AT Congress® Berlin 2022

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Portrait Penelope Easten

Penelope Easten
Clare, Ireland

Shaken, not stirred? How to stay cool, calm and collected like James Bond (or other heroine or hero of your choice!)

Inspired by the work of Margaret Goldie 

We’ve all suffered through the Covid pandemic and it’s more important than ever to stay cool in the face of loss and fear for the future.
Miss Goldie taught her pupils to ‘come to quiet aliveness throughout’, which brings one to a state of calm, fully alive and able to think clearly in order to move into the unknown without fear. This work builds resilience and courage in the face of the unknown – maybe not dodging bullets or escaping from a tank of sharks – but the challenges of life that we face every day – or on stage or performing.

We will explore this state of quiet with some simple games. We will also seek to understand it by looking at the autonomic nervous system and the polyvagal theory i.e. how to move from states of fear and alarm to calmer states of balance and social receptivity. This is important to know for us as AT teachers, and as supportive friends and family members.

For AT teachers, this understanding enables us to recognise where on the “ladder” of the ANS our pupil is currently residing, and gives us tools to bring them back to a state of safety and presence from where we can work effectively with them, both in person and online.

About Penelope Easten

Penelope was born in Wales, and studied Zoology at Cambridge University, England. She left a PhD there to train at the North London Alexander School, qualifying in 1989. She then worked with Miss Goldie for four years, who, it felt, stripped away everything she had learnt, and rebuilt it as she saw the technique should be –a scary process!

Since then, she has worked extensively with other teachers who had known her, including Erika Whittaker, to understand the essence of the difference of her understanding. During two separate years, Penelope was unable to walk with chronic fatigue syndrome. These years of illness became times of quiet retreat, deepening her work.

With the illness now gone completely, she has regained resilience, strength, and fitness, particularly through using the Initial Alexander technique, which she studied with Jeando Masoero, along with The Embodied Present Process with Philip Shepherd. The Miss Goldie workshops started as a 90-min workshop at the International Congress in 2004 (Oxford), and was then followed with workshops in the UK, Ireland, Germany, and New York, including the Limerick International Congress in 2015.

Her book: The Alexander Technique: the Twelve Fundamentals of Integrated Movement, based around Miss Goldie’s work, was published in March 2021.

Since COVID-19, she has run trainings for AT teachers on teaching online, based on the material from her book. She now lives and works in the beautiful West of Ireland, teaching locally and online. Her work facilitates the pupil to discover the technique for themselves, to find natural breathing, poise, quiet awareness, integration, true fitness and strength. 
In her free time, she enjoys making discoveries about the technique through singing and reciting, piano playing, yoga and fitness work, gardening, running, dancing, and walking her dog. 


See also: Penelope Easten – Presenter Detail Page

Saturday, 27 August 2022
15:45 h - 17:00 h (3.45pm-5.00pm)
Math Building
Floor: 1.OG (1st floor)
Room: MA 141

AT Principles and Procedures||Performance/Music/Acting/Voice||Everyday Activities||Practical Teaching Skills||AT Games||Communication/Verbal Skills||Science



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