At our first Alexander Technique Lesson, we will discuss how it can help you. Everyone has different needs, and this first Alexander Technique lesson is helpful for both teacher and pupil. First, we need to work out why you are doing the Technique. What specific needs and goals do you have? Then, as the method covers various areas, we need to see where it can help you.
I will begin teaching you how to change negative movement habits, reducing tension and encouraging more freedom in the body, using a combination of chair and table work.
You will learn about Inhibition, the framework of Alexander’s work. You will also learn posture-based relaxation that will encourage your body to release tension.
The first sessions will last for one hour. The following will take 45 minutes.
Please wear clothing that allows you freedom of movement.
Learning the Technique involves changing long-standing habits of movement. The Technique can be practised wherever you are. It is suitable for people of all ages and levels of physical mobility.
How Long Will it Take?
Most people say they feel an improvement after 2-3 sessions; however, for any lasting benefit, a series of between 15-30 lessons is recommended.
A course of Alexander’s lessons will achieve two things:
First, it will leave you with a more reliable kinaesthesia so that you begin to move effortlessly and more fluently than you now do. You gradually stop causing yourself problems you had and couldn’t sort out in any other way.
Even more important than your immediate results, you learn to exert a more conscious control of your habitual reactions. As a result, you can continue your re-education towards an ever more reliable kinaesthesia.
First Alexander Technique Lesson
The First Alexander Technique lesson is tailored according to the needs of each pupil. The aims are to improve the pupils’ sensory appreciation (bodily awareness) and to teach a complete understanding of the principles and practice of the Alexander Technique through a process of psycho-physical re-education. As the pupil gains experience, they can apply the Alexander Technique to their daily activities and use it to suit their requirements.
The “how to” of the “mental” skills is not easy to describe precisely in words alone. For this reason, Alexander teachers use their hands in a specific and disciplined way to inform themselves about their pupil’s manner of use and to demonstrate what is required. Uniquely, the teacher’s manner of use and success in applying the Technique to themself in the lesson situation forms the basis of observational (visual and manual) and other teaching skills.
At the first Alexander Technique lesson, pupils are advised to discuss any health concerns they may have with their medical adviser, if they have not already done so, to eliminate possible underlying organic causes. Medical diagnosis lies outside the remit of Alexander’s teachers, but they are experts in assessing the quality of a person’s manner of use. Various indications may be observed in this assessment, including attitude, quality of attention, ease of movement, balance, smoothness of coordination, vocal resonance, the efficiency of breathing, etc. In particular, the teacher will observe whether or not the pupil is tending to release and lengthen (“go up”) or to tighten and shorten (“pull down”) into activity. Self-prevention of inappropriate habitual reactions requires calm, quiet self-observation, avoiding “undue excitement of the fear reflexes” (Alexander 1923: 87). Pupils are taught how to inhibit their unsatisfactory habitual responses, particularly about undue interference with the relationship between the head, neck and back, and to project directive “orders” consistent with an improved manner of use and functioning.
Number of Lessons
The number of lessons required depends on pupils’ abilities to break long-standing habits and certain natural aptitudes and qualities, especially the acuteness of their sense perceptions and the development of their ability to “inhibit” unwanted habitual responses (Alexander 1923: 113 fn.). Lessons are, in the main, both challenging and fun, the overall experience being one of optimism and increasing confidence in one’s abilities.
As we advance with the Alexander Technique
Once you are aware of Inhibition and practising it, we will learn about the Psycho-physical – The vital interplay between mind and body, lacking in our western culture.
We will learn about primary control- A controversial approach to controlling body responses to external stimuli. We will then study and explore direction, which is the foundation of body control. When you have learnt to inhibit and direct, you will be ready to learn about walking and the Monkey. The Monkey is the ultimate exercise that, once known, will keep you in a position of mechanical advantage for the rest of your life.
Everyone tends to have a particular interest, like golf or flute playing (both I love). Once you have learnt the basics, we will learn how to improve your specific interest by using the Alexander Technique directly to enhance your experience and aptitude in your chosen subject.
Still not convinced?
Call direct quoting ‘still not convinced’ for a 50% discount on your first complete lesson.