movement patterns. The twelve fundamentals of integrated movement described are all practical: biomechanics is one structural fundamental, while many others are aspects of perception and thinking. These are much more part of movement than is mostly realised, because optimal movement is organised around our awareness, focus and goals.

Part 1 introduces the twelve fundamentals, and how natural breathing emerges when they work together. Part 2 uses body-play, conscious guidance and control and physical pulls to bring all the musculature back into play. Part 3 explores how to let previously unknown integrated movements emerge out of a quiet system. The new scientific theories described and woven together explain how we can live in a flow of dynamic balance and help the reader accept these very different physical experiences.

Penelope Easten joined Elizabeth Larkam for Moved to Learn! in February 2021. Watch her fascinating presentation here.

 

Foreword

Preface

Acknowledgements

Part 1 The basics of fundamental movement

What has been lost and the twelve fundamentals of movement

The fundamentals of structure

The fundamentals of awareness and thinking

The autonomic nervous system – why we need to work from quiet presence and awareness

Finding the innate movements of breathing and walking

Part 2 Linking brain and body with explorations of physical integration

The Initial Alexander technique, and a new model of postural alignment

Single leg balance

Spatial relationships and use of the upper body and arms

Toned sitting – integrating the core muscles

Walking as you’ve never walked before

Alexander’s biomechanics for expansion of the upper body

Precise, springy alignment in sit to stand and “monkey”

Freeing the neck, and Alexander’s primary directions

Part 3 Living in a flow of dynamic balance

Catching a ball – inhibition in action

New models of coordination and learning

Embodied speaking

Relating and attuning to people for putting hands on others

References

Index

Janet L Kadlec, Massage Therapy, Northwestern Health Sciences University (via Doody’s Medical Review Service)

While there are many books on the Alexander technique, I have not found one so focused on going back to the basics of the very beginning of the teachings of Alexander. The author takes Alexander’s understanding of 100 years ago and backs it up with new scientific theory and research. Step by step, the book takes readers from the fundamentals and builds through movement and into the possibilities of unknown integrated movement. This book is easy to read, and the author’s passion and knowledge pull readers in and keep them turning the pages.

This book does an amazing job of covering exactly what the title states: the Alexander technique and the fundamentals of movement that are important for anyone working in an environment that instructs others on muscles and movement, such as physical therapy, rehabilitation, massage, or personal training.

The purpose is to present a complete, in-depth understanding of the teachings and techniques of Alexander. The author has done her research and studied under the people closest to Alexander, making this an amazing, easy-to-read and follow book, not only to study but to explore. This book is long overdue and desperately needed. Modern science is learning more about the mind-body connection, exactly what Alexander addressed 100 years ago with his first teaching. This book not only addresses the ‘what’ and the ‘why’ of his teachings and backs it up with modern scientific findings, it goes on to instruct in the “how” with pictures and video links for students and teachers. It meets its objectives on all levels and goes above and beyond in the wealth of information.

While the author states, ‘this book is offered to the AT profession as a contribution toward filling the gap for trainees and for teachers’, it goes beyond this as a handbook for everyone interested in improving their own movement or the movement of those they work with in any occupation involved with rehabilitation or improving muscular function. The author has spent a lifetime “living” this book. Her passion has led her to study, travel, learn, and then study more until she found the answers to the Alexander technique. She has put all that information and knowledge into an amazing package that everyone can benefit from.

The book lays out a wonderful framework, flowing from fundamentals of movement into how the brain and body are linked, and then how to take all of that and live in balance. The book takes readers step by step through the understanding backed up with new scientific theory into the application, with a natural progression through lessons focused on each different area of the body and then combining all into flowing movements as simple as catching a ball and speaking. Unique features of these lessons are scannable links to videos with the author presenting the movement lessons. The index makes it easy to pinpoint a topic readers may wish to find quickly. The only shortcoming of this book is that readers will not be able to put it down and they will never be able to ‘just move’ again without marvelling at the intricacies of the body, mind, and movement.

What Alexander Technique teachers say about Penelope Easten’s work:

‘My copy of Penelope Easten‘s groundbreaking book arrived a few weeks ago! I am blown away, and will need months to let it all sink in. Wow… If you don’t have it yet, get it! Years of her experience, knowledge and in-depth research on teaching integrated movement is explained comprehensively, yet accessibly, with practical applications, and plenty of wonderful movement explorations. Alexander Technique, movement science, neuroscience, and so much more; importantly, clarifying the so-easily misunderstood areas, such as the ‘psychophysical’ concepts, spatial awareness, ‘inhibition’, biotensegrity, muscle tone, directions, fascia, proprioception, Body Mapping, interoception, embodied consciousness, etc, all well-referenced. A masterful assimilation and a treasure of missing puzzle pieces, very beautifully presented, and charting exciting collaborative ways forward.

Dr Bridget Rennie-Salonen, flautist, lecturer, and Performing Arts Health practitioner and researcher

‘Alexander Technique has come a long way. In her book Penelope charts the journey so well both in her words and her pictures. This book is a wonderful resource for everyone who is interested in their get-up-and-go vitality. Whether dipping in or studying long term, there is something for every ‘body’. For students, teachers, lay people and professionals, yoga and Pilates teachers and all disciplines working with the body. Penelope has brought her years of self-exploration and self-work to it. For newbies and experienced teachers alike, she has covered all aspects to provide a self-study manual with step-by-step, easy to understand exploration. She has presented great illustrations of which most are her own modelling; in short, she is her own words personified in her pictures. Penelope demonstrates her many years of practical application of the technique. She includes easy to understand explanations of modern concepts e.g. fascia, making the complex simple in non-technical language. I give this book and Penelope 20 out of 10 for her tenacity and commitment to writing a book with so much wisdom in it. Well done Penelope.’

Jann McMichael, Alexander Technique teacher and trainer (www.alexandertechnique.co.nz)

“Penelope is a humble genius with an incredible depth of knowledge and creative flair, making her innovating work exciting and irresistible!”

Chris English Bristol, UK Alexander technique teacher and classical dressage rider and coach

“Penelope´s deep understanding of functional anatomy and complex brain processes are explained candidly and many anecdotal stories enliven the book making it easy and enjoyable to read.”

Sara Robledo, Mexico. Teacher of AT, Yoga and Pilates, singer/dancer

“An experiential, dynamic re-framing of FM Alexander’s principles, rooted in biomechanics, neurophysiology, decades of experience, and PLAY!”

Rebecca Poole c.AmSAT, m.ACAT, New York, NY.

“Alexander’s concepts of direction are taken to a new level, bringing about an incredible coordinative strength in carrying out activities.  No other course of study has influenced me more in how I approach teaching my trainees, groups, and private students.

Brian McCullough, Director, Minnesota Center for the Alexander Technique and faculty Alexander Technique teacher at the University of Minnesota

No musician should be without this book. Read and study it and you will have the keys not only to wellness and reduced performance anxiety but also to enhanced musical technique and performance through an integrated and responsive body.

Alison P. Deadman PhD, teacher of the Alexander technique, Professor of Music at East Tennessee State University

This will become the modern encyclopaedia for Alexander Technique teachers, bodywork practitioners of any kind, for the performing arts and for anyone interested in human nature.

Annedore Kleist. Berlin. Actor and Alexander Technique teacher

Paperback, eBook
978-1-912085-85-9
1
376
About 260 line drawings and photographs
246 x 189
Published
23 March 2021
Handspring Publishing

£45.00 GBP / $62.00 USD

Somatics, Dance, Movement

Penelope EASTEN

Penelope Easten has been teaching Alexander Technique internationally since 2004.

Read More ›

You may also be interested in:

Bulk discounts
for course
instructors
Ordering for
your class?
Get in touch >