Barefoot runner clocks up 25 years

John woodward. John helps one of his students. Pic Katie Lee
John woodward. John helps one of his students. Pic Katie Lee

A Lancaster businessman has praised the “unique and special energy” of the city as he celebrates 25 years in business.

John Woodward moved into premises in Bashful Alley, off Market Street, after having taught the Alexander Technique in the city since 1985.

Since then a thriving full time teaching practice has developed at the Bashful Alley Centre.

The Alexander Technique helps with some of the aches and pains of everyday activities such as sitting, standing and walking.

John says it’s an educational process that teaches people the skills of using their body better.

Performers, musicians, actors, dancers often use the Alexander Technique to improve their performance.

John also works closely with Lancaster’s CancerCare, and has done so since 1989.

John said: “It is the greatest of privileges to have been able to offer renewal and support through the work I do. The energy and courage of such a wide spectrum of individuals could light up most of Lancaster. Since I moved in 25 years ago a unique and special energy has shaped the place. It is this energy that I want to celebrate on this milestone anniversary.”

During the time at Bashful Alley John has developed a program of courses and coaching in “natural running”.

These innovative courses have brought acclaim in the national running press. John walks and runs barefoot to explore the outer boundaries of natural running. On his 60th birthday John ran 60 rugged miles over Lakeland fells. For his 65th John ran 80 miles in one day barefoot.

He saidL “My fascination with moving well and efficiently is a key part of the Alexander Technique and running. Recently some of the wisdom and insights from this work has developed into a more general program of looking after yourself under the heading of “mindfulness in action”.

“These courses help people with some of the special challenges and malaise caused by modern lifestyles such as sitting hunched over computers”.

The birthday celebration takes place on Sunday November 2 from 2pm until 5pm with entertainment and The Old Bell Cafe providing refreshments.