Eginton Alignment is a concrete set of practices and a flexible, accommodating, and practical point of view on the use of the physical body. In addition to techniques from Feldenkrais and Alexander, Meg and other EA teachers use Sensory Awareness techniques drawn from Elsa Gindler, Charlotte Selver, and Fritz and Laura Perls’ work to help people make alignment and movement pattern changes quickly, because awareness teaches kinesthetic memory and calm self direction. Meg’s own hands-on techniques and skill at devising exercises suited to each individual are passed to her teachers. Meg and her teachers help students quickly progress to self-care.
Ways to Study Eginton Alignment
Usually people take an initial group of six session lessons, after which Meg or your teacher will makes recommendations for next steps.
Meg offers individual Table Work Sessions, Upright Lessons for Alignment, Posture, and Gait and a group class in the Daily Dozen (a series of alignment exercises which once learned can be practiced without a teacher for self care). All three methods of delivery are appropriate to people of all ages and abilities. Individualized exercises to address problems of pain, to increase of range of movement, or to existent movement patterns for better coordination or self care can be created in individual sessions.
In an Eginton Alignment Table Work Session the student lies fully clothed, face up, on a padded table surface similar to a massage table. While lying down the student feels his/her muscular tension release, as Meg works with gentle rolling and raking movements and a “flat hand” to move muscle away from bone and create space and freedom in joints, while also redirecting inefficient physical effort patterns and increasing breath capacity. Table work is a great stress buster, and it also teaches a person to recognize and recreate experiences of ease in the body and breath. Upon standing up the student is freer in breath and movement, feels better and calmer, often is pain free, and can experience true uprightness and “freely, forward and up”, Alexander’s recipe for good alignment and range of movement.
A note: Tissue Pain issues, such as Fibromyalgia, or nerve issues such as sciatica, often do not respond well to conventional physical therapy but will, over time, be helped by Table Work lessons combined with Eginton Alignment stretching and range of motion exercises. In both cases, doctors and physical therapists most often prescribe stretching and exercise as a treatment. Yet people often find themselves in more pain after a self-directed stretching or exercise session. This is because it is very difficult for someone experiencing such pain to find the right amount of pull, or tension, in any self -directed stretch or movement regimen. Eginton Alignment teachers’ hands are trained to feel subtly, and we can feel just how much stretch is enough, and then gently work to soften your muscles, stretch your muscles, and help you feel better. After a Table Work session you might at first feel very tired and sleepy. Occasionally you will experience a little soreness, but after a nap or a good night’s sleep you will feel less pain, more energy, and probably be able to exercise. Your teacher will also give you very gentle exercises to do at home to maintain mobility and continue your progress.
In an Upright Lesson Meg works with her student’s movement and support of weight while standing and sitting. By gently moving bones and muscles to change habitual patterns of movement that interfere with good alignment, and guiding the student into more efficient self-directing of head and pelvic balancing, tension is released. More easeful and elegant walking, standing, and sitting result. This more easeful use of the body in motion is also a more neutral use of the body. Neutrality is often desired by performers as it “bops stage fright out of the head”, and creates a clear channel for expression of many qualities, tones, and forces of sound and movement. The same neutrality is useful in beginning any negotiation or presentation. The Upright Lesson begins with an analysis of posture, gait, and effort patterns extant in the body. After analyzing the patterns, suggestions for change and new ways of moving are introduced and practiced. Upright sessions include the creation of an individualized series of standing and walking alignment exercises to be practiced at home and sometimes, during presentation and performance events.
The Daily Dozen is a baker’s dozen of simple exercises taught in a small group class setting. These exercises organize a person’s physical structure so well into natural ease that holding patterns release spontaneously. Upon standing a person’s alignment is noticeably better and the person feels noticeably calmer and more “present”. The exercises teach range of motion of the axial and appendicular skeleton and while doing so, retrain standing and walking alignment. Once learned the Daily Dozen can be practiced at home without a teacher, and will continue to yield more benefits in length, width, and release of tension. The series can become a physical form of meditation because of its emphasis on using direction from the mind to move the body, and because the exercises require steady one-thought concentration to perform correctly and acheive results.
At Eastwind Healing Center Meg will also teach Five to Go and Four to Flow will also be taught in follow up single session classes, after the Daily Dozen workshops, as they are both shorter forms of the Daily Dozen, useful for hectic days or nights. Meg hopes to offer other short workshops, including specialized ones for sciatica, neck and shoulder pain, proper coordinations for older adults (such as getting down and up from the floor), and a short course in Alignment and Movement for Actors.
Home Visits may be arranged on a case by case basis.
Individual Table Work or Upright Lessons last an hour, or an hour and a half. Initial diagonistic sessions last for two hours. Group classes last two hours. You can contact Meg at email@example.com or 319-519-3848.
Performance Coaching: Meg Eginton developed Eginton Alignment coaching as a way to help actors and other performers: use good alignment in performance regardless of character, be open to breath and impulse, and create and execute blocking and choreography without tension. Good alignment means a ‘good use’ of the body, not a ‘posture’, or even neutral walk and stance, (though it is important to achieve a solid use of a good neutral walk and stance as a point of departure). When a performer is using him/herself with good alignment, performances become free, flowing, and often inspired. Good alignment makes it easier to receive and send impulses, and to consistently pursue an objective — and, because it clears the pathways between body and brain– it becomes easier for performers to enter into a ‘flow state’. Eginton Alignment training increases coordination in all performing skills, across disciplines and genres. Many of today’s successful young and mid-career performers have studied Eginton Alignment privately or in BFA and MFA conservatories. Margaret has coached actors, dancers, singers and other musicians, and people who use presentational skills (teachers and business people) for over 20 years. All Eginton Alignment teachers come from performance backgrounds and have experience in teaching and coaching performers towards their own highest artistic goals. Coaching sessions can take place privately, or within class or rehearsal settings, in collaboration with another interested teacher or director. Please contact Meg at egintonalignment.com. For Los Angeles, contact Julianne Kusmierczyk at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Descriptions of Eginton Alignment Series and Workshops
Contact Eastwind Healing Center at 319-337-3313 to express interest in a workshop/class — forming one or taking one.
The Daily Dozen is the fundamental series of exercises in Eginton Alignment. It re-aligns the bones of the body. As a result, a person finds a deeper level of muscular support, and the heavy surface muscles of the body, which sometimes become so tight that movement is constricted, soften and lengthen. As a result of this softening and lengthening a person finds more freedom in their joints and so achieves a broader range of motion. People immediately notice that their shoulders and their backs are less tense, and that their heads turn more easily side-to-side. When practiced over time, the Daily Dozen re-aligns bones and muscles so well that people often gain height and fully release themselves from chronic pain. Regardless of a person’s age, posture, coordination, balance, and expressivity in motion always improve. The Daily Dozen helps a person move more elegantly, and develop more control over back pain, posture, tissue pain, and injury recovery.
It feels good to do, it is easy to learn, and once learned, it takes only 20 minutes to complete at home.
Short Descriptions of Other Series taught in Workshops
Get up and down from the floor and other such dilemmas: learn how to help yourself with simple tasks that become more difficult as you age.
Long, Sleek, Sixty and UP: lengthen what may be getting shorter, free your neck and shoulders from pain.
Breathe Like a Tree: Gentle alignment exercises combined with several breathing exercises to increase depth and fullness of breath, and to re-introduce natural breathing patterns for people who habitually hold their breath.
Baby Don’t Let Me Go: Partnered stretches that lengthen the big muscle groups and increase balance.
Alone and Happy: Stretches you can do alone for your neck, sides, inner and outer thighs, and lower back.
Red Carpet Series: Shoulders and hip alignment exercises, and lower back and walking exercises to do alone.
Circus Stretches: Acrobatic partnered exercises that yield flexibility and coordination.
Extreme Stretch and Strength Series (3): Stretching with resistance and weights.
Combined Eginton Alignment and Tremoring work: a warm up using Eginton Alignment and tremoring inspired by Fitzmaurice Voicework (with or without gentle sounding).
Rock Your Voice, Align Your Bones, Fill The Rafters: a vocal warm up that uses Eginton Alignment and Feldenkrais work to open full body resonance and pitch for singing and speaking (with sounding).
Passe′ and Beyond: Turn Out!: exercises for increasing dancers’ hip socket space, femur rotation (turn out), upper back flexibility, lower back and pelvis control, shoulder blade movement (down) and freedom of shoulder joints (backward reach) and arm movement (length and control).
2016 Alexander Technique Workshop, Iowa City
2016 How to Breathe, Deep Flexibility and Pelvic Support, Find and Activate Your Posts, Balance for All Ages — Iowa City, Virtue Medicine.
2016 Atlantic Theater Workshop
2015 Daily Dozen Workshop, Virtue Medicine
2015 Long, Tall and Supple: A Workshop for Women in the Middle Prime of Life
2014 Daily Dozen Workshops, Virtue Medicine, Principia College, Atlantic Theater
2013 New York City Workshop at Chelsea Studios
2013 Atlantic Theater Burlington, Vermont
2012 Atlantic Theater Burlington, Vermont
2012 Principia College, Illinois
2011 Principia College, Illinois
2010 New York City Workshop
2010 Principia College, Illinois
2010 Sarasota, Florida
2010 Atlantic Theater Burlington, Vermont
2009 Atlantic Theater, Vermont
2009 Sarasota Florida Open Workshop
2008 Atlantic Theater, Vermont
2007 Atlantic Theater, Vermont
2007 KCCTA Conference, New York
2007 ATHE Workshop, New Orleans
2006 Roy Hart Theatre, France
2006 International Institute for the Performing Arts, Paris
2006 Principia College, Illinois
2005 International Institute for the Performing Arts, Paris
2005 New College of Florida, Sarasota
2004 New College of Florida, Sarasota
2002 Vakhtangov School, Moscow
2000 Iowa City, Iowa
2000 University of Bologna, Italy
1999 Moscow Art Theatre, Moscow
1999 Theatre de Vevey, Switzerland
1999 University of Bologna, Italy
1998 Iowa City, IA
1997 Iowa City, IA
1995 Atlantic Theater, VT
1994 Atlantic Theater, VT
1992 Atlantic Theater, VT
move smarter, feel more