Saturday, 1 February 2014

On 13:52 by Victoria Stanham   No comments
A fellow AT teacher has asked me to explain better the "profound change" that I have undergone through the Alexander Technique that I've been talking about in previous blogs. I'll try to do honour to his questions as best I can, knowing full well that these are difficult things to put into words, and that my words will not be understood how I meant them, but from each reader's personal experience and perspective.

Regardless of this, I will endeavour to answer every question posed to the best of my ability. It might take several posts to cover every point.

Here it goes...

I had been taking lessons on-and-off in the Alexander Technique for several years before I decided to train to become a teacher. I hadn't been one of those pupils who have life-changing experiences in their indivisual lessons (or at least the changes hadn't risen to my awareness clearly enough), but I felt drawn to this work like bees to honey. 

It was during my training that my worldview started rocking.

You see, I'd always been a straight-A student, top of my class everywhere I went. But suddenly I found myself immersed in a different paradigm of teaching and learning; all of my previous notions of what it meant to be a student and what it meant to be a teacher were thrown topsy turvy, and I was thoroughly confused. I didn't know how to "be the best" at this. I went into a panic: all my previous resources seemed meaningless in this new learning paradigm.

What kept me afloat were my teachers; especially the director of our school at the time: Carmen Tarnowski. 

With her own personal blend of life experience, Alexander Technique expertise, love of quoting Shakespeare, Advaita Vedanta philosophy and Ayurvedic knowledge, she held this beacon of light up for me, this inspiring vision of the wonderful potentialities held dormant within the human being. She said the aim of the Technique was uncovering our true talents, those we knew we had but were unable to retrieve, and those we didn't even know existed but which would bloom in due time. I liked that definition immensely.

Her faith in me, her respect for my process, her profound understanding of the psychophysical unity, and most of all her respect for and encouragement of the talents she saw in me helped me have faith in myself too. And it is only in faith that we can take that leap from the known to the unknown.

That is how she kept the limits of a new paradigm, a new way of being in this world, steady for me as I took the first tentative steps into the unknown.

The unknown has hence blown my mind even further afield than the limits of that paradigm. But that is fodder for a future blog.


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