Larry Ball - a teacher of the Alexander Technique
Helping educate, support and heal the whole individual
|Address:||San Rafael, CA 94901|
THE EXPLORATION, STUDY AND PRACTICE OF THE ALEXANDER TECHNIQUE
AS TAUGHT BY LARRY BALL
For me, the primary purpose of the Alexander Technique is to help educate, support and heal the whole individual.
I teach Alexander's work to help people learn to allow Life and Consciousness help them receive, experience, and express their wholeness, humanity and Self: to realize whole health, to heal physical and psychological misconceptions, pains and anxieties, to become more fully alive, to create from within, to better fulfill their potentials, to move freely within their individual Self and outward into the world with greater understanding, strength, balance and ease.
In that spirit, I offer the following quotes from a few of the wise humans I have studied to give you insight into my vision and understanding of the value of exploring, studying and practicing the Alexander Technique.
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 Campbell
Energy is eternal delight. William Blake
"Concerning matter, we have been all wrong. What we have called matter is energy, whose vibration has been so lowered as to be perceptible to the senses. There is no matter." Albert Einstein
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
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
From......experience comes the knowledge that choice acts in every moment, not a choice of this or that, but of living or non-living. The thought or feeling that is repudiated, the occurrence unregarded, is a choice of non-living. This same moment can, through choice of awareness, be made a turning to instead of a turning away. Frances G. Wickes
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
Good health is priceless and this technique lays the best possible foundation for good health. If one is mis-using oneself it must be an advantage to be able to correct this misuse. Patrick MacDonald (one of the first students taught by Alexander to become a teacher of his work).
,, ,,my experience may one day be recognized as a signpost directing the explorer to a country hitherto 'undiscovered' , and one which offers unlimited opportunity for fruitful research to the patient and observant pioneer." F.M. Alexander
The Alexander Technique
As humans we have been given the wondrous gift of LIfe Itself. We are expressions of LIfe Itself within our hearts, souls, psyches, spirits, feelings, sacred bodies, our identification with the other (Thou Art That), essence, nature, and our urge to fulfill our potentials. To me, this describes our wholeness. We are at our best when we learn to recognize and practice our wholeness as indivudals and as members of our world community.
I believe Life Itself is the simplest and most powerful source we have with which to learn to recognize and practice wholeness in our daily lives.
I believe that Alexander's work offers a profound and pragmatic means by which we are able to more fully connect with this source and allow LIfe Itself to give us Its primary help, experience and knowledge in learning to experience and practice our wholenss in our daily lives.
This allows us not only to heal and become strong, but to express our individual and unique self as we rediscover and work toward fulfiling our potential.
We learn to become conscious of and free ourselves from habitual choices which interfere with the recognition and practice of our Wholeness. This interference perpetuates physical and psychological misconceptions, pains and anxieties. Alexander's work offers us a means whereby we can prevent our ego minds from interfering with the experience and practice of our wholeness.
Historically Western culture has failed to recognize the ability of our wholeness to help us know ourselves and live a truer, healthier life on earth. Instead, Western culture generally limits such efforts to our mind, to our ego.
I believe Alexander's discoveries and work can provide each of us with a profound and joyful means of allowing our wholeness to reveal its deeper and wiser gifts to us.
In your lessons new experiences of your wholeness emerge from within the unconscious misconceptions, the conscious pains and the conscious anxieties experienced by you in life.
Once experienced and explored with attention you are able to begin to learn to allow your wholeness to express Itself in your choices, actions, movements and healing. These changes allows us to choose, act, move and heal more fully and wholly as humans on the earth. These changes help us to allow harmony with oneself and nature, even in the midst of a human world that has broken away from harmony with nature.
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 Wholeness grow and evolve.
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.
For forty years I have taken Alexander at his word and have attempted to be a pioneer of the work he began: to explore, to observe, to listen and to discover the truly unlimited knowledge and understanding his work offers. During these years of study, exploration, and practice I have found an open doorway to and greater understanding of the gifts the Alexander Technique offers.. Alexander's work has helped me to live a more wondrous, joyful and healthy life. This work has led me to a great improvement and understanding of myself within my deepest self and in the world.
I believe my teaching of Alexander's work is imaginative, intuitive, non-critical, with plenty of room for play. I share it as best I can with students, through my presence, touch and words. I teach my students what this work means for me and help them explore the value for them.
I teach in San Rafael.
I am happy to answer any questions and discuss this work with you.
Cell: (415) 377-0449
Comments on my teaching
“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
“ 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.”
" 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
“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