Open To Change

Ellie Enjoys Encountering Her Unconscious Habits

I’ve been swimming off and on for years, having spent long summers as a child in Ireland dipping in the north Atlantic. Never having had any formal training, I was confident in the water but my technique left a lot to be desired and I always had a secret longing to improve. I’d done some Alexander work years ago to deal with a back problem and found it very revealing to discover all the unconscious habits I’d acquired that were getting in the way of moving easily. I really loved the whole experience and still use it today.

I decided to return to swimming  a couple of years ago and enrolled for lessons at my local pool. It was a disaster, with four people at varying levels being taught by a tutor with no experience so I gave up and decided to teach myself. That was when I found Ian and Cheryl’s Swimming Without Stress YouTube videos. They appealed to me right away, even before I realised the Alexander connection. The movement in the water looked so easy and relaxed. I tried to put it into practice but really had no idea how well or otherwise I was doing. It suddenly occurred to me that I could go for Swimming Without Stress lessons, so I booked and am so glad that I did!

Ian and Cheryl were expert teachers, so patient and encouraging. From their feedback, again I began to recognise my unconscious habits that impede easy movement, this time in the water. It was really useful to practise the different elements that make up the crawl, breaststroke etc, and to move away from a “doing” mindset that produces tension in movement to a much more relaxed style. I know I will need to concentrate on not reverting to my old ways but I now have the knowledge and self-awareness need to improve. I found the whole experience invaluable and very enjoyable. As an extra bonus, Croft Farm is a lovely place to stay and the area round about is really beautiful. Highly recommended!

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