My interest in the Alexander Technique began as a result of shoulder and neck tension I was experiencing in my office job. Like many, I found that in addition to helping me with my neck pain it had unexpected benefits. It gave me insight into how I was misusing my body by trying too hard and creating unnecessary tension in most activities. This awareness enabled me to be lighter in myself. Interestingly, this increased lightness has an impact on overall health and well being. Lighter in spirit too!
Peoples’ awareness of their bodies and how they use them varies enormously. Some people are closer to the end of the spectrum occupied by dancers and athletes who are very kinaesthetically aware and have natural poise and ease whilst others are less co-ordinated and aware in their bodies. Despite growing up in Australia, I was never sporty. Through having Alexander lessons, it was exciting to find that activities like walking and cycling became much easier for me and that generally I was feeling more comfortable in my body.
I decided to train full time as an Alexander Teacher and completed my training in 1997. The process of teaching Alexander Technique is about helping people to understand how the mechanism for posture and support works. How they hold unnecessary tension and how to release it. The approach is very practical and in a lesson we look at everyday activities like standing, sitting, walking and bending. Improvements in these activities are continued and applied by the student in between lessons.
As one student wrote; “over time you see and feel changes; the better posture, easier breathing and the freedom of movement.”
Another student has described, “I now feel taller and more upright and feel much more comfortable sitting down. I suffer a lot less from minor aches and pains especially in my feet and lower back……I feel more balanced and calm and have more patience with my children. They in turn have responded to this and we now communicate much better.”
My own experience and what I generally see in students is not of a sudden life change but a gradual improvement and development over time. The Technique can be of benefit to everybody and it’s a great pleasure to see students make improvements and get excited about the Technique as they apply it in different areas of their lives from working at a computer, to playing a musical instrument, public speaking and sports.
I run regular introductory workshops at The Sunflower Centre.
I found the introductory session both educational and engaging. It was an eye opener to discover that the unconscious postural habits picked up over a lifetime can be relearnt with a healthier outcome.
I have been a customer of the Sunflower Centre for many years. Also I am a pensioner living with Parkinsons. Someone suggested that I attend an Alexander Technique workshop at the Centre to help improve my posture and balance. I attended a workshop, run by Michelle Cole the Alexander Technique teacher there. Michelle is warm, kind and patient with considerable years of experience. As a result of this, I have been fall free since October last year and my body confidence has improved.