Michael Ashcroft

Michael Ashcroft

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 -

How to be natural on camera by expanding awareness

I’m currently part way through a project to ‘make 100 YouTube videos’, the idea being to get comfortable on camera and to eventually become some sort of YouTube influencer guy. Or something. Most of these videos have involved me screaming into the void, but this one struck a chord (now viewed >3k times). It’s about how I

Could online teaching be superior?

I’m re-reading one of Alexander’s later books at the moment: The Use of the Self. He notes in the introduction that many people write to him complaining that they can’t ‘do it themselves’ by reading his books. Let me give you a sense of his not great writing style by providing an excerpt — I’ll even add