Michael Ashcroft

Michael Ashcroft

Unleashing the right hemisphere

I'm working my way through The Master And His Emissary, written by Iain McGilchrist, which I expect one day will be considered one of the most important books of all time. You may know that the brain is lateralised into two hemispheres, left and right. This has unfortunately become co-opted by a bunch of corporate training-style nonsense, like "the left

How to dance without trying to dance

There’s a particular way of being we inhabit when dancing. Dancing is a kind of availability, a capacity to respond to the invitations of each moment in a receptive, fluid and open way. When dancing without a partner, say in a club or at a concert, the music is your dance partner. Your body seems to move of its

Notice your 'getting ready' habit

I don’t mean preparation, like for a public lecture or test. I mean the moment by moment experience of bracing yourself for the next moment. Yes, I’ll explain. There’s a very common experience in Alexander Technique lessons, particularly for beginners, where the student ‘gets ready’ to receive some Alexander Technique instruction. This is 100% the opposite of

Disengaging your parking brake

A few years ago — during a road trip from Boston, MA, to Burlington, VT — I noticed the engine of my hire car was working quite hard and the steering was heavy. When I stopped at a farm to investigate, and to sample some maple syrup and cheese, I realised that I hadn’t fully disengaged the parking brake when I

A single integrated field of awareness

I’ve started re-reading one of the best Alexander Technique books out there: Freedom to Change by Frank Pierce Jones. When I have a reading list, this book will be on it. I want to share a few really interesting excerpts from the opening chapters with some commentary. “It was only after I realized attention [what I call awareness -