Be still for a moment
Imagine your hands plunging into sand
Feel them pressing against a cool window pane
Winding into soft fabric
Then bring to mind someone dear to you
And visualising that you’re holding each other’s hand
Be still for a moment
Do nothing but allow the exchange
Washing in and out like the tide
Bringing you closer.

In Touch

From 2020-22 we have had to see touch through the lens of contamination and risk: washing hands more often, keeping physical distance, hesitating to touch. For many people, the restriction on this sense has been profound.

Touch has a vast capacity to communicate – physically, emotionally and mentally. Its language is varied and its effects are deep. It affects the one who touches as well as the one who is touched.

The quality of touch is at the heart of an Alexander teacher’s training. The intention of touch is not ‘doing’ but ‘being’. Not forcing but noticing. Not interfering but encouraging natural function; allowing space and a different comprehension of movement.

Refining the Art of Touch

In 2016 I took part in Bruce Fertman’s 2-year postgraduate course for Alexander teachers. A central theme was refining the art of touch: the physical exploration of touch as well as the profound implications of ‘being touched,’ ‘being moved’, ‘being seen’. Touch as direct pathway to the heart.

The recent restriction on touch has been challenging for Alexander Teachers, much of the essential communication of pausing, non-interference and directed thought coming directly from the teacher’s hands to the pupil. Learning to teach online has meant re-directing the sensitivity of touch into refining verbal communication and observing. This has become unexpectedly rewarding for many teachers and their pupils and some teaching continues online.

The return to teaching with physical touch is a great joy. As Alexander teachers we can re-appreciate the value of touch as a means of inviting healthy movement patterns and a feeling of well-being. 

Alexander Technique for Yoga Practitioners

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