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2018 Congress Papers
‘Standing at the edge’ by Roshi Joan Halifax is a report of Roshi Joan Halifax’s lecture. She is a Buddhist teacher, Zen priest and anthropologist whose recent book Standing at the Edge explores what she calls ‘edge states’. She spoke in particular on five states: altruism, emphathy, integrity, respect and engagement.
‘Time and choice: The underpinnings of inhibition’ by Anne Johnson describes a series of awareness and attention games, for example with eyes closed and open, sitting and rocking on the chair, sliding a heel out while sitting, standing experiencing weight shifts, and the use of imagery.
‘Evolving towards “Yes”’ by Cathy Madden argues for the benefits of thinking in terms of a ‘yes’ as opposed to a ‘no’.
‘The means-whereby workshop’ by John A. Baron reports on a workshop in which the activities of learning a golf swing and speaking a poem were used to illustrate an indirect (means-whereby) approach.
‘Teaching Alexander Technique from ‘Yes’’ by Bob Lada
argues that teaching from a ‘yes-perspective’ is compassionate and open and facilitates movement and flow.
‘Awareness, stillness, and new directions’ by Joan Gavaler describes a workshop where the purpose is to interrupt holding patterns by allowing for more overt movement in order to reduce any tension that interferes with calm and stillness.
‘Intention and advantageous use’ by Paul Norikazu Aoki considers ways of minimising co-contraction by formulating an appropriate intention, especially a ‘leading edge’ intention, using examples such as lifting an arm, walking, and breathing.
‘Post-congress musings’ by Bruce Fertman argues that teacher trainers should be what Abraham Maslow called ‘self-actualising people’ and lists and describes the nine traits of ‘self-actualising people’. A second part lists the nine ‘P’s of progress: pedagogy, profit, profundity, philosophy, people, planning, politics, peace.
‘Bridging the gap’ by Anikó Ball, Rajal Cohen, Monika Gross, Belinda Mello, Stephanie Young reports on the Poise Project, on more research into the Technique, on bringing the Technique to dental professionals, and on how the Technique can be a resource for care partners, specifically care partners of people living with Parkinson’s disease.
‘‘You are an alien bug!’’ by Robyn Avalon describes four experiential games presented at her Congress workshop; the games are: ‘Head leads, body follows’, ‘Rest’, ‘You are an alien bug’, and ‘Meet my chauffeur, habit’, and includes results and discussions.
‘Closing words’ by Kevan A. C. Martin.
2015 Congress Papers
‘A way of practising the Alexander Technique through linking words (guiding orders or direction) with hands-on experience’ by Anne Battye.
‘Teachable moments’ by Pamela Blanc describes her workshop which considered what are the principles, what are the procedures, and what activities do teachers apply the Technique to.
‘Slaying the invisible man’ by Henry Fagg considers why the body so often disappears from our consciousness, is ignored, when we are engaged in an activity.
‘Getting out of splendid isolation’ by Nicola Hanefeld consides why the Technique is not more widely known.
‘Introduction to the Alexander Technique: Returning to your essential nature’ by Anne Johnson; based on the premise that the principles of the Technique are embedded in nature and that our true nature is hidden beneath habits of interference, with two explorations.
‘Beyond posture’ by Anthony Kingsley reconsiders some concepts and some ideas people may have about the Technique, the myth of conscious inhibition, that the primary control is not the head-neck-back relationship, etc.
‘Practising our practice is our theory’ by Sharyn West considers what is unique about the Technique and what it shares with mainstream education for the purpose of knowing one’s ideology, and inviting critical reflection.
‘Timing and touch’ by Erik Bendix; on the many speeds and rhythms within the human organism, and noticing them.
‘Working on oneself – widening the field’ by Dorothea Magonet; on how the teacher can assist the pupil in the process of ‘owning the learning’ so the pupil can continue the work on his/her own, using games such as walking, meeting the wall, hands on wall, backward lunge, and others.
‘Be here now’ by Penny O’Connor; on spatial directions, attention games and spatial experiments for the purpose of being calmly present.
‘Seeds of imagination: Developing creativity in teaching the Alexander Technique’ by Cathy Madden covers her four levels of AT-facilitated exercises for creativity; 1. retraining basic image-making skills; 2. responding to imagined stimuli; 3. linking images to each other; 4. communicating the imagined world. And on dimensional learning.
‘Reasons for thinking about head and support’ by Paul Norikazu Aoki; on the importance of balancing the head on the top of the body, and of thinking of the feet first.
‘Up off your ankles!’ by Joan Frost describes directions for legs, for knees and ankles, standing and lying down.
‘Two practices for sensory integration and the discovery of upward direction’ by Clare Maxwell explores dermatomes through mapping the skin, rather than the bones; sacral, lumbar, thoracic and cervival dermatomes.
‘Curious about experience – moving – noticing – choosing’ by Lucia Walker describes various movement games for developing observation, inhibition, a unified field of attention, directing attention, touching and being touched.
‘Embodied learning of sensing balance by walking a line’ by Wolfgang Weiser; on balancing using a tight-rope to illustrate how deeply individual and non-theorectical an activity is.
‘The hyoid matrix’ by Katherine H. Breen. ‘The hyoid matrix’ is the tongue, the jaw and the hyoid bone and many muscles in the head–neck–back–throat which together form a web which it is argued play a pivotal role in function and use.
‘Postural rehabilitation’ by Elizabeth Reese. Postural rehabilitation (PR) is a manual therapy method to help animals improve their postural organisation. The article discusses normal neutral posture, abnormal compensatory postures, and the similarities between PR and the Technique.
‘STAT Research Group panel’ by Julia Woodman, Lesley Glover, Kathleen Ballard, Korina Biggs, David Gibbens, Jane Clappison; on the work of a STAT committee.
‘Notes from the artist-in-residence’ by Aisling Hedgecock.
2011 Congress Papers
‘Connecting the thought to the experience through Alexander’s words’ by Anne Battye.
‘Human activity – watching and wondering’ by Pamela Blanc describes her workshop with active rest and inhibiting a stimulus.
‘I am a teacher of the Alexander Technique’ by Doris Dietschy consides the questions ‘Am I the teacher I want to be?’, and ‘What is my self map as a teacher?’.
‘“Aim up and stay back under all conditions”’ by Avi Granit. ‘Aim up and stay back under all conditions’ is a sentence that was often used by Patrick Macdonald, and the author explains why it is so important.
‘Breath and poise’ by Jessica Wolf is a report from her workshop.
‘Stillness in motion’ by Korina Biggs describese her workshop on becoming aware of space and volume, in stillness and movement.
‘The monkey position’ by Gerda Druks-Kok describes explorations of monkey in a workshop.
‘The experience of the performer’ by Leslie Felbain.
‘Staying with yourself in this changing world of technological innovation’ by Robert J. Fleck.
‘Touch and feeling’ by Paolo Frigoli is a description of a hands-on workshop.
‘Exploring Alexander Technique principles through movement improvisation’ by Joan Gavaler is a report on her workshop.
‘The words to say the Alexander Technique’ by Minkki Huldén.
‘Compassionate lessons’ by Robert Lada reports on his workshop exploring compassion exercises.
‘Useful models of neuropsychology for today’s practical Alexander work’ by Adrian Mühlebach; using the model of motor programmes for learning and teaching the Technique, and considering the important role of emotional experience memory.
‘Doing, endgaining and other heresies’ by Peter Ribeaux; on how different interpretations of basic concepts and procedures can generate dogma and heresy in the Alexander community.
‘Searching for the authentic’ by Päivi Saraste; on the experience of giving a workshop at the Congress.
‘The Alexander Technique in the context of education and balance’ by Wolfgang Weiser.
2008 Congress Papers
‘Neuroscience panel’ by Glenna Batson.
‘F. M. Alexander’s relevance to life in the fast lane’ by Anne Battye.
‘Forty years with the Alexander Technique’ by Jean Clark are stories from 40 years of teaching the Technique.
‘One plus one makes three’ by Doris Dietschy; on viewing ourselves as a multitude of systems; arguing that interactive complementary forces within us and outside us bring forth a synergetic third condition which is more than its parts.
‘Direction and movement – Their dinstinction and harmonious integration’ by Avi Granit defines ‘direction’ and ‘movement’ and considering how they together create a sequence of movement.
‘Making the link’ by John Hunter.
‘Understand the difference?’ by Yoshi Inada.
‘Teaching without touching, touching without teaching’ by Catherine Kettrick and Peter Ribeaux compares notes between two 20 minutes introductory lessons, the first given by Ribeaux used hands-on work, the second given by Kettrick did not use touch.
‘The love of Brahms and fifty goldfish’ by Gudrun Friederike Lehn; on considering oneself, as a teacher, one’s beliefs about oneself, and one’s intentions.
‘Poise, intention, stillness and movement’ by Tessa Marwick and Paul Versteeg.
‘The use of the arm’ by Jamie McDowell considers the use of the arm for a number of purposes: communicating, reaching, grasping and gripping, throwing and using tools.
‘The directions’ by David Moore is a discussion of the ways directing is understood and practised, and considering the three approaches to the teaching of the directions by Carrington, Barstow and Macdonald.
‘Primary control: What, why, how’ by John Nicholls is a workshop description.
‘Hands, feet and the primary control’ by Peter Ribeaux considers how the arms and legs fit into the total pattern.
‘The Dart Procedures’ by Robin Simmons is a workshop description.
2004 Congress Papers
‘Basic Directions Revisited’ by Jean Clark; on using lights in indicate direction.
‘A lesson in the Alexander Technique’ by Rivka Cohen; on teaching the five principles of the Technique, especially explaining the ‘up’ in primary control.
‘Living without proprioception and touch’ by Jonathan Cole reports on the case of Ian Waterman who through an infection lost the nerve cells of the nervous system involved in touch and proprioception, and how he retraind himself to move.
‘Talking hands’ by Diana Devitt-Dawson.
‘The three “ups”’ by Avi Granit distinguishes between 1. the ‘up’ of the head; 2. the ‘up’ of the back; and 3. the ‘up’ of anti-gravity.
‘Designing a life-changing course of Alexander lessons that addresses a pupil’s needs’ by Frank Kennedy.
‘The uncommitted hand’ by Barbara Kent and Joan Frost; on hands-on non-doing work.
‘Personality adaptations and the Alexander Technique’ by Jamie McDowell considers in what ways some individual are different from others, and suggests that instead of using categories such as personality styles, to employ ‘experience’ categories.
‘Variations of a teacher’s art’ by Cathy Madden; on analysing the conditions of use present and on being creative.
‘From reﬂective practice to effective practice’ by Carolyn Nicholls is an introduction to reflective practice, especially reflective journal keeping.
‘Feet – the final frontier’ by Jane Staggs covers various experiments with feet, for the purpose of becoming more aware of the use of the feet.
‘Neuroscience panel presentation’ by Judith C. Stern.