Friday, January 05, 2007

Your Health Connection

I want to wish you a very Happy New Year with hopes of peace and joy for 2007.

I also want to share some exciting news with you. I was interviewed for an article on the Alexander Technique appearing this month (January, page 28) in "Your Health Connection", a very professional guide for health and wellness for the Conejo Valley and surrounding areas in California. The article is quite good, especially considering that it wasn't written by an Alexander teacher or student of the Technique. The publication is FREE and is available at Medical & Dental Offices, Pharmacies, Urgent Care Centers and Hospitals; Hair, Nail and Beauty Salons, Fitness centers and Gyms; Martial Arts, Pilates, Yoga and Dance Studios; Spas and Massage Centers; Cafes, Bakeries and Restaurants; Health Food Stores, Vitamin & Nutrition Shops and Markets and many more locations. You can email them at or call 1 818 889-8350 for specific locations.

Next month, I hope to have it available on my website

I'll be back in touch soon,
Sydney Laurel Harris

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Body Freedom
It is possible to be in your body and move in ways that are easy, fluid and balanced. When the body is aligned the way nature intended, you are balanced and coordination is easy. Sometimes this natural alignment is lost because of the stresses of modern day life. Sometimes it is lost because of imitation ... imitating parents, celebrities or "cool" peers. Poor posture then becomes a habit, often leading to discomfort, fatigue and pain. Habits take time to change, but the good news is that they can be changed. And then it is you who are in control of your own body. That is body freedom.

We spend a lot of time looking for comfortable furniture and there are companies that are constantly developing the latest ergonomic designs. However, it is actually possible to learn how to depend on your own physical structure for support and comfort instead of the furniture. Then you are not at the mercy of office chairs in the conference room, the chairs at the restaurant, or the couch at your mother-in-law's. Wouldn't it be nice to depend on yourself for your own comfort?

Learn more about body freedom, how you can move with ease no matter what the occasion at and at Better yet, come to my next workshop June 9, 2006.


Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Posture & Body Language

Posture is a large component of body language. Often people think that posture is something static, but it is not. Often people think that posture can be changed in an instant and at will, but usually it cannot. I've already mentioned the issue of habits surrounding posture in an earlier blog. John Dewey, the American educator/philosopher puts it really well when he says, " It is as reasonable to expect a fire to go out when it is ordered to stop burning as to suppose that a man can stand straight in consequence of a direct action of thought and desire. The fire can be put out only by changing objective conditions; it is the same with rectification of bad posture." To read the complete selection, please go to

Thank you for stopping by,

Friday, April 21, 2006


I have been experiencing mild joint pain again. Nothing like I did 2 years ago. Back then I had excruciating pain in all of my joints that lasted for 3 months. At that time I changed my diet and made other lifestyle changes. The activity that had the most holistic impact was my meditation. In that meditation, I would have a conversation with my joints to discover what they might be saying to me. I discovered a pattern of intense self-criticism that seemed to allow and encourage others, especially my family members to criticize me as well. I felt that I was under constant attack. This led me to spend time everyday meditating, mentally releasing my need for criticism. I also stopped allowing others' habitual criticism to go unchecked.

This morning I returned to my meditation. The joint pain has a different message today. It seems to be about the new direction in my work. I have always had a quiet little private practice in the Alexander Technique. Now, I am moving toward a larger stage, incorporating other areas of expertise. My elbows tell me that I don't have enough elbow room. At the same time, my knees seem to be weak with stage fright.

I'm sharing my process with you in hopes that it might give you a window into one of the ways that you can explore the messages from your body.

Be Well,



Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The Body is the Messenger: a body language workshop

The date for the next Body Messenger workshop is May 12, 9 - 1 pm. It's being held at the UC Santa Barbara Extension in Ventura, CA.

This is an introductory workshop that will explore different aspects of body language. It will include beginning work with the Alexander Technique. It' a great way to start Mother's Day Weekend!

You can go to my website to read more For anyone reading this blog I am offering a 25% discount if you email me

Thanks for stopping by,

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Body Language Plus in Les Triplettes de Belleville
I recently had the opportunity to watch Les Triplettes de Belleville, an animated film written & directed by Sylvain Chomet. I watched it with my fourteen year-old son. Although the colors were subtle and there is almost no dialogue, it was able to hold his attention. We were both delighted by the unusual storyline and the remarkable depiction of the characters. Briefly the story is of a sad little boy, his grandmother, and their dog. The boy grows up to be a bicycle racer who is kidnapped in the middle of a race.

The incredible details of the body language of the characters spoke to us on so many different levels. I didn't know that the articulation of fingers could be so expressive or captivating. The fingers of the aged triplets (former singing stars) expressed such strange pleasure eating frogs in one scene, expertly played percussion in another & gave distinct disapproval whenever their belongings were touched. The block-shape of the villains and their block-like movements make them more than physically threatening. The shrinking and expanding of the loyal dog's body gave us instant recognition of his "thought" processes. We loved the exaggeration of body parts too: the huge calf & thigh muscles partnered with the thin torso of the bicyclist, the alcoholic noses, the extraordinarily long noses, the enormous derrières... even the set pieces took on personalities.

This is an extraordinary little film in which the animation relies on the unique body language of its characters more than most everything else to tell its story. And it does so very successfully. It's worth renting at your local dvd rental location or


Saturday, April 15, 2006

Another Way to Look at Body Language
Most of us are concerned with how others see us, hear us, etc. Equally important is what is going on in our communication with ourselves. The body not only communicates to others; it can tell us about ourselves if we pay attention. So body language is not just non-verbal gestures and movements, it's the language of the body.

I remember when I was first teaching the Alexander Technique (almost 30 years ago), I had the opportunity to meet Louise Hay when she was visiting the West Coast. She had a little book that we all referred to as "the little blue book". It was the first version of her book Heal Your Body. It's a list of diseases and physical problems with their correlating psychological causes.

We can learn a great deal about ourselves by listening to the messages that our bodies our giving us. I teach a workshop "The Body is the Messenger" in which I guide and support people to discover these messages . Once we begin to see and understand these messages, then we can make changes. The changes can heal our bodies AND they can help us to live more fully and authentically.

Thanks for stopping by,