5 minutes with Alison Wesley
With another Franklin Method Level 1 Online Teacher Training course on the horizon this coming January, we thought the best way to prepare would be to sit down with Level 1 Training Coordinator Alison Wesley and shoot the breeze. Alison dovetails her Franklin Method work with yoga teaching/therapy and she has a real passion for sharing her movement knowledge with others as part of her business “Working with Yoga“.
Alison, when did you first start learning the Franklin Method?
I first turned to a page in Dynamic Alignment Through Imagery in 2013 after three herniated discs in my spine. Seeing the image of the vertebrae as corks in water, instantly brought feeling back to my leg and I signed up for the Level One Training that was happening the following week! I was hooked!
How has the Level 1 course changed your teaching?
The level one training has changed my teaching dramatically – I feel like instead of telling my students what to do or what they should be feeling, I developed the skill of being truly student centered and empowering my students with choice…not just choice in what to do, but how they can choose their thoughts to create change. Learning about the bones and joints in Level One was also hugely helpful and cleaned up a lot of language I was using that was going against the body’s design, and I also learned to embody efficient movement without tension and inspired my students to find the same.
Why would you recommend the FM L1 course?
I recommend the Level One Training for folks who are interested in becoming more embodied themselves, because the training will definitely give you a deeper understanding of the body’s design as well as tools to truly participate with your thoughts. I also recommend this course for any movement teacher, anatomy teacher or health practitioner as a way to make your modality more student centered, effective and applicable to daily life.
What’s the best thing about being a FM Educator?
The best thing about being an FME is that I have to be embodied myself to be able to share this work with others and it takes down the hierarchy of “expert” and “student.” As an FME I’m experiencing the imagery and embodiments along with my class/students and in that way, we’re all working together.
Do yoga and FM work well together?
I can no longer separate yoga from FM because they blend so perfectly together. When you first learn to teach yoga, often you learn cues for different asanas and at some point as a teacher, you tire of the same cues. Franklin Method helps you create endless resources of ways to see movement and in yoga, the poses, and to be able to describe them in a new way with a different focus each time. Not to mention, FM helps embody function inside asana, clearing excess tension which keeps practitioners away from yoga itself. FM allows for flow.
What’s your all-time favorite visualization/imagery exercise?
My favorite FM imagery changes every moment, which is the beauty of learning FM…you learn to create spontaneous, useful images. Currently in this moment as I’m typing and I’m sitting up as well as can be, I’m imagining my sitting bones like two feet, even on the chair. And just like I’d want to stand with evenness of weight beneath the corners of my feet I’m imagining those corners under the “feet” of my sitting bones and it creates ease in my spine, freedom in my hips and a sense of groundedness through the chair to the floor!
Can you describe the Level 1 course in one word?
One word for Level One? Change.
If you have any questions you’d like to put to Alison, we have good news: You can! You can join her live online on Wednesday, October 27 – 9 AM (Pacific) / 12 PM (Eastern) / 6 PM (Zurich) – for a special Level 1 information and Q&A session. If you’re still on the fence about whether FM Level 1 is for you, Alison will be on hand to answer any remaining questions you might have in your mind. Book your spot for the live event today.
Alison Wesley is a Faculty Franklin Method Educator and Registered Yoga Teacher/Therapist in Portland, OR. She owns Working with Yoga, offering workplace yoga and assists Franklin Method Teacher Trainings alongside Eric Franklin. With him, she co-wrote Understanding the Pelvis: A Functional Approach to Yoga, published by Human Kinetics. She designed and leads mobility classes for back care at Rebound Physical Therapy and has a therapeutic movement video series called ThrUMovement. Along with geeking out about movement, anatomy and mental training, she plays music with her husband, spends hours trying to train her two German Shepherds, dances salsa and samba and will endlessly be studying Spanish. Find out more at https://workingwithyoga.com/
Don’t miss regular free lessons with Alison and the rest of the FM Faculty on our YouTube channel: