Gabrielle joined Frances Shefter on Stress-Free IEP to discuss the Alexander Technique, specifically The Ready List, which she uses when working with students. The Ready List is three simple questions to help self-regulate through releasing tension and focusing on our bodies. We ask ourselves “Am I breathing? Am I seeing? Can I be soft and tall?” 

Stress-free IEP podcast episode promo art with Francis Shefter and Gabrielle Czaja

The Ready List is based upon the principles of the Alexander Technique, which helps improve postural support and makes breathing easier.  When we have less tension in our body, and we are breathing well, then it’s easier to concentrate in the classroom and feel confident in social situations. We all know what it feels like to feel stress; it can be muscle tension, butterflies in our stomachs, headaches. The Ready List is a great place to start learning how to connect our mind and body for complete well-being.  To make these principles easier to implement in our daily lives, group workshops for students use games and activities to practice these ideas and make them relevant.  Gabrielle discussed the impact of this process, citing examples from some of her clients, and talked with Frances about how this can support parents as well.

Ultimately, The Ready List helps children (and us–educators and parents!) have compassion for themselves. Because we learn through our bodies from the moment we’re born, teaching kids how to rely on their body in the classroom helps them focus more easily, recover from stress more readily, and most importantly, develops agency and self-efficacy.