Lessons - Your Questions Answered

Many of us are only aware of the effects of our use of ourselves - back pain, shoulder pain, anxiety, breathlessness, or failing to achieve the perfect golf shot or performance. What if you could identify, change and consciously prevent the causes of these symptoms? The Alexander Technique can help!

The Alexander Technique (named after F.M.Alexander) is a set of skills which can be learnt, allowing you to re-learn that ease of movement, balance and coordination many of us experienced as young children. Watch a child playing, running, talking and you will often see the natural ease of movement which we could all re-find, once we've learnt to release the unnecessary muscular interference that we allow to get in the way.

These skills include:

  • Recognising patterns of muscular tension.
  • Choosing not to react to a stimulus (for example, deciding to speak/hearing the phone ring/taking a golf shot) according to our habits.
  • Accepting that how we “feel” might not be 100% reliable. (for example, we might feel that our feet are parallel and be surprised to learn, when we look, that they're not).
  • Choosing to prioritise the conscious “use” of ourselves (how we choose to move) during a task, rather than the task itself.
  • Learning that it is impossible to separate how we move, from how we think and feel – we are, in Alexander's words, a “psycho-physical unity”.

…and many more.

Whilst the skills may sound daunting, acquiring them with the help of a teacher is not. Lessons can be fun, practical and enjoyable!

Words are inadequate to describe the Alexander Technique. The way in which a teacher can work with you is unique, and a primary way to experience the principles of the technique. Treat yourself to a lesson and decide for yourself the benefits that you might enjoy.

People come to lessons for many reasons:

  • Wanting to ease or prevent pain.
  • Wanting to improve performance in activities such as sport and the arts.
  • Wanting to delay or stop the deterioration which can be (but needn't be) brought on by growing older.
  • Wanting to regain a natural poise and ease of movement which is recognised as having been lost.

The technique can help with

  • Chronic pain
  • Headaches/migraine
  • “Repetitive Strain Injuries”
  • Posture
  • Some respiratory disorders
  • Rehabilitation after surgery or injury
  • Stress, tension or anxiety
  • Coping with pregnancy and labour
  • Improved performance in sports – flexibility/timing/efficiency
  • Improved performance in arts – stamina/spontaneity/stage fright

Common benefits are an overall improvement in general health and well being; an increase in confidence; improved poise, vitality and co-ordination; and an increasing ability to move with freedom, ease and enjoyment.

In the first lesson I will be interested to hear how you heard about the Alexander Technique and what you hope to get from lessons. I will ask about any relevant medical conditions you may have and try to get an idea about the type of lifestyle that you lead, work and hobbies. I will give you a brief introduction to the principles of the technique and we will begin working together.

During further lessons, I will use gentle hands-on-work (through loose-fitting clothing, so as not to constrain movement), questioning and explanation to enable you to discover your whole-self patterns of behaving and moving. You will gradually become more aware of how you create tension and learn how to prevent it. Alexander called working with the principles of the technique a “Re-education”, so we work together to enable you to “unlearn” or “undo”unwanted habits and “re-find” that natural coordination and poise we are all born with.

I will introduce you to basic anatomy and we will work with the AT principles in simple activities (such as drawing, writing, computing, yoga, singing, running, golf etc) as well as with Alexander procedures, such as table work (lying down) and sitting, standing and bending.

You remain fully clothed throughout the lesson, although you may be asked to remove your shoes.

You are advised to wear comfortable, non-restrictive clothing and you will find trousers more convenient than a skirt.

A course of 20 to 30 regular lessons can provide a good foundation for on-going self-discovery for most people. Taking lessons is a commitment to yourself, in terms of time and money, but you will acquire skills which you can use for your whole life.

Introductory lesson: £40 for a 45-55 minute lesson

Regular lesson: £35 for a 40 minute lesson

Regular lesson: £30 for a 30 minute lesson

Discounts are offered for taking lessons twice a week.

There are also reductions for block booking paid in advance, and concessions can be made for those in financial hardship.

I teach from my home, but occasional lessons can be arranged at your home or workplace, in consultation.

I occasionally run group introductory workshops. Please contact me if you would like to be informed when these take place.

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