April 11, 2014

Consciousness and Beingness and a Tool to Handle Stress

To all my friends...so many of whom come to me lately, stressed out.

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We get stressed out and need a way to survive, sometimes even a way to survive success.

Today a student came in, all stressed out from a deadline in a high tech company.
I said, that we all need a way to survive stress. We need tools to deal with it. Otherwise, even if the project comes in under deadline, if there’s nothing left of yourself, after, what’s the point?

I thought about what I would do for myself and shared with him.

What I do is take a walk with my dogs for five minutes

I walk them and feel the sunshine on my back. I feel the air on the skin of my face and I look at my dogs trotting along. They plop down and sit in the grass and look around and it reminds me that there is more going on in life than just what’s inside my own head.

Observing something in nature
just for a moment
really to LOOK

and in that moment of looking, we are pausing….just for a moment

Take just a moment to LOOK. Just notice the twitching that’s going on in his body
and see it happening from inside himself.
Take just a moment to LOOK at it and let it be, notice it’s happening and just WATCH it.

and that LOOKING,
is not reacting but just LOOKING

and in that not reacting we Pause
and have a moment to BE

We are just observing something out in the world – a tree – a bug on the grass – ourselves – just noticing that we have twitches. It’s a message from our body that we’re over doing it. The nervous system can’t keep up and is reacting.

We just observe it
and notice we’re not reacting to the reaction

and at some point, we can notice that we are feeling it and also observing it
and we are the one observing ourselves
and that is Consciousness
being the observer and also being inside ourselves and noticing that we are in both places

and in that moment is a place of peace
it is a place of just being-ness

from that place we grow quiet

and in that quiet we can choose our response

that is the essence of the Alexander Technique

Observing and being the observed and noticing both

And then we can let ourselves Be

send a thought in the body, down the legs into the floor and up along the back out the head into the sky
With opposing directions and space in-between

Space to breathe
Space to unwind
Space to be free.

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March 28, 2014

Dancer Foot Care Clinic/ Better in Stilettos

Come, Dancers, to a Foot Care Clinic!

Sunday, March 30, 1-3 pm
Alonzo King's LINES Dance Center

My friend, Gigi Jensen says this about foot problems:

Fellow Tangueras*

As a teacher, I see women all the time who have foot problems that get in the way of their dance enjoyment. Why? I think the following are contributors:

1.Shoes that lack good support & have too high of heels

2. Dancing with your weight tilted forward leaning on your partner and putting tremendous strain on the balls of your feet

3. Poor posture caused by both incorrect head placement and weak feet

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Continue reading "Dancer Foot Care Clinic/ Better in Stilettos" »

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March 20, 2014

Freeing the Light Within

Hello friends,

Sharing a lovely poem. "Let the whole being be free!"
Yes!

"Unfettered, let us walk through our days
As reflections to each other
Of what is possible,
Of what it is, when
Love's eyes look upon the world
And see the truth beyond the shadows. "

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Continue reading "Freeing the Light Within" »

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March 4, 2014

Coming back to one's Self: Non-judgment, compassion, and the Alexander Technique

My friends,

My friend, Shelley Lundquist, wrote a beautiful perspective on blame vs. compassion:

“When we blame, it's always about us not the other person. When we see flaws in others as opposed to understanding that they are doing the best they can with what they have, we are judging them. When we judge, we leave little room for love and compassion. These are our limitations, not theirs.”

"The fault is in the blamer - Spirit sees nothing to criticize." ~ Rumi ♥♥

She added, “Judgment creates walls. Love tears them down.

When we learn to look through eyes of Love, all we see is a person's magnificence transforming itself anew every single day.”

Staying poised in myself is the most difficult part. After all, it’s easy enough to look at people with love when I’m feeling centered and calm. I can withhold blame. I am able to look outside myself and see that maybe they are tired, or scared. It is not an excuse to shout and scream, but it makes me see they are simply human.

When I'm off balance, it’s much easier to be reactive and upset than calm and compassionate. Especially when it concerns the people to whom I feel closest, it can be very difficult to suspend judgment.

This is the area of life that I'm working to apply Alexander Technique to myself.

Alexander Technique is a way of connecting mind – literally, your thoughts – and your body – so that everything works in harmony. When you’re tense, your muscles tighten. When your muscles are tight, your mind gets tight. Emotions can be tense, too.

Continue reading "Coming back to one's Self: Non-judgment, compassion, and the Alexander Technique" »

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February 26, 2014

Alice Herz-Sommer, Inspiration to live life as a gift.

Hello friends,

When things get tough, sometimes I have a hard time not complaining. I think downward thoughts, I feel badly, and it's hard to always stay cheerful.

Alice Herz-Sommer, pianist and oldest living survivor of the Holocaust, recently passed away at 110. In an interview with Tony Robbins, this woman - this remarkable woman - shares the wisdom she's learned and how she was able to survive the holocaust while still staying sunny-side-up. A fabulous, uplifting spirit that reminds me to look up, not down.

"What did I learn in my long life?
...to learn
...to be thankful...to be thankful for everything
Everything is a present.
This I learned; to be thankful for everything."
~Alice Herz-Sommer

A film about her life is nominated for an Oscar this year.

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February 7, 2014

What is the Alexander Technique? Video

Hello my friends,

I just came across a wonderful, brief introduction to the Alexander Technique. It's by a teacher, actor, and Argentine Tango dancer in Los Angeles, CA: Brett Hershey.

Enjoy!

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October 4, 2013

I Will Not Forget This, My Friend - a documentary film.

Dear Friends,

This is a documentary film that tells the story of a critical battle in 1948, in Israel's War of Independence.

This is the story of the incredible bravery and painful losses of a group of young men who lived, fought and died together. It is a moving, human story with an immediate, personal sense of the terrible cost of war. I wish everyone would watch and realize how terrible war is, and realize this cost being so high, as to prevent all wars.

It is also my father's story.

I have had the incredibly moving experience of meeting and thanking some of the men who carried my father out from the battlefield when he was wounded, while still under fire, themselves.

This film helped to create a living memorial for those who died. My father wrote the melody for the title song as well as creating the English version of the film.

Sometimes it is the harder task to go on, as he did. I am so incredibly proud of my father, Amnon Ben-Yehuda.

Please watch:

I WILL NOT FORGET THIS, MY FRIEND from Amnon Ben-Yehuda on Vimeo.

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April 22, 2013

TED talk: Facing Future/ Posture and Alexander Technique

Friends,

Angela Bradshaw gives a wonderful, clear explanation of the Alexander Technique. Try her demonstration right along with the video. Say hello to your body in a new way!

What a marvelous way to use our minds, discover our habits and find that we can learn to move in a new, more efficient way. Better posture, lighter movement, less pain.

Would you like some? Find a teacher near you, or contact me for lessons in the Bay Area.*

Peace,

Dana

* Three locations: Mountain View, Milpitas, and San Jose

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March 21, 2013

Why Alexander Technique? Why Dance?

Hello my friends,

Why do I teach Alexander Technique?

Why do I dance?

It feels expansive, it feels good, it is a joy like no other.

I move my body and I feel my soul. It springs lightly upward when I dance.

In Alexander work, it is a release of my neck that lets my thoughts go upward and my head, with it.

I feel a unique sense of flow and lightness. It feels light and my head floats up. It is like meditation in action and I create it as I walk, sit, stand, move, and dance.

Want some?

We are psycho-physical-spiritual beings and this is like chocolate for the soul. It is like bringing light to the body, the light of awareness, freedom, joy.

Letting your neck be free is a close parallel to dancing. It's like watching a hummingbird...poised so lightly...stillness and yet all-moving.

Sharing a way to have freedom and joy in your body, in the moment, in the Now.

Namaste,

Dana

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March 14, 2013

Alexander Technique for Dancers at Cheryl Burke Dance

Hello my dancing friends,

I invite you to come to an Alexander Technique workshop and free your hips!

Alexander Technique gives you that extra edge, by releasing tension you may not even notice - till it releases. It's that level of tension that's just "how you are..."

Unless it isn't.

This class will focus on freeing the hips for easier, lighter, smoother movement. Release tension in your muscles and joints. Discover the power of your legs!

We’ll take a look at how your skeleton is built and learn to free the hips and legs to move easily and independently. Learn new ways to connect your thinking and your body for freer, easier movement. Knowledge is power!

Saturday, March 30 11:00 am – 12:30 pm

Continue reading "Alexander Technique for Dancers at Cheryl Burke Dance " »

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February 26, 2013

Inspiration for a lifetime: Tony Robbins interviews Holocaust survivor Alice Herz-Sommer

Hello my friends,

I'm emerging from winter hibernation and emerging into Spring. I blog again!

Here is the most amazing video for you...It is enough inspiration to last me a lifetime. Seriously, if I watched this every morning when I woke up, I'd be a better person (and more fun, too).

"Everything is a present..." Alice Herz-Sommer

Here's to finding laughter and joy every day,

Dana

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December 17, 2012

Dance and the Alexander Technique: Better Posture with Less Tension

Hello my friends!

Have you ever noticed that you can tell who someone is from a distance, just by their posture?

In some ways, posture literally is like a carrying card that says who we are, before we arrive.

Think about it; we recognize people by the way the carry themselves. Most of our posture is not on purpose, it’s just how we are. It’s our habit; it’s not conscious.

Our habits of posture are also the limiting factor from looking better and moving better on the dance floor. One of my dancer students had issues with shoulder tension; we traced it back to years of playing the violin. Old habits CAN be changed, but the first step is to become aware of them. Maybe it isn't about dance...

If you're hearing the same comments from your teacher, over time, maybe a look at your basic alignment OUTSIDE the dance studio will be the key.

Do you want that last little bit of extension without tightening up? Would you like to have better balance because you literally feel more clearly, where your head and feet are as you move?

Lightness in movement and better balance and poise are key traits of the Alexander Technique. Students say they feel a sense of flow in the body. Beyond letting go of pain, is a positive sense of well-being.

Are you curious? Drop me a line. I'm offering a limited number of free, 20 minute consultations between now and the end of January. Come find out what it feels like to allow flow rather than push...

Start the New Year with freedom and flow!
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Dana

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