Is the Alexander Technique like Yoga?
No, it’s something that can be used to make Yoga more effective. It’s a fundamental skill that you can use in just about any activity that you can think of – simple, routine ones, or complex, skilled ones.
My husband’s/wife’s/daughter’s/son’s posture is terrible. Will the Alexander Technique improve their posture?
It probably would – provided they use it. The Technique is a skill that has to be continually integrated into daily life and activity, and in order for that to happen, they will need to take the responsibility for their own learning. I’m happy to meet them, talk about the Alexander Technique to them and give them a taster lesson,but I would suggest that you leave the final decision to them. It is most effective when people are motivated to learn, and that happens best when they make their own choices.
Will it help my bad back?
It will if the problem has been caused by habits of unnecessary tension and effort. See For Pain Release for more details.
So first of all, you should see a doctor to check that there is no medical condition that needs to be addressed. Once it has been established that the reason for the pain is probably tension, stress, unhelpful postural habits and so on, you can be reasonably sure that the AT will help you to manage, reduce and even eliminate the pain. The time that it takes for this to happen will depend on the severity of your condition and your specific constitution , as well as how regularly and thoughtfully you apply your learning in your daily activities.
The Alexander Technique will help you deal with this, not by focusing on your back alone, but by looking at the way you use all of yourself. The problem is a reflection of the way your entire system works – and by learning to improve that, you will learn to reduce and/or eliminate the back pain.A major study undertaken by the University of Southampton, the results of which were published by the British Medical Journal, has established that there are significant long term benefits from Alexander Technique lessons for lower back pain.
I don’t have any particular problems. Why should I have lessons?
You don’t need to have problems to benefit from the Alexander Technique; if you are interested in an increased sense of well being, the Alexander Technique is for you. Anyway, chances are that you are already carrying unconscious tension which imposes a great deal of stress on your joints, bones and muscles.
Learning to let go of all this tension can change your life quite radically. The simplest actions become pleasurable and even the daily routines of life, which we tend to do on auto pilot, take on a dramatically different quality.
I’m already doing Yoga/aerobics/exercises. Should I stop them when I start lessons?
Not at all. The Alexander Technique is meant to be used in life and activity – to help you do the things you want and need to do, without damage, and with benefit to yourself. With it, you will learn to make your Yoga, exercise or aerobics easier, and much more enjoyable.
Am I too old to have lessons?
No, certainly not. You just start from where you are.
The American philosopher and educationist John Dewey was 57 when he started taking lessons from Alexander; George Bernard Shaw was 80 – and both benefited enormously from their lessons.
A younger person might have the advantage of not having strongly established habits as a barrier to learning. On the other hand, an older person, with the awareness of problems, is likely to be more powerfully motivated to use the lessons well.
What is a lesson like?
An Alexander Technique lesson works on two levels -the teacher uses her hands to give the pupil the awareness of areas where he habitually holds tension; at the same time, she talks to him, guiding him in using his mind to address and release it. They may work on simple everyday actions like sitting and standing to begin with. Later, they may look at how the Alexander Technique can be used in complex skills like music, dance and theatre, or in computer work.
Though the teacher works with the same principles each time, the lesson varies depending on the needs of the student, or even on the need of the day. No two lessons are exactly the same. You can check out Course Options for details of lesson formats.
How many lessons should I have?
It’s not possible to predict this with absolute accuracy – the number will depend on each person’s physical condition and state of health at the time. However, I offer a foundation course of 10 lessons, which gives people an experience of the Technique and the confidence to take it forward and apply it in their own lives. See Course Options for details.
Does the Centre have a certified teacher?
I have completed a three year full time training course at the Brighton Alexander Technique College. The course is accredited by STAT (The Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique), the oldest professional organisation of Alexander Teachers.
Any other questions you may have that are not addressed in this website? Contact me and I'll do my best to answer your questions!
To conquer a problem, you don’t work on the problem; you work on yourself as you face the problem. (Pedro de Alcantara)