A toolbox of effective and powerful techniques 

for working online and hands-off with pupils and groups.

 

Right now, with Covid 19, we cannot use our hands to teach. This is an opportunity to develop new skills, empowering the pupil to work on themselves. This was FM’s original way of working, with verbal directions and presence alone. 

In this ten module online course with Penelope Easten
LEARN: -

  • To build confidence in teaching online with tested techniques to use with your students

  • Techniques to help you embody and connect across the ether

  • With private Facebook group, lesson discussion forums, group zoom seminars every two weeks to answer your questions, and practice exchanges

You will develop and sharpen:

  • your observation skills

  • your clarity of intent of what is needed in this moment

  • your ability with words to direct the pupil and bring about change

  • your ability to stay present and deeply connected to the pupil

  • to dialogue with pupils enabling them to discover the technique for themselves

DISCOVER A NEW WAY OF WORKING WITH YOUR PUPILS

Right now, we need a toolbox of tested techniques that work online. Most of us have only learnt hands-on work in our trainings, because that is what has come down to us as ‘the technique’. But I believe that there was much more to the technique than we are currently taught, and this older technique is more suited to our current needs. 

My work all springs from my lessons with Miss Goldie. She was passionate in preserving the principles FM Alexander taught her over their thirty years of close association. Her work was based on ideas and methods that often predated the first training course and the modern Alexander technique that came out of that. 

In this course:

  • In each module, learn user-friendly techniques you can use straight away with your pupils, and that they can then use for themselves at home

  • Learn to theme lessons, giving lively, varied and interesting lessons, and keep your pupils wanting to learn more

  • You will gain a much greater toolkit for whatever pupils throw at you

  • Deepen your knowledge of the functional anatomy and new science behind AT procedures – modern pupils need to understand, and so do we. Alexander abandoned this way of teaching partly because he could not always get his pupils to understand, not surprisingly because the full explanations have only recently become available.

We will discover

  • Why FM and Miss Goldie almost only worked with the chair, working much more with the torso than is now done - and the functional anatomy and neurology that underlies this; 


  • How to bring the pupil to quiet without using hands, so they are open to new experiences; 


  • Finding natural breathing - brilliant for opening tight spines, and accessing muscles that have gone off-line; 


  • How we are evolved to self-organise: How to teach the pupil direct access to the self-organising power of the nervous system, 
    • to free our necks
    • stay toned and strong
    • to recruit intrinsic movement patterns such as a free neck and 'monkey' bending.


  • How to make stronger self-pulls that were probably taught on the first training course and subsequently watered down, to open habitually tight muscles and bring in greater lengthening and widening for oneself.
     
  • Plus how to teach spatial awareness while on a computer!


Through all this, you will learn how to resonate with the pupil to connect at a deeper level, potentially making lessons even more satisfying to you and to them. 

Course delivery:

  • Each module will have three or four video lessons, totaling an hour or so of teaching, in which you explore the material in real time.

  • Accompanying each are full course notes to download, and separate downloads of the images used that you can share with your own pupils

  • Discussion forums alongside each lesson allow you to post comments and questions. These will also be used as feedback to help the course evolve

  • Each module, there are one or two full lesson videos of Penelope teaching this material to new pupils, to see this material in action

  • A Facebook forum connects all AT teachers who are working with this material.

  • Zoom seminars every two weeks allow for question and answer sessions with Penelope

  • All participants will be buddied with an exchange partner, for regular exchanges to explore the material together

  • Each module builds on the one before, so that you grow in understanding, confidence and skill. The first four modules will arrive at weekly intervals. The later modules will be at 10 day intervals to allow a little more time to play with the material and integrate it into your experience and practice.

  • Participants are also encouraged to explore these techniques straight away with their pupils, or willing friends or family

Course curriculum

  • 1

    Module 1: Balance of the head

    • participant survey - please do this first! Thanks.

    • Please read these short notes first.

    • Lesson 1.1. Introduction and functional anatomy

    • Lesson 1.2. Freeing the neck.

    • Lesson 1.3. Finding the whole body bend.

    • Lesson 1.4. Laurence's first lesson. Freeing the neck.

    • Lesson 1.5: Madlen's first lesson

    • Lesson 1.6. How I give a first lesson online

    • Lesson 1.7. Practice Exchange for module 1.

    • Lesson 1.8: Partial falling squats

    • Bonus lesson: working with Alexander technique online. Pointers.

  • 2

    Module 2: Spatial awareness

    • Read these quick notes first please

    • Lesson 2.1: “The extended field of consciousness” and the right brain.

    • Lesson 2.2: Spatial awareness with 3D vision

    • 2.3: Spatial awareness of self

    • Lesson 2.4. Spatial awareness of the body in semi-supine.

    • 2.5: Laurence's second lesson. Spatial awareness

    • 2.6: Madlen's second lesson

    • Lesson 2.7. Notes on how I give a second lesson.

    • 2.8. Practice exchange for module 2.

  • 3

    Module 3: Opening and lifting the upper back

    • 3.1: Our conception of ‘correct posture’.

    • Lesson 3.2: The primary and secondary curves of the body.

    • 3.3: pull to the elbow. the back arm lines.

    • Lesson 3.4: Integrating the pull to the elbow from the brain.

    • 3.5: Laurence's third lesson. Opening and lifting the upper back

    • 3.6: Madlen's third lesson

    • Lesson 3.7. Giving a third lesson - general principles.

    • Lesson 3.8: practice exchange for module 3

    • More on why we use the sticks, and other frequently asked questions.

  • 4

    Module 4: opening and stabilising the lower body

    • 4.1: Defining and finding the neutral pelvis.

    • 4.2: Stabilising the base of the pelvis.

    • 4.3: integrating the pulls

    • 4.4. Full torso integration and elasticity.

    • 4.5: Laurence's fourth lesson. Opening and stabilising the lower body

    • 4.6: Madlen's fourth lesson

    • 4.7: practice exchange for module 4

  • 5

    Module 5: Finding the natural breathing into the back

    • 5.1: the front arm lines - activating the full arm

    • 5.2: Introducing Natural breathing

    • 5.3. letting the diaphragm organise the breath

    • 5.4: integrating natural breathing with the pull to the elbow.

    • 5.5: Laurence's fifth lesson. Finding natural breathing

    • 5.6: madlen's fifth lesson

    • 5.7: Practice exchange for module 5

  • 6

    Module 6: the thoracolumbar fascia and the strong back

    • 6.1: sitting upright with strong self-supporting back.

    • 6.2: Finding your own support while leaning back in the chair

    • 6.3: The thoracolumbar fascia connects everything to everything.

    • 6.4: finding the strong back in ‘Monkey’

    • 6.5: Laurence's sixth lesson. The thoracolumbar fascia and the strong back

    • 6.6: practice exchange

  • 7

    Module 7: Finding the psoas and active hip folding

    • 7.1: experiencing the abdominal cavity with the breath

    • 7.2: functional anatomy of the core abdominal muscles

    • 7.3: finding tone in the psoas muscle.

    • 7.4: using the psoas in chair work

    • 7.5: Laurence's seventh lesson. Finding the psoas and active hip folding

    • 7.6: practice exchange

  • 8

    Module 8: balance of feet and legs

    • 8.1: the functional anatomy of the feet

    • 8.2: finding the power of the foot.

    • 8.3: alignment of the feet and the leg spirals.

    • 8.4: sit to stand with balanced, toned legs.

    • 8.5: Laurence's eighth lesson. Balance of feet and legs

    • 8.6: practice exchange

  • 9

    Module 9: Lifting the torso up out of the hips

    • 9.1: 'Screwing the ankle'

    • 9.2: Pelvic lifts – lifting the torso up off the legs.

    • 9.3: finding torque, and the power of walking.

    • 9.4: Lifting arms above the head

    • 9.5: Laurence's ninth lesson. Lifting the torso out of the hips

    • 9.6: Practice exchange

  • 10

    Module 10: the embodied voice

    • 10.1: The autonomic nervous system and the need for modulated voice

    • 10.2: The whispered Ah with spatial awareness

    • 10.3: speaking on the breath.

    • 10.4: Speaking and communicating from the intelligence of the body.

    • 10.5: Laurence's tenth lesson. The embodied voice

    • 10.6: practice exchange

    • 10.6: practice exchange

Penelope Easten

Facilitator

Facilitator

Penelope Easten

Penelope’s story. I initially read zoology at Cambridge university. I took my first lessons in 1983 and qualified in 1989 from the North London Alexander School (Misha Magidov). After training, my use fell apart, as no-one had taught me to work on myself. This took me to Miss Goldie, who stripped away everything I had learnt, and rebuilt it as she saw the technique should be - a scary process! I worked with her for four years, and that began a thirty-year journey to understand the differences and power of Miss Goldie’s amazing work. It has taken me to many other teachers – including Erika Whittaker, John Hunter, and Jeando Masoero, and to many avenues of exploration and understanding – both scientific and alternative. From age seventeen, I also battled with another 30-year journey - with chronic fatigue syndrome. This is now sorted, but after it I needed to rebuild tone and strength, and increased calm and resilience, which this work has enabled. I have been teaching workshops on Miss Goldie’s work since the Oxford Congress in 2004, in UK, Ireland (including the Limerick Congress), Germany and America. My book: The Alexander technique. The twelve fundamentals of integrated movement was published by Handspring Publishing in March 2021. I live and work in County Clare in the West of Ireland with my husband, cat, two dogs, and a beautiful view. I am passionate to share this work that can bring us such renewed vigour, sense of youthful springiness and calm presence.

Scroll down for price plans to suit all budgets

Testimonials

Emails received from online course participants

I’m so impressed and appreciative of the comprehensive program you’ve created and are continually supplementing. My learning is happening on many levels: through experiencing what you’re teaching in the workshops, seeing it demonstrated in your lessons with pupils, understanding it through the illustrations and information you’ve compiled from a variety of sources, your contributions and answers to questions on the private Facebook page you’ve created for us and my conversations with my buddy. The size of the group is perfect for enabling us to feel connected to each other as we learn and practice with our pupils. You’re very generous with all that you’re offering from your years of experience and investigations and I’m learning so much. Thank you! Jill Geiger

Just after I cancelled all my AT clients and was in desperate need of a life-raft, Penelope's 10-week course floated by! I had no idea what it was about, but I was just happy to clamber aboard and be with other people. Quite quickly I realised it was a leap away from my normal way of working and thinking. I use my hands for a start and this appeared to be a much more anatomical approach. However, Penelope was working online – and I wasn’t!! Obviously, the course is quite different from the way I was trained (I was qualified by Misha Magidov, 2001). And it was intense as I had only superficial anatomical knowledge. However, very quickly it gave me the courage to offer online sessions to my own clients! I wasn’t yet using anything like all the material I was learning from Penelope, but I integrated some of the simpler aspects into my own approach, and they continue to sustain and benefit both me and my clients. Meantime, I am still digesting and integrating the substantial material to expand and enhance my own knowledge and inform my teaching practice. I now believe I will be working both ‘hands on’ and ‘on line’ in the future. Penelope is kind, patient and very knowledgeable in her subject and I thoroughly recommend this training as an adjunct to existing knowledge for any AT teacher. Caroline Dale, June 2020

"Dear Penelope, Thank you very much for the excellent notes for each week’s training and videos. When I first met you online in the initial introduction, I knew that you are a great teacher and very generous in sharing your knowledge and experience. Having started the 10-week course, my expectations have been surpassed already. I appreciate the way you communicate and take care of us. Thank you, Aniko"

"Hi Penelope, I love the pulls to the elbows, mainly because it helps with my riding, which was the reason I got into Alexander technique in the first place. I'm just blown away by how much stronger I am for much less effort. I've experimented with things like picking up my partner's kettlebell that's 16 kg and it just doesn't feel like it weighs anywhere near that. It's just incredible. Cycling up a steep hill is so much easier. When going to scratch my head, my arm just sprang up so that it didn't even really feel like me. I could not be more enlivened and enriched by this course and I am overflowing with new ideas to explore. It is far more than just a way of teaching online, it has filled in many missing pieces of my Alexander Technique jigsaw puzzle too. In particular I have learnt how to tone up appropriately, without stiffening, and so access greater strength and stability without losing flexibility. This is an essential skill when riding and I am delighted how much this has helped me adhere better to the saddle and improve communication with my horse. Penelope has a staggering depth of knowledge and is a fabulous teacher who beautifully embodies all that she teaches. My use is transformed, my horse and I thank you! Chris English.

"Dear Penelope, I’m learning so much from this workshop, thank you! You’re doing a great service to all of us and to our existing and future pupils. It’s so helpful to see what you’re teaching illustrated in the videos of lessons with Laurence and Madlen. You couldn’t have found a more perfect model pupil than Laurence and it’s very useful to see the contrast between his lessons and those with Madlen. Thanks again – I’m feeling my confidence in my ability to teach online gradually building. Looking forward to session #3! Warmly, Jill"

"Hi Penelope, I just wanted to say that every class has been so enlightening. This is the most earth-shattering change that has happened to my back since my training. Thankyou so much for sharing this work. I’m developing better tone and noticing what I do more than ever. If you offer this course again, I might do it all over again. 😊 Mari Hodges

"One of my students is a pianist. She just phoned out of the blue! She wanted to tell me that after yesterday's lesson, her playing is "more joyous....and the quick runs are smooth (even) and easier." We did the elbow pulls... Thank you, Penelope! Dana"

Many thanks Penelope, the course is absolutely fantastic (it suddenly seems totally possible to start someone off online!) and I can fit it around the needs of my toddler and working-from-home partner which is ideal. I am in touch with my exchange partner and hopefully doing an exchange tomorrow. And I can come to the Zoom meeting on Monday, looking forward to it. Very best wishes, Nichola

I’ve been studying with Penelope for many years and am still impressed with her breadth of knowledge and creative enthusiasm to communicate the AT. Most of all I appreciate the practical nature of her work, which helps me in teaching and living. Now I have joined this course I've found it a storehouse of ideas, information and techniques for teaching pupils online (something many of us thought we would never do!) It’s no surprise that she is at the forefront of this new development as she continues to expand her knowledge, skills and understanding. Jill Payne, London

join me in this adventure of learning

This is the full Alexander technique, with all its original procedures and thinking, reframed for 21st century learning methods and understanding, to meet the needs of the modern pupil.

FAQs

Q: Can people join in the course at any time?

A: Yes. Everyone joins at their own time, and we will aim to pair people for exchanging who start at the same time. Each month, those who have joined will become a group who work through the material together.

Q: Are there fixed hours to do the course?

A: Not at all. You can watch the videos at any time to suit you. The only set times will be the zoom sessions, but they also will be recorded for those who miss them. 

Q: What happens if I get behind? As this crisis finishes I may start to get very busy again.

A: You will get access to each module weekly initially and then at 10 day intervals. However you will always retain access after the course ends, so if you slip behind this schedule you can work through the material in your own time.

Q: How will the zoom sessions work?

A: Participants who join in any given month  will form a group that do the Zoom sessions together every two weeks, and so will work through the course together. I will be listening to feedback about what works and this may be altered accordingly. 

Q: What happens if I do not understand something?

A: you can always ask questions in the lesson discussion panels, in the Facebook group, or if needed, by email. If you need observational feedback, you can post videos of yourself doing a procedure for comments on the Facebook group. 

Pricing options

Choose the level that suits your current circumstances.