Larry Ball - a teacher of the Alexander Technique
Using vitality & consciousness to be, create, move and heal
|Address:||San Rafael, CA 94901|
THE EXPLORATION, STUDY AND PRACTICE OF THE ALEXANDER TECHNIQUE
AS TAUGHT BY LARRY BALL
I have used the following quotes from a few of the wise humans I have studied to give you insight into my ideas of the benefits and potentialities of Alexander's work for those of you who are interested in exploring a unique approach to the study and use of yourself- both within your deepest being and of yourself in the world:
People say that what we're all seeking is a meaning for life. I don't think that's what we're really seeking. I think that what we're seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances within our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive.... Joseph Campell
Energy is eternal delight. William Blake
You see, consciousness thinks its running the shop. But it's a secondary organ of a total human being, and it must not put itself in control. It must submit and serve the humanity of the body. Joseph Campbell
I have no doubt that most people live, whether physically, intellectually or morally, in a very restricted circle of their potential being. They make use of a small portion of their possible consciousness....much like a man who, out of his whole bodily oganism, should get into a habit of using and moving only his little finger.... We all have reservoirs of life to draw upon, of which we do not dream. William James
The technique of Mr. Alexander gives to the educator a standard of pycho-physical health - in which what we call morality is included. It supplies also the "means whereby" this standard may be progressively and endlessly achieved, becoming a conscious possession of the one educated....It bears the same relation to education that education itself bears to all other human activities. John Dewey
Life consists in learning to live on one's own, spontaneous, freewheeling: to do this one must recognize what is one's own - be familiar and at home with oneself. This means basically learning who one is, and learning what one has to offer to the contemporary world, and then learning how to make that offering valid. Thomas Merton
I teach Alexander's work to help students "progressively and endlessly" learn to use their own vitality and consciousness to become more fully alive, to create, to better develop their potentials, to move both from within themselves and outward in the world with greater understanding, balance and ease, and to heal.
Alexander's work helps us to learn how to experience and use life force (chi, prana, pneuma, primordial energy) received from essence and nature to better live our lives and function in the world. I believe life force is the simplest and most powerful means we have available to us for healing and nurturing ourselves, regardless of where we are in our lives. This allows our bodies, hearts, souls, psyches and spirits to not only heal but also to express our individual and unique Selves as we rediscover our inborn potentials. As such, Alexander's work has provided a wondrous and invaluable gift to each of us.
Alexander's work offers a profound and vital journey in living, developing, moving, balancing and healing through experiencing body, heart, soul, psyche and spirit existing and working together as one within ourselves and in the world. Through this exploration we also learn to recognize, experience, and free ourselves of our habitual responses which create and perpetuate myraid physical and psychological misconceptions, pains and anxieties. These habits prevent many of us from more fully becoming our unique and individual Selves. As we begin to be free of holding onto these habits, we can allow our choices and actions to be guided by the inherent wisdom of our body, heart, soul, psyche and spirit. This exploration provides an open pathway to consistently experiencing the rapture of being alive and the eternal delight of life's energies existing within our "innermost being and reality". This is where we learn to more fully enjoy living, to develop our Selves, to move with balance and ease, and to heal our Selves.
My teaching of Alexander's work is simple. It is within me. I share it as best I can with students. In my teaching I allow my whole being -my body, heart, soul, psyche and spirit- to join you in working with the principles and concepts of the Alexander Technique. In lessons I allow myself, my words and my touch to teach students what Alexander's work teaches me and help them see whether my vision and understanding of his work has value for them. In my teaching it is most important that I perceive and suppport each student's unique and individual Self as my guide.
I began studying the Alexander Technique in 1976. I graduated from the American Center for the Alexander Technique in San Francisco in 1979. At that time the school was under the direction of Frank Ottiwell and Giora Pinkas. I was a member of the school’s teaching faculty assisting Frank Otttiwell from 1981 to its closing in 2004. While a student in the school I worked with Patrick McDonald during his yearly visits to the school, as well as with Walter and Dilys Carrington during their visits and workshops. While a student and teacher in the school I worked extensively for over 10 years with Marjorie Barstow, both in San Francisco during her yearly visits to the school, and in Lincoln, Nebraska. Marjorie Barstow and Frank Ottiwell are my mentors.
I teach in San Rafael.
I am happy to answer any questions and discuss this work with you.
Office: (415) 491-1178
Cell: (415) 377-0449
Some FurtherThoughts on Alexander's Work
Historically Western civilization has failed to recognize the ability of our human body to help us know ourselves and live a truer, healthier life on earth. Instead, it generally limits such knowledge to our mind, to our ego. In a few places within our culture our heart is allowed to participate in the adventure of becoming ourselves.
However, there are very few places in our culture that even consider, much less allow, our body to have a role in this adventure. It is my experience that my body is capable of as much love, thought, wisdom and desire as my heart, soul, psyche and spirirt. I believe the discoveries of the Alexander Technique provide each of us with a profound and joyful means of allowing our body to reveal its deeper and wiser gifts to us.
In your lessons new experiences of your body emerge from within the habitual misconceptions, pains and anxieties experienced by you in life. During those moments your body's new experiences awaken your "innermost being and reality" as your body communicates its innate way of being and expression.
In lessons your body's gifts are expressed and shared with your heart, soul, psyche and spirit. Once experienced and explored with pointed attention you are able to begin to learn to allow these gifts to express themselves in your choices, actions, movements and healing. This change allows us to choose, act, move and heal more fully and wholly as humans on the earth. This change helps to allow harmony with oneself and nature, even in the midst of a human world that has broken away from harmony with nature.
I believe we each were born with this knowledge of our body. I also believe most of us lost a great deal of this knowedge in the course of adapting ourselves to the family, culture and society we grew up in. These forces are very powerful and cause most of us to forget so much of this knowledge. Without the help of the energies and knowledge within our body, we live without the presence of its deep wisdom and thus without a vital part of our being human. This harms not only our body, but our heart, soul, psyche and spirit as well.
Your experiences in each lesson give you motivation to explore this work on your own each day. In doing so, the energies and knowledge provided by your body grow and evolve. You learn to allow your body to participate equally and fully with your heart, soul, psyche and spirit in teaching yourself how to live a truer and healthier life. The only thing asked of you is a willingness to experiment with a perhaps new way of listening to your body, heart, soul, psyche and spirit.
Comments on my teaching
“As a student of movement for over 25 years, I have accumulated countless concepts, tips, and exercises that are meant to help me move and function better. But all of those things go out the window when working with Larry. He cuts through the fog and helps me see and experience that I already have everything I need to be free and whole right here, right now.
-- Matt Stevens, Linguist and Alexander Technique Teacher, AmSat
“Larry was one of my teachers at the Alexander Training Institute - SF. After graduating in 2003, I went to him for continued training for two intensive periods of study. Larry offers a very unique philosophical perspective on the Alexander Technique, which I believe guides his teaching. But I didn’t go to him for philosophy; I went to him for the experience of his touch. Under his hands, I felt harmony, the mystery of my body’s own potential to heal itself, and a sense of intrinsic movement and vitality. It would be an exaggeration to say that I could feel cellular movement, but that’s the type of metaphor that rises to mind when working with Larry. His quiet touch provides deep wells of space that were particularly important to me during times of distress. Studying with Larry will not give you simple answers. You will instead experience the mystery of life in the body. As a teacher, I often reference his work.
Elyse Shafarman, Alexander Technique teacher, MA. M.AmSat teacher
" As I write this I feel the echo of working with Larry just a few hours ago. And I feel re-opened in a new way - to my self and to my surroundings. Better not to say too much. Only to know that the direct experience is what matters and the quality of the vibration is much subtler than my ordinary materialistic experience. Right now I feel l like a buoy in calm gentle waters. This is in large part of just having worked with Larry."
David Page, Alexander Technique Teacher, AmSat
“ I can’t thank Larry enough for the inspiration his lessons have given me. I have been trying to resolve the contradiction between doing and non-doing for years, ever since my earliest workshop with Marjorie Barstow more than 30 years ago. The shift of verbal emphasis Larry teaches in the words “let the universe do it” just dissolves the problem. A miracle really. And what is even more fantastic is that in lessons Larry stays with the sensitivity of touch that allows ‘it’ to do itself. Wow.”
Marion Miller, Alexander Technique Teacher
“13 years ago Larry was my teacher at Alexander teacher's training school. Today he is my mentor. Larry's work opens a corridor of enlightenment that can only be found when one truly surrenders to the energy and balance of natural things.”
Alan Bolton, Alexander Technique teacher AmSAT.
“My lessons with Larry have been deeply healing and revealing for me and I've appreciated them enormously.”