Whether you want to improve your sitting posture, the ease with which you stand, your piano technique, your public presentation skills, or your sports technique, we offer workshops addressing the key principles of posture and movement.
Introduction to the Alexander Technique
Posture and Movement group class
These group classes offer students the chance to learn the fundamental principles of the Alexander technique. Working with eight students or less, our teacher uses a combination of hands on feedback, demonstrations, guided meditations, exercises, and games to address postural problems and develop the students own mental “toolkit” for working on postural, body awareness, and movement issues. These are open to all levels of experience. They may also compliment private lessons well.
-develop an understanding of the habits that interfere with good posture and movement
-learn how to train spatial awareness and proprioception
-practice resting constuctively to promote free neck and shoulders, free limbs, and an open back
-understand the fundamental mechanics of good support and movement
-learn how to promote new habitual patterns without over controlling your system.
Alexander technique applied to running
Rediscover your natural poise through runningLearn good form and sound principles of efficiency and pleasure in running via the Alexander technique. The Smartbody running workshops teach good form to runners of all levels while emphasizing efficiency and pleasure in movement. We identify the habits that are getting in the way of a smooth stable stride and practice undoing them. Learning this way feels “easy”. At the same time we learn widely accepted fundamental drills for encouraging and strengthening good running form. We believe that running is a fundamental activity, in that the lessons learned through mindful running – including essential principles of good posture and movement – can be applied to all activities in your life.
Our teacher, Patrick Johnson, was a competitive distance runner before succumbing to knee injuries in both knees in his early 20’s. Later he rebuilt his running form and now enjoys running again with no knee pain. He believes that running, when done with proper form, is actually good for the joints, ligaments, and tendons of the feet and legs, strengthening and livening them.
Runners of all levels, from novices to marathoners, have benefitted from Smartbody running workshops and are welcome.
The Principles of Good Running Form:
Good postural support
-ease in the head, neck, and shoulders
-long, open, stable trunk
-free shoulders and limbs
-light lean forward
-slight twisting action of the middle and upper spine
Compact, relaxed stride
-soft foot strike under the body
-exploring without forcing
-noticing form, awareness, and pleasure
-building up good habits gradually
Alexander technique applied to swimming
Improve your swimming in a supportive environment
Swimming is one of healthiest things you can do, promoting strength, endurance, healthy breathing, mobility, and good coordination. But many people miss out on its benefits and feel uncoordinated in the water. Frustrated, they force their way through the water, thus amplifying their bad habits, or they just give up. The former leads to excess tension and/or injury, the latter to just the conclusion that “I’ll never really improve”.
The key to unlocking this problem is to calmly address your habits in the water. You need a setting that is safe, comfortable, and calm. You need guidance that is anatomically correct. You need to feel supported.
These swim lessons take place in a heated, shallow pool with hands on guidance from Stephan van Dijk, certified Alexander technique teacher, swim instructor, and founder of Vrijzwemmen with assistance from Alexander technique teacher Patrick Johnson. You learn to keep the body long and open as you accept the support of the water, and to not panic or stiffen as you come up for breath.
The workshops emphasize:
-Using the support of the water
-Keeping the back, shoulders, and neck free and open for streamlining and reduced tension.
-Learning to coordinate breathing efficiently and panic free
-The fundamental principles of each stroke
These workshops will not only improve your fitness but will help your overall coordination and understanding of your body in motion. Repeating workshops is recommended to develop each stroke.
Therapeutic pool, Reade Revalidatie Centrum, Overtoom 283 Amsterdam.
How many participants
10 – Preregister to hold your spot.
Body Awareness and Anatomy
Truly transforming your body requires a fundamental understanding of what is going on inside. When you know your body, you understand its messages and can more easily steer it in the right direction. For example, an exploration of the hip joint lets you free it up for sitting, walking, and running. Understanding the balance of the head on top of the spine, allows you to keep your head, neck and shoulders relaxed in front of the computer. Demystifying the support of the lower back and spine makes addressing back spasm easier. Improving your overall understanding of your support system frees up your breathing, movement, and even awareness and thinking.
Join us for a multifaceted experiential exploration of your body. You will walk away knowing your body better and feeling great.
In these workshops, we learn by moving and experiencing:
- constructive mental cues and imagery
- movement explorations
- hands on feedback guidance
- sculpture and drawing
- multimedia presentations
Each workshop has a specific focus.