What happens in a lesson?
Generally the Technique is most effectively and efficiently learnt in a series of individual lessons. Each lesson is tailored to each person every time.
By using gentle guidance with my hands (not manipulation) on your head, neck, back and limbs, I enable you to recognise and release any unnecessary tension and to redirect your energy. I explain the principles of the Technique and how they can be applied to your daily activities.
The difference between the Alexander Technique and other therapies is that you are an active participant. This is why sessions are called ‘lessons’ and you are a ‘pupil’.
You explore how you can move with greater balance and poise and how to prevent tension. I explain basic anatomy and help you pay particular attention to the release of unwanted head, neck, and spinal muscle tension, which helps coordination throughout your body.
My aim is not just to help you alleviate your current problem but to teach you the skill to prevent a further recurrence.
Initially, playing with simple movements can illustrate where unnecessary tension is being employed. Once you’ve explored the basic principles, you can look at specific activities you carry out at work, at home, and for fun. This can include any particular problems that you have difficulty with, which can also be a good starting point to look at what might be interfering with this.
We also look at a particular way of lying down to aid relaxation and release of long standing muscle tightness – ideal to do at home for 10 minutes per day.
How much do I need to do at home?
As the Technique can apply to everything we do throughout the day, there are no time absorbing exercises. Learning and enjoying the benefits of the Technique is simply bringing in your new knowledge into your daily life.
How long are lessons and how many will I need?
Sessions are around 40 minutes long, and an introductory lesson is 1 hour long. They are relaxing and calming yet energising and informative, and usually good fun.
Learning the Alexander Technique is similar to learning any skill, such playing an instrument. The number of lessons you take depend on how deeply you would like to develop your skill in using yourself with coordination and grace.
It is helpful to start with two lessons a week if possible, then continuing with weekly lessons to embed the skills of thinking and moving in a new pattern.
A short course of sessions will help enhance your self awareness and enable you to begin using the Alexander Technique for yourself. As your overall coordination improves many specific symptoms such as aches and pains start to disappear. I recommend 6 – 10 lessons to give you a grounding in the Technique, and often people continue to have regular lessons thereafter because they enjoy discovering more about themselves and things they didn’t know was possible for them in their previous pattern of use.
What do I wear?
No special clothing is needed, as long as movement is not restricted – loose fitting, comfortable clothing is ideal. Ladies will find trousers are more convenient than a skirt. You will only be asked to remove your shoes.