Statement of Purpose: For General Care
Principles of Physical Alignment
Renaud: Background
Teaching Experience
FUNdaMENTALS Body Project offers private instruction in Physical Alignment and Breath Re-education. The goal of the teaching is for the client to become proactive and essentially self-sufficient in basic care for the body.

Ms. Renaud’s physical training uses simple movements and the body’s own weight to promote musculo-skeletal health. The work is inspired by Dance- and Sports Medicine, Pilates, Feldenkrais, Andre Bernard’s Ideokinesis, physical rehabilitation training, Eutony, F.M. Alexander, Somatics, and draws upon a score of other physical re-education approaches relevant to care of the body.

The breathwork uses simple, organic principles to promote natural breathing. It employs elements that can be found in the fields of singing, sports, medicine, respiratory science and yogic practices. Much of this work has important points of contact with Carl Stough’s Principles of Breathing Co-ordination.

This non-impact training teaches the client floor, sitting and standing movement and breath sequences for stretching, strengthening and releasing. Sequences are tailored to the individual.

FUNdaMENTALS Body Project has supported clients in recovery from injury or illness, prepared them for high performance in sports and the performing arts, and provided ongoing physical conditioning.
Ms. Renaud’s work in Alignment is firmly grounded in the revolutionary physical re-education movement that came out of Europe in the early part of the 20th century. The Alexander Technique and the Pilates Technique are perhaps the bodies of work most familiar to us from that period. Practitioners of this work have typically come from the fields of kinesiology, biomechanics, anatomy, physiology, sports medicine and a range of performing arts disciplines.

The physical re-education movement originally developed in opposition to the conventional, mechanical physical training that can still be seen today. Alignment work brings a more complete approach to the training of the body. It uses the breath to build a connection between the mind (mind’s eye or imagination) and body (movement).

The goal of Physical Alignment instruction is a deceptively simple one: to find and maintain the sensations of optimal posture. To accomplish this, we work towards what is called "bone balance," which describes the skeletal system when it is perfectly poised. This work is based on the notion that the human body moves most efficiently and expressively when the joints of the skeleton and their related muscles are working together in a harmonious relationship. By learning to focus on the interior space of the body and the body's natural plumbline in relation
to gravity, clients can promote in themselves the physical stamina and expressivity they need for top performance in any field or for general well-being.

A splendid survey of major practitioners in this field can be found in BONE, BREATH AND GESTURE (ed. Don Hanlon Johnson, North Atlantic Books, Berkeley, CA 1995).
After twenty years of conventional dance training, Ms. Renaud’s interest in movement took a
decisive turn when she met dancer/choreographer John McConville in 1984. His inquiry into Physical Alignment and the breath represented a profound synthesis; it brought together his professional bodywork practice with the movement disciplines of Mabel Todd, Joseph Pilates, Moshe Feldenkrais, ballet, modern dance, Eastern dance and yoga. Then began McConville’s and Renaud’s many years of studying and teaching together. Under McConville’s guidance, Ms. Renaud went on to sustained Pilates study at the Center for Dance Medicine in the St. Francis Memorial Hospital in Walnut Creek, and at Mind-Body Connection in Oakland. She has received additional instruction in Ideokinesis from the eminent Andre Bernard of NYU, from Wayne Dimond (Head of Physical Therapy at Kaiser, Oakland), and work in Feldenkrais, Somatics, Eutony and many other approaches to physical re-education of the body.
For fifteen years, Ms. Renaud has offered instruction in Alignment to clients with a wide range of backgrounds and needs. Alignment has been an integral part of her private training for performers and other top professionals at the Voice Training Project. She first taught Alignment in her group classes at UC Berkeley, and then developed her signature style over the years at the Actors’ Training Project. Movement professionals have come from across the country to observe her work. Renaud has also taught master classes in Nevada and Colorado, and Guest Lectureships benefiting singers, actors and musicians around California and in New Mexico.

Ms. Renaud is an active member of several online professional discussion groups, where she both writes about her teaching, and has access to an international network of colleagues who are forming and tracking the latest approaches in the movement field. Videos of Ms. Renaud’s group teaching are archived and available to her clients.