What is the Alexander Technique ?
When you buy a new car or telephone or any other appliance, you are always given a User’s Manual to tell you how to operate it. Learning the Alexander Technique is like being given a User’s Manual to yourself.
Without a good User’s Manual, most people work out how to use themselves on a trial and error basis – copying their parents, their teachers and the people about them. If something seems to work, we generally stick with it, building it into a fixed habit. Of course, habits are very useful – they save a lot of time – but if the habit is one that works against our design, it will eventually damage us. And that damage can show up as aches and pains, as illness, as emotional upsets or as a general ‘stuckness’ of thought.
The Alexander Technique not only shows you how to use yourself in a gentler and more appropriate way, but it also teaches you how to undo your old, harmful habits. It gives you a chance to put a space between the things that happen in your life and your automatic, habitual response to them – a space in which you have some choice about how to react.
How is the Alexander Technique taught?
The Alexander Technique is taught in one-to-one lessons. The teacher explains the Alexander principles to the pupil while using a gentle hands-on approach. Loose, comfortable clothing is recommended so that the pupil can move easily.
The pupil learns to observe his or her own habitual patterns, as a first step to being able to change them. There is nothing mystical about the procedures employed, which make use of simple, everyday movements and activities, such as sitting and standing.
With increased self-awareness comes the ability to choose between following the old habit pattern or allowing something new to happen.
As the pupil becomes more adept at using the tools of the Alexander Technique, she or he can begin to change physically, mentally or emotionally.
These changes may lead to a reduction in pain; the loss of a stoop; new and more spontaneous emotional responses; or a greater clarity of thinking.
Is the Alexander Technique a Therapy ?
The Alexander Technique does not claim to be a therapy. It is a form of education – like learning to drive a car, to play a musical instrument or to speak a foreign language. Once you have learnt it, the Technique is something that you use in all your daily activities.
There is no attempt to put you right or to correct you during a lesson. The emphasis is on teaching simple skills which will find their practical applications in everyday life.
How do you learn the Alexander Technique ?
The Alexander Technique is learnt through one-to-one lessons with a teacher. The first lesson takes about an hour, while subsequent lessons last about 40 minutes. Lessons cost £38.
Learning the Alexander Technique in Woodbridge and Southwold, Suffolk
John and Ali were both trained by Dick and Elisabeth Walker in Oxford. Dick and Elisabeth were both trained by Alexander himself.
John has been teaching the Alexander Technique since 1993. He currently teaches at two venues:
a) at the Sole Bay Health Centre, Teal Close, Reydon, Southwold, Suffolk, IP18 6GY
b) at his home – The Smithy, Boyton, Woodbridge, Suffolk, IP12 3LW (01394) 411174. Boyton is about 15 minutes drive from Woodbridge, between Hollesley and Butley.
If you would like to book a lesson with John, please phone him on (01394) 411174 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
John is a member of the British Register of Complementary Practitioners.
During the Coronavirus Pandemic
Unfortunately, during the coronavirus pandemic, it is not possible for John to teach the Alexander Technique.