Your are looking out over the top of your spine.
Your head is poised.
Gently close your eyelids so they are soft over your eyes.
let your lips be soft and gentle in front of your teeth and gums
Let your hand mold around the roundness of the back of your head like soft wax.
There is distance between your eyelids and the back of your head.
Can you sense its depth?
Allow the possibility of seeing to be back there within the depth.
Gently open your eyelids to receive the light.
Let what you see be seen from the depth within your head,
Your eyes receptive and lively.
Notice the panoramic vision of your visual field
Notice how far you see into the periphery
And when the seen becomes the unseen.
Can you allow your torso, your shoulders to follow your peripheral vision,
To release and open into the wide space of your panoramic view?

Our Visual Field

More and more of our time seems to be spent with our computers, our smart phones and tablets. More and more of us are wearing glasses and have aching backs, necks and shoulders, as well as eyestrain, headaches and tiredness.

Our eyes get captured by the screen, our focus and attention gets drawn in, our shoulders, which may start the day open, get drawn in too… A narrowing vision, a narrowing torso. Our spine buckles and compresses as our eyes fix.

The stresses of working with technology, the need to know, to grasp and in the case of social media, the wish to keep up and not be left out, together with all the subtle undercurrents of anxiety which that may bring, can leave us feeling flattened, exhausted and sore.

About 15 years ago I started to notice my vision changing. It was a visceral and upsetting experience for me and I bought my first pair of glasses. So here I was an AT teacher working to undo harmful patterns of use and torn between accepting my deteriorating eyesight as age-related and wondering if subtle patterns of eye use were contributing to my symptoms.

Peter Grunwald is an Alexander Teacher who has applied and developed the principles developed by F.M. Alexander to benefit eyes, brain and body. The Grunwald Eyebody Method is his unique approach to working with visual disturbance and body and brain function.

I was fortunate to take part in one of Peter’s retreats several years ago and my eyes felt much happier for it. I let the practice slide over the years returning to my habits and noticing further deterioration as my computer use increased.

I reconnected with his work at the beginning of 2022 and again my eyes felt happier and my spirits uplifted. It has renewed my intention to continue the daily practice in this method and I bring eye use awareness into my lessons and classes.

Video – Vision & the Body

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