You can benefit from the Alexander Technique if you are:
A performing artist or athlete facing a movement issue that is affecting your performance.
If you are an athlete or performing artist, you need to realize that your whole body is your instrument. If you play the piano, you need to be concerned with more than just your hands, just as if you were swinging a bat or a golf club, you would need to coordinate more than just your arms. Your whole psycho/physical self needs to be considered. How are you using your whole body, how are you breathing and what are you thinking? Ultimately, your mind, body and breath need to be fully integrated in order to function at your peak. As my student, you will learn to release tension patterns that are interfering with your reaching your fullest potential. As you learn to move with a more efficient balance and coordination, you can reduce the likelihood of injury that often comes with long hours of practice. You will learn how to move with fuller expression, improve vocal problems, reduce stage fright, and improve confidence and stage presence. You will also learn how to maintain these improved conditions throughout your daily life and your career.
The Alexander Technique is taught at the Juilliard School of Performing Arts in New York, The Royal College of Music in London, The Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto and at many other music schools, universities and colleges. Prominent performers who have publicly endorsed the Alexander Technique include Paul McCartney, Sting, William Hurt, Julian Bream, James Galway, and the conductor, Sir Adrian Boult, to name just a few.
You are struggling with back, neck, or other physical pain that has not been alleviated by traditional methods.
If you are struggling with on-going neck, back, or shoulder pain, you have probably tried many conventional therapies to relieve your symptoms. Although traditional therapies can play a valuable role in recuperation, the Alexander Technique is unique in that it helps you to become aware of and change the underlying cause of your problem. In a lesson, I will observe how you are using your whole body and give you insights into what you are doing that is causing the pain. As you become more attuned to how your body functions as a whole, you will learn how to correct these habits and be able to prevent further onset of pain. Also, if you have been experiencing pain, you have probably been moving differently in an effort to avoid that pain. This in turn creates more unbalanced motion and even more pain. The Alexander Technique helps you to become aware of compensating movement patterns, it teaches you how to find a neutral posture, and learn a way to avoid future injury. It is very gentle and non-manipulative.
Watch Joy explain how The Alexander Technique can help with pain from computer use.
You are concerned with your changing posture and balance.
Some people are inspired to take Alexander lessons as a preventative measure to improve their alignment, and keep their bodies working properly and feeling good as they age. This is an excellent way to prevent stiffness and pain in the joints and helps with arthritis and other problems caused by misalignment and misuse of the body. Poor posture often makes people look older than they actually are. But as you lengthen up, you give off a more fit and confident appearance (not to mention that you look thinner). You also gain the added benefit of fuller breathing, which helps you to think more clearly and gives you greater endurance while performing physical activities.
You are looking for a method to reduce stress.
The Alexander Technique helps us to become aware of our movement habits, and along with that comes the awareness of how we habitually think and react. The very same tools that we use to become aware of our movements can also be applied to how we react to any type of stimulus or stress. Alexander’s principles can help us to center ourselves and choose our response instead of merely reacting. It can help us to undo excess tension and become centered so that our actions can come from a calm, balanced place inside ourselves, not a nervous excited reaction to something outside ourselves.
You are looking for a method to improve breathing and vocal problems.
F.M. Alexander developed this technique because he was suffering from vocal problems while he was acting on stage. Later on he became known as “the breathing man.” What Alexander realized was that the way he used his whole psycho/physical self had an effect on his breathing and his voice. If you tighten your neck, your arms or your legs you can notice this phenomena yourself. Even thinking about a stressful situation will cause you to subtly (or not so subtly) tighten in your neck and shoulders and constrict the flow of your breath. The Alexander Technique is about stripping away the interferences that prevent full and natural breathing and use of the voice.