Thursday
Jan252018

An Introduction to the Alexander Technique

I have found a lovely new venue for my next workshop so I am excited to be offering an Introduction to the Alexander Technique there. 

It will be on Saturday 26th October from 10am to 1pm, and held at Where Inspiration Blooms in the grounds of Chartridge Conference Centre near Chesham. Here is a photo of the barn...


This workshop is designed as a starting point for anyone who has no (or minimal) experience of the Alexander Technique and is interested to learn more about how it could help with issues such as pain, poor posture and stress related tension that can build up in our busy lives.

Discover how to bring easy, light and pleasurable movement back into everything you do, from day-to-day tasks to hobbies and sports. 

During the course of the morning we will explore: 

  • the habitual nature of movement and thinking
  • our human design and some essential anatomy
  • sitting, standing, walking, bending - finding easier ways to move
  • constructive resting
  • there will be individual hands-on guidance by me  
  • and of course, there will be tea and cake! 

It will be a small group of 4 to 6 people and a relaxed, friendly atmosphere.

The cost is £60, which includes a voucher for a half-price private lesson.  

People who have previously attended said:

'Some real tangible techniques and tools to use. I'm feeling very positive and relaxed. Thank you!'

'It was a very good morning. I learnt a lot and feel much better for it. I liked your teaching style and am looking forward to learning more'

'Julia showed us that the Alexander Technique is about moving in the most natural way possible. I found the workshop really useful'


If you have previously attended a workshop or had lessons, do you know anyone who might find this useful?

To ask any questions or to book at place, please email via this website or call me on 07739 836174. 


 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday
Aug172015

New website photos!

I am very grateful to Angela Geldenhuys for my new head shot and website photos. I think they look fab!

Angela was very patient (I'm not keen on having my photo taken!) and easy going which helped me to relax and she has a great eye for catching the character of her subjects... I love her work with animals. 

If you are looking for a professional, talented and very reasonably priced photographer I can highly recommend her! Take a look at  her website for examples of her work http://www.angela-g-photographer.com/  

  

Friday
Jul242015

Beautiful blooms

I was delighted to receive these gorgeous flowers to use in new photos for my website!

They were grown locally and organically by Bettina and Trevor Davies of Gillyflower who grow seasonal blooms as a welcome alternative to imported flowers grown with artifical fertilizers and pesticides. Great as cut flowers or for special occasions. Take a look at their website for more info: http://www.gillyflower.org.uk/index.html

 

Saturday
Mar092013

The origin of the Alexander Technique

The Alexander Technique can seem rather mysterious and people who have heard of it are often not quite sure what it is. Here is some background about how the Alexander Technique was developed, which also helps to explain more about what the Technique is.

In the beginning

The Alexander Technique is named after Frederick Matthias Alexander, or FM as he was often called, who was born in 1869 in Tasmania. As a young man he developed a love and talent for reciting Shakespeare which eventually became his professional career. 

However, after some years he began having trouble with his throat and vocal cords which caused hoarseness. This became progressively worse over time and was a disaster for his budding career.

Medical examination showed that he had irritation of the mucous membrane of the throat and nose and inflammation of the vocal cords. His doctor suggested resting his voice, which seemed to do the trick as long as he wasn’t reciting, but then when he started again the hoarseness reoccurred, usually worse than before, and at times completely losing his voice.

Facing the prospect of an operation, FM decided to see if he could find a way to help himself. Starting with the evidence that his voice got worse when he recited, he figured that it must be something he was doing whilst reciting that was causing the problem.

Mirror mirror

Using mirrors, FM spent many hours observing himself, both when speaking in his normal manner and when reciting, to see if he could identify anything that might be causing the problem. He soon noticed that when he started to recite, especially when the passages made extra demands on his voice, that he tightened his body in such a way that his head pulled back, he depressed his larynx (voice-box), and sucked in breath through his mouth making a gasping sound. The combination of these things, done repeatedly over time, strained his voice, aggravated the membranes and caused the hoarseness.

Key discoveries

Over many months FM continued to observe himself in more detail and began to notice a wider pattern of tension in his whole body that was clearly part of the problem. He saw that not only did he pull his head back, depress his larynx and suck in breath; he also tended to lift his chest and shorten his stature. He realised that the problem in his throat was the result of him distorting the whole of his body, especially the torso. And that how he ‘used’ his body directly affected the way it functioned.

The solution

Through years of experimentation and refinement FM gradually worked out a method to prevent the harmful habits of tension that not only affected his voice but also influenced the way he moved in everyday life. He learnt to apply conscious thinking to redirect the tension in his body and bring about a more balanced way of moving that improved his overall coordination. Through this method he regained his voice, restored his natural poise and greatly improved his general health and functioning. The Alexander Technique was born!

World recognition

He realised his approach had enormous potential for others, and began to teach his method at first to other actors and performers. He taught many influential people of the day including George Bernard Shaw, Aldous Huxley and Stafford Cripps as well as many leading doctors and scientists. 

In 1904 Alexander came to London to bring his technique to a wider public. And in 1931, he started to train others to teach his method. He continued to teach until his death in 1955.

The Alexander Technique today

There are over 2500 teachers worldwide who have undertaken the three year full-time training required to teach the Alexander Technique. It is taught to people of all ages and walks of life for relief from muscular and joint pain, better balance and coordination, and a freer, easier way of moving in everyday life as well as in sport, work and play.

The Alexander Technique is now part of the curriculum in most music and drama schools, and has also been introduced in a number of primary and secondary schools.

In 2008, the results of a trial into the effectiveness of the Alexander Technique for chronic and recurrent back pain were published in the British Medical Journal. It showed that a course of lessons in the Alexander Technique provided the most effective solution for long term relief. Click here for the full report.

You can read FM Alexander’s full account of his discoveries in his book The Use of the Self, chapter 1: Evolution of a Technique.

Photograph of F. M. Alexander © 2013, The Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique, London

Thursday
Feb092012

A video introducing the Alexander Technique

This video is a good introduction to the Alexander Technique. It is produced (2010) by an American Alexander Technique Teacher called Fred Lacy and is approximately 20 minutes long.