This weekend, I had a lovely opportunity to meet with 2 of the Aston-Patterning practitioners I like best. (The third invitee, Elaine Marquez, couldn't make it from the Methow because of the forest fires.) The two who came were Beth Berkeley, who just returned to Seattle after 15 years in the New York area, and Valerie Lyon of Portland. Everybody, including my family, got some good work, and we talked shop a lot.
My favorite thing about Judith Aston's teaching has always been its strong emphasis on principles rather than methods. Since the principles can be applied in so many ways, practitioners are delightfully diverse. My rather high expectations for the weekend were exceeded; I was reminded of aspects of the work that I've neglected, and some of my blind spots about my own body were illuminated.
The thing I'll probably be thinking about the most is the tension between specific problem-solving work and more general smoothing-out work (usually called "blending" in the Aston world). When to emphasize one or the other is a question without a simple answer.