August 22, 2015

The power to change - in dance, in movement, in life

Hello my friends!

Here's a question for you.

Suppose you are a dancer and you want to move differently than you've been used to doing, and it's not working.

What do you do?

Do you just try harder?

You want to have an upright posture even while you lower into your legs, but every time you tell yourself to lower, your body collapses. You try it over and over again, but it doesn't work.


and the upper body falls

Lower! say to yourself, "and I really mean it this time...'

...and you lower and the legs bend, and the torso sinks...


and again...

Here's a secret: If you want to change how you move in dance, change your thinking.

It's a little bit like rubbing your head and patting your stomach, it feels odd at first.

And I will not lie to you, doing it well, takes practice.

I know.

I spend hours training myself out of old habits of floating around the dance floor feeling good but not having any particular form, to being able to use my body in the way I want it to move.

It's not just about practice.

It's the way you practice.
It's how you think while you are in movement
and how you connect that thinking with different body awareness.

I use this as a dancer.

I think upwards and lower into my legs. I use every mind-body Alexander thought I can muster...and my dance is improving. There's always room for more improvement, but I see change.

Apple was right! Think different. And connect that thinking to different body awareness.

Whatever you think you feel, there's more...much more...



*Alexander Technique is about connecting thought and muscular activity. It increases your body awareness and gives you the power to change how you do, what you do, as you do it.

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August 21, 2015

Welcome to Dana's Dance Diary


I've been D4dancing for as long as I've had email, but even my friends and family may be surprised by this. Loving dance is one thing. Living it, is something else.

A few years ago I was inspired.

I wanted to take "A Year to Dance," and so I recorded my dancing every day for a year.

I missed some days and may miss some days in this diary but I will do my human best to jot a few notes about my exploration.

I finally decided to live the dream.

To live as a dancer

And to share what I know with my students, my friends, and with You.

I don't know how It will all work out but I know it is my soul purpose, connecting with my inner Light, through Dance.

As a friend said recently, "do what you love and find a way to make money at it."

In that order

Doing what I love

I'm an *Alexander Teacher, having first come into contact with it over 30 years ago

And I'm a Dancer, having first come into contact with dance before I can remember myself as a sentient being.

This is my dance diary, an exploration of how the body moves from the inside out, applying it to Ballroom, to Argentine Tango, to Dance.

Exploring how the exchange of energy works between partners.

Finding ways to free myself from the constraints of old muscular habits, or even more limiting, old beliefs about what I THINK my body can do.

No limits, no age, no holds barred.

I dance because I have to dance

It is my soul
And not to dance is to deny who I am

Once upon a time in a lifetime long, long ago, I wanted to be a dance major in college. but everyone else seemed so much better than me. I didn't believe in myself...not enough...not then.

Living the Dream.

Come, join me on this little expedition into life as Dancer.

See you tomorrow.



*Alexander Technique is about connecting thought and muscular activity. It increases your body awareness and gives you the power to change how you do, what you do, as you do it.

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August 7, 2015

Heads Up on Posture

Hello Friends,

Once upon a time, my mother would ask me to place a book on top of my head and walk around the living room. Head held high, off I'd go for as long as possible. It was an interesting precursor both to my profession teaching the Alexander Technique, and my beloved avocation, ballroom dancing.

As it happens, walking with a book on your head is not a bad idea! It may help you think about keeping your head up on top.

The world famous dancer, Bill Irwine, demonstrated ballroom dancing with a teacup on his head. He was that smooth and that elegantly balanced in movement.

Try it; can you walk with a book on your head? Does it help you stay upright?
Do you dare try a teacup?

Why can't you just "straighten up" at will and stay that way?

Continue reading "Heads Up on Posture" »

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May 10, 2015

Mom was right, POSTURE MATTERS!

Hello my friends,

Did you mom tell you to sit up straight? It turns out she was right...

The American Journal of Pain Management, 1994, 4: 36-39 says it all:

Posture affects and moderates every physiologic function from breathing to hormonal production.

Spinal pain, headache, mood, blood pressure, pulse, and lung capacity are among the functions most easily influenced by posture.

The most significant influences of posture are upon respiration, oxygenation, and sympathetic function. Ultimately, it appears that homeostasis and autonomic regulation are intimately connected with posture. The corollary these observations that many symptoms, including pain, may be moderated or eliminated by improved posture.

with special thanks to my colleague in the U.K, Adrian Farrell, for this quote.

Posture....and your health. Source: the American Journal of Pain ManagementThanks to Adrian Farrell

Posted by Dana Ben-Yehuda on Sunday, May 10, 2015

There is a way to restore your natural posture and poise. It's a gentle method called the Alexander Technique.

"Try it, you'll like it"

Happy Mother's Day!

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April 13, 2015

Alexander Technique @ the Palo Alto JCC - Confidence Posture and Poise

Hello my friends!

You are invited! Come be part of a small group class and receive intensive personal attention in a new, 4 week series: Alexander Technique for Confidence, Posture and Poise

Class begins this Saturday, April 18th. Class is OPEN TO ALL, you don’t have to be a member to participate.

Come for the series if you can, drop in if you need!


Saturdays, April 18 & 25 and May 2 & 16
Meet in the Fitness Center Lobby
10:00 AM-11:30 AM
$160 Members | $200 General Public
Drop-in Rate: $45 Members | $55 General Public

Register online:

Or call Bonnie @ the JCC (650) 223-8719

Note – this will be limited to the first 10 people to sign up, so that I can give lots of individual attention. Sign up today!

In this series, you will:

- Learn a step-by-step process and specific techniques to improve your posture and increase your confidence and poise.
- Learn to identify habits you have built up over a lifetime of stress and move more freely.
- Walk away feeling tall, confident and more comfortable in your own body.

Good posture correlates to positive self-image and lower stress hormones. Studies show that powerful posture is even more important than hierarchical power in organizations.

This is fabulous for anyone wanting to advance in their profession or who does presentations.

Come walk tall and feel like the star you are!

Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions.

Be tall! Feel free!


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January 20, 2015

Free talk on Confidence, Posture and Poise - with Alexander Technique

Dear Friends,

The New Year has begun, and I’d like to take the opportunity to express my gratitude to you. Thank you for the incredible privilege of working with you and witnessing your growth. To my friends and family, thank you for being part of my world. I appreciate and am grateful for each and every one of you

First up in 2015 - Save the date for a free talk on Confidence, Posture and Poise.

Saturday, February 7
1:30 PM–2:30 PM
Room E-104, Oshman Family JCC, 3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto

- Studies show that powerful posture is more important than hierarchical power in organizations.

- The way you enter a room instantly sends a message.

- Use your inner body awareness as a power tool to create the image you would like to convey.

Register for this free talk:
email Bonnie Mclaughlin at
or call (650) 223-8719

Come to a fun talk, bring your friends, all are welcome!
Take home tips you can use immediately to improve your presence!

Remember to register by phone or email as space is limited.

I wish you health, happiness and success in 2015.

May you walk tall and feel fabulous!


P.S. As you move forward into self-care after a series of lessons, please remember to share about your experience. Your referrals are what allow me to keep being here for you and everyone, and I appreciate them very much.

Dana Ben-Yehuda, M.AmSAT

Certified Alexander Technique Practitioner
Practitioner of Reconnective Healing® and The Reconnection®

“…Empowering people to live pain free, with grace and poise.”
phone: 650-964-4308

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January 9, 2015

Practicing Dentistry Pain-Free, at the 36th Australian Dental Congress

Dr Aniko Ball is a dentist in Melbourne, Australia. Like many others in the dental profession, she gradually developed pain to an extent that interfered with her ability to do the work.

If you are a dentist, dental hygienist, or dental assistant, you may know what this means. Bending over patients and feeling your neck ache. Your back gets sore. What began as a nagging ache becomes a distracting pain.

What can you do?

Dr. Ball found a way out of pain through the Alexander Technique, and will be speaking on this subject at the 36th Australian Dental Congress.

Alexander Technique is a proven method for postural re-training whose effectiveness is evidence based. Published studies on Alexander Technique include:

- A large-scale study published by the British Medical Journal in 2008 on low back pain and the Alexander Technique. Results: 86% less back pain after 24 lessons in the Alexander Technique, alone. See British Medical Journal BMJ 2008;337:a884

- A study with pediatric urology surgeons, who are in static postures while doing minimally invasive surgery. Study results show the positive impact of Alexander lessons on surgical fatigue and pain. Presented at the American Urological Society (AUA).

Also for your reference, here is an article on the Alexander Technique in the Journal for the California Dental Hygienists Assn (CDHA).

It truly is possible to work pain free. Posture and efficient use of the musculo-skeletal system is key to feeling well and functioning at your best.

If you’re in the Bay Area and wonder if this may help you, please contact me for a free telephone consultation. I’m also happy to help you find a practitioner in your locale.

To your health!


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December 1, 2014

Your neck, the cell phone, and sitting posture

Hello my friends!

More and more, research shows that good posture is connected with well-being, both inside and out. The way you feel, your mood, and your health, are intrinsically linked.

It turns out that it's not so easy to unfold after sitting for hours, slumped and compressed. In today's Wall St. Journal - Your sitting posture carries over into your standing posture!

Similarly, recent news shows that the hours you spend texting creates forward head and neck posture.

Posture is a habit; it becomes ingrained in the body. Change your posture, change your destiny! If you are like most people real change takes conscious awareness and some help. Alexander Technique is a very good place to start.

In 2008, the British Medical Journal published results of a large scale study: 86% less back pain after 24 lessons in the Alexander Technique, alone. BMJ 2008;337:a884

And in the news: Alexander Technique is being investigated in a large scale clinical trial for neck pain

I'm a fully qualified Alexander Teacher in private practice in the Mt. View/ Palo Alto area of the South Bay since 2002 and a Member in good standing of the American Society for the Alexander Technique (AmSAT). Contact me if you'd like to talk and see if this could be helpful for you.



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November 21, 2014

Heads Up! on Cell Phone Use!

Hello my friends,

If you use a cell phone, heads up - literally! If not, you may be creating damage that will be with you for your lifetime.

Imagine swinging a kettleball by the end of your neck. Tiring, right?

But spin a basketball on the end of your finger, and you won't feel the weight in the same way.

That's your head, 10 pounds or even more poised up on top of your spine. Balanced well, we don't even feel it. Let it fall forward and your entire system will suffer.

The study reports on damage to the spine that increases with the angle of your head and neck:

"...the cumulative effect of years of that stress can lead to degeneration of the spine itself."

Dr. Kornel recommends the Alexander Technique as "a form of training that makes you aware of optimal body positioning."

I'm an AmSAT Certified Alexander teacher with well over a decade of experience. In the Mt. View/Palo Alto area, contact me for a no cost phone consultation and I'll gladly answer your questions.


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November 20, 2014

Cell phones and posture - "The rise of the smart phone...and the fall of our bodies..."

"The rise of the smart phone...and the fall of our bodies..."

"You are at risk for perpetuating these problems for the rest of your life if you don't address it now." ~Dr. Alton Barron

Dr. Alton Barron attributes an increase of postural problems to the increase in the use of smart phones. See his interview for an enlightening, informative talk on how the balance of our heavy heads influence posture.

The Alexander Technique is a world class method to gently undo poor habits and return to the upright posture that we're born with but sometimes lose along the way.

Find your way back to an upright posture! I'm an AmSAT Certified Alexander teacher with well over a decade of experience. In the Mt. View/Palo Alto area, contact me for a no cost phone consultation and I'll gladly answer your questions.


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November 12, 2014

Peace and Presence

Hello my friends,

Sometimes the work is so simple. What it is that we need, why we come to Alexander lessons.

One of my students told me what it is that keeps her coming back for more.

She was lying down, just pausing and letting her back unwind in its own good time.

And what she said, floored me.

She finds peace here, being in the Now, being in her body.

That’s why she comes.

For the Peace.

There’s the outer, visible portion of the work: Posture Happens.

And then there’s the inner. Humbling to sense the non-doing, the letting it be:



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August 18, 2014

Posture and Pain - Musicians and the Alexander Technique

A musician is in pain and recently wrote to me for a lesson time. However, he's working so many hours he doesn't have time to come in. Catch 22...

Sound familiar?

I wrote to him, offering some times and suggested that it's a matter of priorities.

I told him this story (true!):

Last month, I taught a series of five workshops for Music at Menlo. I had a group of 44 young chamber musicians, ages 11 – 27.

Many of them had tension problems or pain, in fact...

Even the 11 year old had pain...

I worked with them as much as possible in the time allotted, and many of them noticed a difference very quickly. Young people recover quickly when they unwind tension and undo poor posture.

I left them with this message.

If there is ONE thing you take away from this workshop it’s that:

It’s not supposed to hurt!
Apply what we’ve learned here.
But if you are in pain, Please Get Help.


Not only isn’t it supposed to hurt, it doesn’t HAVE to hurt.

Many times, pain in playing is connected with posture. Alexander Technique has helped many musicians improve their posture and play without pain. Did you know, it is required study at Juilliard, in fact, you'll see FIVE Alexander teachers listed on their site.

Make the time...please...

If you're in the Peninsula/South Bay, call me. If you're me! I'll connect you with someone in your local area.



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