“Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges”; A Book Review by Diana McCullough

Amy Cuddy splashed onto the popular culture scene in 2012 when she was featured as a TED Talk lecturer. A Harvard Business School professor and psychologist, Cuddy advocates changing the way we use our bodies, which in turn changes the way we are thinking, feeling, and acting. With Harvard colleagues, Cuddy designed a series of experiments to answer this question: If nonverbal expressions of power are hardwired, and our emotions are as much a result as they are a cause of our physical expressions, then what would happen if we adopt expansive postures even when we are feeling powerless? Results from their first experiment suggested that, indeed, the body shapes the mind. Changes to a subsequent experiment measured not only the subjects’ self-reported feelings and willingness to take risks, but also measured hormonal changes. Subjects employing a Power Pose (feet apart, hands on hips, head up, eye gaze out) had increased testosterone (the assertiveness hormone), while cortisol (the stress hormone) decreased. Decades ago Frederick Matthias Alexander pre-figured Cuddy’s present day … Continue reading

Non-Doing: The Alexander Technique’s Guide to Self Awareness

lotus

by Kristen Fryer ~ Non-Doing, otherwise known as inhibition or unlearning, might normally be considered a negative ideal to pursue.  Who is really interested in spending time unlearning, not doing and being inhibited?  No, people are much more enthusiastic about what your doing, what you’ve been learning, and hope that you are fully engaged in life and not being inhibited!  I confess, I too see the logic in the case for ‘doing’.  It definitely resonates deep in the recesses of my Aries nature to be involved in as many activities as I can squeeze into one lifetime.  Now you might be sensing that this conversation is about to make a case for non-doing and it is.  You might be wondering how I can even waste my breath defending it but I will and I hope you will stay to see The Alexander Techniques philosophy about non-doing and how much value it can bring to people’s lives.  It certainly has saved mine!!! Non-Doing is The Alexander Techniques’ Guide to self-awareness. … Continue reading