Calling all Alexander Technique teachers! Toss a jigsaw puzzle into your suitcase on the way to this summer’s conference/workshop/retreat. On arrival, designate a space for table, chairs and puzzle. Invite participants to utilize time at the puzzle table as a “Thinking-in-Activity” practice.
Teaching staff sign up for a time block at the puzzle table, making themselves available for on-site-hands-on-lessons as students work the jigsaw. A traditional Alexander Technique lesson can be structured around the puzzle as Stimulus, which gives an opportunity to play with Inhibition (The Pause), Choice, and Directions. This is also an ideal setting to explore inclusive awareness; cultivating what Dr. Les Fehmi terms ‘open-focus,’ a diffuse attention combined with focus toward a specific task.
Not all puzzles are created equal. You can purchase cheap ones with low print quality; often the case with low resolution photograph puzzles. The best puzzles are fine art reproductions made with high quality materials. A pet peeve is a puzzle that leaves a cardboard dust on the table surface!
My favorites: Springbok Puzzles and Ravensburger. The New Yorker Puzzles are also excellent and feature the magazine’s cover art. In a pinch, I am not above purchasing whatever can be found at Target, because for the dedicated, dare I say, obsessive puzzler, even Amazon Prime can’t always get it to you soon enough!
Also, you can now work puzzles at a website: New Yorker Online Jigsaw Puzzles. Very fun. In lieu of the satisfying feel of a puzzle piece that fits, on-line puzzlers receive an auditory ‘click’ on achieving a puzzle piece placement.
Imagine a summer of Alexander Technique training and teaching, enhanced with one of the season’s finest pleasures, the jigsaw puzzle. May your head lead and your body follow as you pursue your summer teaching and the summer jigsaw puzzle!