How to guide: LEARNING NEW movement habits

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Kathy Driscoll

How to guide: LEARNING NEW movement habits…

I’ve created a 4 part series to support the changes you want to make

  • Part 1: Emerging from NOT knowing – seeing your habits!
  • Part 2: Consciously exploring new pathways
  • Part 3: New Normal Emerges
  • Part 4: New Habits formed – celebrate the wins!

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Part 1: 

Emerging from NOT knowing – seeing your habits!

New habits are learnt!

New habits need practice – you know this!

To learn anything new (guitar, yoga, software programs etc) you are often uncomfortable in the beginning. Genuine attention and focus are needed to forge new pathways in our nervous system.


It is wonderful how we now understand the “neuro plasticity” of our brains.  That’s got to give you some encouragement J  Change is totally possible.


Habits are powerful as they work in the background – they run on automatic.  To create changes in our habits we need to disrupt our regular routines.


First key stage in the learning of new habits is appreciating when you have NO awareness or knowledge of your present circumstances (posture, movement patterns, habitual responses to stimulus etc).


The only option you have to function in the world is to run on your regular, known nervous system pathways.  This is most often the place where people start their BodyMinded learning journey.


Some need has brought you wanting or seeking change. Perhaps it is pain, discomfort or you want to be more confident, have less headaches – whatever your motivation the first step is looking very carefully at what you are doing.  I call this emerging from your ‘not’ knowing place.


Often in a class or in a private lesson with a teacher the first part of the learning is to become aware of what you can’t currently see or feel.


So many times I’ve heard or seen people say “I’m not really leaning back all the time, am I?” (when exploring where upright-ness actually is spatially).  Each person has blind spots. We all do.  Even those people that have been doing BodyMinded/Alexander Technique for a long time – everyone has ideas that need updating about how we move and respond to the world.


If you are in the place of wanting to change something that you know is not helping you be healthy and happy. The first step is find a method to get external objective information about yourself.


The easiest method is to work with a professionally trained observer of movement (aka an Alexander Technique teacher or a BodyMinded coach).  We work in Sydney and would love to help you. If this is not available to you then start using mirrors, your smart phone to grab photos or video of yourself.  Carefully looking at your movement, seeking external objective information is the key to seeing what you actually do when you move!


Big note here – it is about movement NOT any specific position!


Seeing your movement is not an instruction to add more tension or try to ‘fix’ something. Approach your observations buckets loads of self-kindness.

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Working with a BodyMinded teacher/ coach assists you in delving into the thinking that is associated with specific movement moments.  I’ve watched Greg Holdaway teaching for years now, and am often surprised that he plucks out of the conversation the ‘key’ idea inside people’s thinking that is manifesting the strain or stress in their movements.  Our thinking and moving are woven together, change one and the other follows!



Today’s practical task for you is to

Reflect on what and how you will gain external objective feedback about your thinking and moving.

Working with a trusted source is important.


The first step towards change requires external objective feedback. You need help to see what you are really doing when you reach for a cupboard, turn your head when driving, lifting your child, begin playing the piano etc.


Options for you to consider:

Join a small group class with a professional coach

Book a series of personal lessons with a professional teacher

For those in rural areas or not close to a BodyMinded coach or an Alexander Technique teacher you could

-       Book a skype lesson

-       Use your phone to record your movement

-       Ask for feedback from family or trusted friends

-       Read some articles to help you reveal your thinking and moving preferences


Next blog we will bring you part 2 in the learning journey of the New Year New You with the BodyMinded approach.


I started with the key idea “New Habits are learnt”… it is true.  Believe that you can change and that you’ll succeed.

Good Luck!

Part 2 coming soon.

About Kathy Driscoll

I want to share my insights and a few stories about Alexander Technique with you. I’ve used Alexander Technique in some extreme circumstances including the birth of my twins and when I had appendicitis!  I also use Alexander Technique for everyday activities as well.

I have been involved with Alexander Technique for more than 25 years.  I meet Greg Holdaway (Director of Sydney Alexander Technique) just as he was transitioning from a professional career as a dancer into Bill Brenner’s Alexander Technique teacher training program in Sydney.

Greg now has been teaching for decades, he remains passionate and totally focused on positive results for those he works with, which now include his own teacher training program.


Please get in touch for more information about Alexander Technique.



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