Tag Archives: Anxiety

Brazilian Singer uses Alexander to Calm Performance Anxiety

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Carla Hassett, singer. musician, and Alexander Technique client, was just interviewed by Linda Wertheimer on NPR about Carmen Miranda, São Paulo, and the making of a far from traditional Brazilian album +Blue.

Her CD Release Concert is happening July 10, 6pm and a Killer band is locked in (with members of Sergio Mendes and Bebel Gilberto’s band), to play in Los Angeles at Kulak’s Woodshed. But if you’re not in LA, you can catch the concert LIVE ONLINE at ClapMe.com!!

Read how she has used Alexander Technique to calm performance anxiety:

“When I finished recording my album and started thinking about playing shows in support of it’s release, I knew I had to do something to address my performance anxiety.

Thankfully I found Sharon and embarked on a 10-week intensive one on one training with her. It never occurred to me to come at emotional anxiety from a physical perspective, but I know from years of singing that the mind-body connection works both ways, so I was eager to get started. Sharon helped me to change my experience of feeling hopeless and helpless to overcoming very powerful feelings of anxiety that I feel while performing.

I put these skills to the test in a big way this week when I was invited to do an interview with Linda Wertheimer on NPR. Before, this sort of thing would floor me, but I used the breathing techniques and alignment skills that Sharon taught me and they keep me calm, cool, and present. Of course I had moments of panic, but I was able to work quickly through them and get back to a confident, calm state of mind. Success! Next challenge will be the album release concert and live webcast. I’m already practicing and applying the techniques Sharon taught me and I know It’ll be a great show!”

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Is Your Body Screaming “HELP MEEEEEEEE”?

Chronic ongoing pain is of course the most obvious sign.  But there are other not-so-subtle messages your body gives you when it needs more care and attention.  

Anxiety

Dislike of you own body

Sleeplessness
Exhaustion
An Inability to Relax
Fidgetiness
Grouchiness or Short Temper
No Desire to Socialize
No Desire to Get Out of Bed
Can’t Exercise 
And more….

The biggest problem I observe is that most people are not listening to the screams or cries for help from their bodies.  They push through, take pain medications, don’t rest, work harder and scream back a their bodies.   

This aggressive approach to the body does not heal pain.  Your kinesthetic sense, aka your body awareness, is a messenger.  If you are in the habit of not listening to your body, you will only become aware of hurting yourself at the end of the day when you are tight, can’t move, and even breathing feels difficult.  

Sooo… What’s the solution, Sharon? (Click on the photo for a video demonstration

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In every Alexander Technique session, I have my clients spend time in Semi-Supine position (laying on back with knees bent). During this time, my client is learning how to listen to their body, how to quiet and calm the nervous system, anyhow to release muscular tension related to their response to pain.  

Semi-Supine is supportive of a long spine and a balanced body.  This makes learning to listen to your body easier.  Sometimes, just in the act of spending quiet, still, awake time with your own body, pain messages can quiet down and you experience stress relief as well.  Ignoring the “screams” from your body ensures that your body will get “louder” meaning stronger pain sensations and more discomfort.

Alexander Technique offers a kinder and gentler approach to the body.  You learn to move gently and with mindfulness.  You learn to be aware of how you are moving your body and how you are holding painful patterns of tension so that you can release them.  With the gentle hands-on guidance, you learn to soothe yourself and soothe your body.

As you go through your day, take the time to STOP and listen to your body.  Follow your body’s guidance. It is time for a kinder, gentler approach to our bodies.  If this sounds right to you, then sign up for our free video series:

As you go through your day, take the time to STOP and listen to your body.  Follow your body’s guidance. It is time for a kinder, gentler approach to our bodies.  If this sounds right to you, then sign up for our free video series:

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91% of Women Hate Their Bodies

My work in teaching Alexander Technique has given me deep insight into the attitudes that people have towards their bodies.   Throughout sessions, I ask my clients “What are you noticing in your body?”  Inevitably, EVERYONE, men and women, share some sort of negative body image.  

I have worked with people who have scoliosis, vocal issues (like spasmodic disphonia), fibromyalgia, nerve damage, eating disorders, arthritis, anxiety, chronic pain, asthma, depression, and much more. The ONE COMMONALITY is that each f them have a “thing” that evokes shame and embarrassment about their bodies.  This negative body image evoke stress about our bodies which causes tension, impaired breathing and gripping.  

So… when I saw Taryn Brumfitt’s movie trailer titled “EMBRACE,” I nearly flipped and screamed.  I am always guiding my clients to a more loving attitude towards their bodies.  I have also dealt with my own body shame and disgust towards my own body.  In order to shift my own attitude and my clients’, I am sharing this trailer.  

WATCH THE EMBRACE TRAILER NOW 

EMBRACE movie trailer

EMBRACE – Official Trailer: Join Taryn Brumfitt’s global journey to change the way we feel about our bodies.

EMBRACE will premiere at Sydney Film Festival Sunday June 12. Come along and embrace everyBODY: http://bit.ly/1ZCkFY1
‪#‎Ihaveembraced‬

CAST: Ricki Lake, Mia Freedman, Turia Pitt, Stefania Ferrario, Melinda Tankard Reist, The Bearded Dame.

Now is the time to transform how we feel about our bodies!  When you are aware of the negative impact of not cherishing your body just the way it is, you will never want to think a hurtful thought again about your most precious possession.  In Alexander Technique sessions, I encourage a loving, gentle, and kind approach to the body which soothes the nervous system and quiets the stress response.

If you are ready to transform your relationship to your body,  sign up for our free video series below:

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Why Do We Hate Our Bellies?

When I work with my clients, one of my first intentions is for them to FEEL their bodies, in other words, for them to have body awareness.  Inevitably, every person whether man or woman, when I ask them what do they notice, report to me “I notice I need to lose weight” or “I notice my stomach is pooching out.”  The thin people say it.  They not-so-thin people say it.  Our cultures dislike and rejection of our bellies is epidemic.  Our body image is distorted.

(Check out the LOVE YOUR BODY workshop for Self Care and Self Love during the month of February)

Even in myself I notice a constant awareness of needing to lose weight.  I notice myself in the mirror and see my belly which makes me feel wrong.  So many of my clients also believe that they are not supposed to have a belly.  They believe that something is wrong with their bodies because they do not have washboard flat abdomens.  I knew I grew up with a constant nagging of  “I’m fat, I’m fat, I’m too fat!”

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The result of this obsession with rejecting our bodies is that many people suck in their gut, harden the abdominal muscles, hold their breath, shrink their posture AND pull their spines out of alignment.

They are stressing themselves out!

Our bellies are a vital part of our whole SELF.  Within the belly contains the digestive tract and reproductive organs.  In many ancient modalities, the belly contains our spiritual center, our truth, our intuition.  For women, our miraculous ability to create life and bear children is within our bellies.  In terms of chakras, our belly houses the second chakra which relates to our relationships, sexuality, and our passion for life.

 

Why would we want this seat of passion and creativity to smaller or flatter?  Somewhere we as a culture have learned to deny our bodies and especially our bellies.  Many people I see in Alexander Technique sessions, carry themselves in a way that smashes the belly, making digesting and breathing difficult.  They often don’t want to feel the presence of the belly.  But BOY, when they do, there is a rush of emotion and feeling.  Breath moves the belly and they feel sensations, movement in the digestive tract that is at first frightening, and then, liberating.  Anger, power, fear, freedom all feelings that are visceral.  And then, confidence.

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We deserve our bellies.  We deserve to feel the power, the confidence and the joy that our bellies give us.  The power to bear children.  The power to trust our gut instinct.  The power to take up space in this world.  The power to breath fully and to breathe down into our truth.

Freeing our bellies grounds us on our feet.  We center ourselves through the difficulties life brings.  Letting your belly take up space gives you wholeness and self acceptance.  In order to experience the richness of life, we can honor and cherish the gift of our bodies and our bellies.

Your body is not a burden.  Your belly is not a curse.  Your body has miraculous abilities to heal, to experience life, and to relate to our fellow human beings.  Your belly is big and breathable.  Your belly is precious.  I invite you to love your belly, honor your belly, and to embrace your belly.  Let yourself feel your belly.

If you are ready to embrace your body, then join me for the LOVE YOUR BODY workshop, February 1, 8, 15, & 22 at 7pm in Los Feliz.

6 Ways to Calm Yourself Down During an Adrenaline Rush

Your body releases the supercharged hormone and neurotransmitter, adrenaline, when you have to slam on your brakes, get out ofthe way, or run for cover. It also releases it when you are stressed out, on a deadline, and have to speak in front of a group.

This RUSH triggers the FIGHT-or-FLIGHT response which turns off bodily functions such as digestion and increases blood pressure, heart rate, and blood flow to muscles: all good things when you have to escape from a burning car.

However, when the stakes are high, FIGHT-or-FLIGHT can destroy any chances of effectively delivering your pitch, getting board approval, or making the deal.

Speaking in front of the board, pitching to your clients, or presenting to your colleagues is demanding and can trigger some of these more subtle and off-putting reactions:

1. Clenched Jaw
2. High-pitched Voice
3. Scattered Thinking
4. Locked Knees
5. Hunched Posture

6. Tight Throat – Can’t get your words out
7. Fidgeting or Clumsy Movements
8. Rushed or Fumbled Speaking

These symptoms will also make your listeners uncomfortable. They won’t take you seriously.

Being able to identify your own Fight-or-Flight
Response, and then, ground yourself enables you to communicate your expertise and think quickly on your feet. You can utilize the energy and the excitement of your adrenaline rush to connect to your colleagues or clients and get them “on board.”

Try these strategies when you experience an overpowering Adrenaline Rush:

1. Slow down.
2. Pay more attention to breath going out.
3. Feel your feet on the floor.
4. Open your eyes instead of squinting.
5. Stand tall and let your shoulders be wide
6. Let your ribs move with your breath.

Taking these action steps to calm yourself in a high-stakes situation makes you look, feel, and sound confident. Instead of feeling like you were in a car wreck, your colleagues and clients will be eager and enthusiastic to pat you on the back, shake your hand, and start your project!

 

Sharon Jakubecy (www.AlexanderTechniqueLA.com) is a speaker and Alexander Technique teacher for thought leaders, executives, and public speakers so they are calm, confident, and dynamic in high-stakes speaking events, interviews, and presentations. She has been featured on NPR, The Huffington Post, The Hollywood Weekly, and Backstage as a stress management and Performance expert. Want more helpful articles and videos? Sign up below:

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