AT Congress® Berlin 2022

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Portrait John Nicholls

John Nicholls
Isle of Man, United Kingdom

How to use your back

Anyone familiar with the diary accounts of lessons with FM, or who had contact with people who had lessons with him, will know he put a lot of emphasis on the back. There was much talk of “using your back” and developing a “strong back”, but in many Alexander circles this no longer gets much attention. I think this is regrettable as an understanding of what using your back means in an Alexander context is vital for understanding how to improve your own use in all activities.

This How-to class will demonstrate how the seemingly arcane procedures of hands on the back of the chair and semiflexion (monkey) combine together to be the blueprint or template for using your back well in countless everyday situations, and also, of course, in hands-on Alexander teaching. The key lies in not letting the use of the limbs overwhelm the support musculature of your neck and back (or what we might call your spinal support musculature) so that the arms and legs become more like elastic connectors from the hands and feet to the back. This does not require much at all in the way of anatomical knowledge: what it requires is kinaesthetic experience to give a practical understanding of how to go about this yourself. So this will be an experiential class in which I will aim to guide you through practices designed to give you a better kinaesthetic understanding of how to use your back.

About John Nicholls

Trained in London with the Carringtons in the mid 1970s and remained for eleven years as one of their full-time assistants. Subsequently directed AT teacher training courses in Melbourne, Australia, Brighton, England, and New York, USA, training in total more than one hundred teachers. Now travels to teach in many different countries: see johnnichollsat.com for calendar, articles, videos, podcasts, and blog posts (which are actually mini essays on aspects of the Technique).


See also: John Nicholls – Presenter Detail Page

Thursday, 25 August 2022
09:00 h - 11:00 h (9.00am-11.00am)
Main Building
Floor: 3.OG (3rd floor)
Room: H 3008

AT Principles and Procedures||Everyday Activities||Practical Teaching Skills



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