Keynote Presenter: Caren Bayer
Dynamic Mindfulness Workshops

Caren Bayer will introduce her own special brand of ‘dynamic mindfulness’ in workshops with Conference participants.

Caren Bayer was director of Manhattan Center for the Alexander Technique in New York City, and, a faculty member of the Rivka Cohen School for the Alexander Technique and the Institute for the Alexander Technique under Thomas Lemens, both certified teacher-training programs in New York City. She has also been on the faculty of Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, and currently has a teaching affiliation with The New York School for Social Research.

In addition, she is a guest teacher for teacher-training programs internationally, most recently in Australia, Buenos Aires, Ottawa, Toronto, San Francisco, London and Paris. A former dancer and long-time student of the martial arts, yoga and meditation, Caren brings 30 years of movement research and awareness to her teaching.

Caren’s popularity as a lively and expert presenter was welcomed at the International Congress in Limerick, Ireland, last year.


Workshop 1
Effective presentation of the Alexander Technique to the scientific mind
Presenter:
Anikó Ball

This presentation will explore how Alexander teachers can effectively approach dentists, doctors and other scientifically-trained professionals. Alexander teachers can make a great difference to the musculoskeletal health of dentists, doctors, surgeons and other health professionals, as well as chronic pain sufferers in the general community through medical referrals. Scientifically-trained people need research evidence and precise factual explanations. Presenting the Alexander Technique as evidence-based and cause-oriented prevention and management for musculoskeletal disorders, fulfils the requirements of the scientific mind.

Anikó Ball is a dentist who suffered from chronic back and neck pain for over thirty years, until she discovered the Alexander Technique. She is passionate about the transformative impact of the Alexander Technique. She completed the teacher training in 2015. She founded Optimum Dental Posture to present and teach the Alexander principles with the intention of addressing occupational musculoskeletal disorders in the dental profession. 


Workshop 2
Separate to integrate – a way of working and thinking
Presenter:
Margaret McGill

In this ‘hands-on’ session Margaret aims to share her experience of releasing key areas of muscle-holding in order to open up pathways, reconnect and begin the process of restoring a disrupted system. The focus will be on the use of the hands and to encourage clarity of thinking (directing) involving the pupil in the process of their own release and connection.

Margaret McGill completed her training with Dilys and Walter Carrington in July 1984.  The clarity of their training is reflected in her teaching.


Workshop 3
Talk confidently about the Alexander Technique
Presenter:
Luke Hockley

The goal of this workshop is for Alexander Technique teachers and trainees to be able to answer the question ‘What is the Alexander Technique?’ with confidence and passion whilst cooperating with their design.

Have you had the opportunity to talk about the Alexander Technique but avoided it? Most of us have. The easiest and cheapest way to find students is through word of mouth. ‘Talking’ is also an excellent opportunity to demonstrate how it works by applying it to yourself as you communicate. During this session Luke will support you to talk about the Alexander Technique with confidence and passion.

Luke Hockley is a Green Room award-winning performer and experienced communications advisor who works extensively with people to help them use the Alexander Technique to find their voice and communicate in a compelling way. More about Luke’s teaching: www.austat.org.au/profile/151/ or his company: www.midnightsky.com.au


Workshop 4
A personal account of chronic pain and its acquisitive nature – what works and why
Presenter:
Jack Mintz

A practical workshop/presentation showing how recent neurological discoveries can be practically implemented to manage and reduce pain, and how these discoveries can be seamlessly introduced in conjunction with our Alexander Technique practice.

This session will be of interest to anyone interested in the area of pain and chronic pain, whether from a personal or professional aspect. The desired learning outcomes for this session are to explain in uncomplicated language and terms the effects of chronic pain and how to combat them, and, in concrete terms how to implement these remedies. Participants will be invited to engage in practical exploration.

Jack Mintz comes to the Alexander Technique via a need to deal with chronic pain issues. Training to become an Alexander teacher has provided some answers but not all. Gradually ways of dealing with the problem and integrating the ideas into something that can be implemented have materialised.


Workshop 5
The elephant in the room: time for some mindful engagement with pain
Presenter:
Bronwyn Munro

Bronwyn’s studies in pain management continue to unfold more and more about the nature of pain and the many complexities present in a person’s response to persistent pain. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a psychological/mindful approach used in pain management programs. Bronwyn explains: ‘the thought of accepting pain always seemed wrong, akin to giving in and having to live with the pain for life. Getting a grip of the psychology of pain is an important aspect of my studies and so I bit the bullet and attended a workshop on ACT and pain. I am very glad that I did’.

In this workshop Bronwyn hopes to introduce some theoretical and a good number of practical aspects of ACT that could be useful to Alexander Technique teachers. She will also give some updates on the ever-changing concepts around the true nature of pain, explore some pain behaviours that we may observe in our teaching practice, and have some fun as well.

Bronwyn Munro is a medical scientist and Alexander Technique teacher from Melbourne. She trained at the F M School for Alexander Studies under David Moore, graduating in 2006. Presently Bronwyn is studying towards a Master of Science in Medicine (Pain Management) at the Sydney Medical School, Sydney University, and finding it truly fascinating. 


Workshop 6
Nurture your life’ – improve your movement and perception using the Alexander Technique
Presenter: Heidi Winderl-Schanz assisted by Anne Mallen

Hildegard von Bingen (1098 –1179), a German writer, philosopher, Christian mystic, and visionary, once said: ‘Care for your life wherever you encounter it…’

We meet our life every day – yet often we feel that it is not us who determines what we do and when. Sometimes, we notice only years later that a lot has happened but we have the feeling that life passed us by unnoticed. In the daily hustle and bustle, how can we care for our life in such a way that we ‘encounter and nurture it’? In exercises including movement and perception, we will practise how to come in contact with ourselves. We will start to notice what we have in front of our eyes in this very moment. We might discover how ‘to care for our life wherever we encounter it’.

Heidi Winderl-Schanz trained with David Moore in Melbourne and Cathy Madden in Seattle, and is a Pilates and Fitness Instructor (Polestar, DPVD). She has a Masters in Engineering and Business and is a trained systemic coach and ZRM® coach. In Germany she teaches Alexander Technique and Pilates while continuing work as a coach for executives and managers in transition processes. She lectures self-management with ZRM® at the Goethe University of Frankfurt. See: www.work-and-smile.com


Workshop 7
Use of the eyes within the use of the self
Presenter:
Marjory Fern

Does the ‘use of our eyes’ affect the way we function?

Can we apply to vision the Alexander principles of inhibition and direction?

Does how we see the world help us in applying the Alexander principles to any situation in our daily life?

In this workshop we experiment together and find some answers, and, find common ground between Bates and Alexander’s discoveries.

Marjory Fern trained at ‘The School of Use’ England with Jorgen Haahr qualifying in 1992. She taught in Cornwall and London until 2004 when she returned to New Zealand where she teaches today. She became interested in Vision in 1999 to maintain her own eyesight, from this time devoting attention to improving consciously and naturally, eyesight and vision. She qualified as a Bates teacher with Thomas Quackenbush. Under the Altevi umbrella, ‘www.altevi.com’ she has run many workshops in European countries, New Zealand and Australia.


Workshop 8
A mirror, a mask and an actor:
integrating the Alexander Technique into actor training
Presenters: Julianne Eveleigh and Paul Hampton

This workshop will explore the dialogue between a mirror, neutral mask and self with the guidance of a teacher of the Alexander Technique. This practise invites students to:

  • become aware of habituated patterning and tensions in their bodies;
  • begin an exploration of responding and moving from neutrality;
  • commit to embodied studio skill development;
  • embrace a new conception of the performing-self based on neutrality.

‘What we have discovered from this experiment is the dialogue with the mirror can be more objective when the face is taken away and replaced with the image of the neutral mask. This simple and graphic approach to learning has become a radical tool in the context of an introduction to a three-year training journey’. Hampton and Eveleigh

Julianne Eveleigh holds a Masters degree in Alexander Technique and the voice. She has spent 24 years exploring the dynamic relationship between vocal and physical expression. Her interest in working with the embodied voice led her to the Alexander Technique. Julianne qualified as an Alexander Technique teacher from the School for F M Alexander Studies in Melbourne. She currently holds the position of Lecturer in Voice at the Arts Academy at Federation University, Australia.

Paul Hampton began his theatre career as an actor and director in Melbourne’s experimental and political theatre in the 1970′s. He has worked as an independent director with many companies since, has taught at the Victorian College of the Arts, undertaken training with Philippe Gaulier and Monica Pagneux in Paris and graduated from the Melbourne Alexander Teacher Training School in 2000. He has been a Lecturer in Acting at Federation University, Australia, for the last eight years.


Workshop 9
Separate to integrate – a way of working and thinking
Presenter:
Margaret McGill

In this ‘hands-on’ session Margaret aims to share her experience of releasing key areas of muscle-holding in order to open up pathways, reconnect and begin the process of restoring a disrupted system. The focus will be on the use of the hands and to encourage clarity of thinking (directing) involving the pupil in the process of their own release and connection.

Margaret McGill completed her training with Dilys and Walter Carrington in July 1984.  The clarity of their training is reflected in her teaching.


Workshop 10
Topic : Conditions present: voice and performance. Masterclass.

Presenter: Jenny Thirtle

In this session Jenny will work with volunteers from the audience who are interested in exploring the ‘conditions present’ during vocal activity (speaking, singing, sounding, etc.) or during musical performance. Bring your voice or instruments to this masterclass, and / or, simply enjoy the conditions present. 

Jenny Thirtle  is the Assistant Director at the School for F.M. Studies, Melbourne.  Jenny has been teaching at The School for FM Alexander Studies teacher training school since 2003. As part of her work at the school, she runs groups and master classes for the voice. Jenny’s has a background as a musician and opera singer and runs a private practice, specialising in the use of the Alexander Technique for instrumentalists and singers, in addition to working with people with a range of other issues. 


Workshop 11
Balance: a movement ritual
Presenter:
Jane Refshauge

In the tradition of Movement Ritual: created and developed by Anna Halprin (1979) and building on The Dart Dance presented at the 2012 and 2014 AUSTAT Conferences, Jane has developed a movement sequence that can be practised as a daily ritual or deconstructed as part of the directed activities taught within a private Alexander Technique teacher’s practice.  Designed to strengthen balance for students with conditions such as osteoporosis and impaired motor-neurone function, the choreography draws on The Dart Procedures as well gymnastics exercises and the Hands on the Back of the Chair and Whispered Ah procedures.

Jane Refshauge  BA, MFA, Cert(AT), Dip(DMT), MPS, MAPS, MCCOUNP,  AUSTAT, DTAA, PACFA Reg.Clinical, first learned Anna Halprin’s Movement Ritual in Simone Forti’s studio on Broadway, NYC in 1979.  She has practised a personal movement ritual since that time.


Workshop 12
A body full of mind: the multi-dimensional whole-moving self
Presenters: Kate Barnett and Ineke de Graaf

This session is a movement enquiry. Drawing on their practise of using movement improvisation to help teach and learn the Alexander Technique, Ineke and Kate offer a guided sensory movement exploration that incorporates Alexander Technique and experiential anatomy with improvisation and play. We will be generating our own discoveries as to how sensory attentiveness can contribute to the pleasure of whole-body co-ordinating, how the Alexander Technique can help integrate our sensory awareness, and how play can help integrate everything.  The session is open to all kinds of moving needs and experience.

Kate Barnett’s practise as an Alexander Technique teacher is grounded in an ethic of play as an organising principle for teaching and learning. She graduated from SOFMAS in 2010, and in 2013 completed an Alexander Yoga teaching qualification with Kate Morris. She is also an accredited InterPlay facilitator, improvising with movement, sound and story. Kate is based in Melbourne at the Abbotsford Convent

Ineke de Graaf is an Alexander Technique teacher who draws on over 20 years of movement investigation and creative practise. She graduated from SOFMAS in 2007, and her post graduate work with Cathy Madden, in the US and Australia, has greatly informed her interactive, collaborative approach. She brings her love of dance improvisation, experiential anatomy and sensory-movement meditations into her teaching.


Workshop 13
Eastern disciplines and techniques informing
Alexander Technique teaching
Presenter:
Chris Raff

The popularity of Yoga, Tai Chi, meditation, Buddhism and other mindfulness processes has been growing in a sustained way for many years in Australia’s alternative health-conscious community.

Buddhist teachings and Tai Chi have been part of my life for some time. These Eastern practices have rubbed off on my Alexander Technique teaching process and personal development. This workshop will explore some of the Eastern practices I have found valuable for ongoing Alexander Technique insight, enrichment and wellbeing. It is my intention to make the workshop a mix of practical and reflective work.

Chris Raff qualified from ATA London in 1983. He moved to Adelaide in 1984 and has taught regular private lessons and public groups since then. He is currently working with a small group of opera singers from South Australia Opera. In 2012 he revised and expanded his book ‘Introducing the Alexander Technique’. The book will be available for purchase at the Conference


Workshop 14
Conscious constructive pedagogical choices – a dynamic exploration of The Procedures
Presenter:
Kate Morris

Let’s take a fresh look at the The Procedures. In this workshop we will explore a variety of thinking styles that we could use to both teach and learn more about how to access central coordination. The focus of our exploration will be on creativity, open and flexible thinking, and discovery. The Procedures will be approached as an opportunity to induce holistic coordination. Our relationship to these processes is necessarily open and curious.

Kate Morris is a passionate teacher of the Alexander Technique. Over the past 15 years Kate has been engaged to teach Alexander Technique for many schools, workplaces and Universities.  At the same time she has maintained a strong studio practice, teaching individuals and groups how to live the principles of the Alexander Technique. Her teaching philosophy emphasises dynamic interaction, creativity, empowerment and success.  Kate draws from movement practices of dance, Yoga and martial arts. She also teaches a dynamic approach to meditation. Her interest lies in assisting people to access the conditions they require to engage dynamically with life.


Workshop 15
Alexander Technique in an allied health environment
Presenter:
Shona Innes

In this presentation Shona will talk about her experience of working in the hospital setting alongside Allied Health Professionals, with a view to opening up discussion on how we might interest and educate clinical therapists about the Technique.

Shona Innes graduated from MATTS (Melbourne Alexander Teacher Training School) in 1988. During the period 2001 – 2013 she worked part-time as an Allied Health assistant at Royal Melbourne Hospital and Williamstown Hospital.


Workshop 16
Talk confidently about the Alexander Technique
Presenter:
Luke Hockley

The goal of this workshop is for Alexander Technique teachers and trainees to be able to answer the question ‘What is the Alexander Technique?’ with confidence and passion whilst cooperating with their design. Have you had the opportunity to talk about the Alexander Technique but avoided it? Most of us have. The easiest and cheapest way to find students is through word of mouth. ‘Talking’ is also an excellent opportunity to demonstrate how it works by applying it to yourself as you communicate. During this session Luke will support you to talk about the Alexander Technique with confidence and passion.

Luke Hockley is a Green Room award-winning performer and experienced communications advisor who works extensively with people to help them use the Alexander Technique to find their voice and communicate in a compelling way. More about Luke’s teaching: www.austat.org.au/profile/151/ or his company:www.midnightsky.com.au


Workshop 17
Unfolding and drawing out in learning and learning to do
Presenter: Mastaneh Nazarian

In my practice, learning and teaching have become synonymous with health and healing. In this workshop we will explore Alexander Technique principles by unfolding a snakelike Pilates movement sequence, then drawing out something sweet and simple from Aikido practise that is sure to spice up your AT life.

Mastaneh Nazarian is an Alexander Technique practitioner in Melbourne. She is a composer, guitarist, and writer, with a keen interest in developing structurally sound improvisational repertoire. She is a continuous student of whatever she can find that can be a home for the application of Alexander Technique principles.


Early morning Yoga
Presenter:
David Moore

In this yoga class David Moore will share his understanding of how the Alexander Technique can be taught in the process of running a yoga class.

David Moore has been teaching the Alexander Technique since 1985 and has been teaching the application of the Technique to yoga since 1986. He is the director of the School for F M Alexander Studies which was established in Melbourne in 1998 and is the author of Yoga and the Alexander Technique: Intelligent, Injury-Free Yoga.

 

Early morning Yoga
Presenter: Kate Morris

Kate Morris has an approach to Yoga which is quite unique. For 15 years she has worked to refine and synthesise an offering which combines Ayurvedic Yoga with the Alexander Technique approach to life. She has studied Yoga philosophy intensively and consistently and has recently completed a project for her Masters in Yoga Philosophy with the American Institute of Vedic Studies titled ‘Saving the Mind – Ayurvedic Yoga Wisdom for Contemporary Social Problems.’ Kate will guide you through an accessible, dynamic, moving meditation, imbued with Alexander Technique thinking and movement processes.

Kate Morris is a passionate teacher of the Alexander Technique. Over the past 15 years Kate has been engaged to teach Alexander Technique for many schools, workplaces and Universities.  At the same time she has maintained a strong studio practice, teaching individuals and groups how to live the principles of the Alexander Technique. Her teaching philosophy emphasises dynamic interaction, creativity, empowerment and success.  Kate draws from movement practices of dance, Yoga and martial arts. She also teaches a dynamic approach to meditation. Her interest lies in assisting people to access the conditions they require to engage dynamically with life.


Discussion on Training Quality-AUSTAT Conference
Session Chair:
Michael Shellshear, Chairperson, AUSTAT   Facilitator:  Kris Honey

How can a professional organisation mature itself so that it truly represents the interest of its members effectively? One answer is that it can develop policies and procedures that clearly demonstrate and implement the resolve of the majority of members. To find out the resolve of the members it is necessary to talk with them. This is, in a nutshell, the strategy of AUSTAT Council.

The policies and procedures around training Alexander Technique teachers that are currently in the AUSTAT Constitution are dated. Since 1984, when the training section of the AUSTAT Constitution was written (and 1950’s England), there has been great change in Australia and around the world around how we understand the training process and how we assure training.

There are many new ways that are used to measure how effective training is, how assessment can be carried out, and more. Whereas the old approach to training placed an emphasis on individuals (Heads of Training) to act as an arbiter of quality, new approaches to training examine the process and look to evidence-based methods of determining the effectiveness of training.

As Alexander teachers, should we be considering our means where-by or carry on with our training habit of years because it feels right? Sometimes the old ways are better, sometimes they are not. Isn’t the important thing to be asking whether our idea of ‘right’ is right?

Many people have already provided great feedback about training quality in AUSTAT’s first consultation process in April 2016. Join in the discussion at the AUSTAT Conference with members of the Training Quality Standing Committee and make your opinion heard.

 


 

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