What happens in a lesson? The usual setting for learning the Technique is a one-to-one lesson. This provides the best opportunity for individual needs to be met. A lesson lasts approximately 40 minutes. In a lesson the teacher uses her hands and verbal instruction to take a pupil through everyday movements like standing, sitting, walking and bending.
How often should I have lessons and how many should I have? In the beginning, you should aim to have lessons as close together as you can manage; time and finances permitting. Ideally this would be two times a week for the first ten lessons but it should be at least once a week. As it is a learning process, it is difficult to say at the outset how many lessons you will need. It depends on how the learning goes for you and your individual needs and goals. It can be useful to compare having Alexander lessons to learning a musical instrument or another language. You may simply want to gain a basic grounding or you may want to become a virtuoso!
Should I wear special clothes? Ordinary, street or work clothing is fine. Women may feel more comfortable in trousers rather than a skirt.
Who comes for Alexander lessons? Anyone can benefit from Alexander Technique. It is suitable for people of all ages and levels of fitness.
What benefits will I notice? This practical approach will develop your awareness of how and when you hold unnecessary tension. The habits of tension we develop interfere with the body’s postural mechanism. Lessons help you regain natural poise and ease. Potentially, the Alexander Technique can be applied to the whole range of your activities – affecting how you are in yourself – whether walking down the street, working at a computer, dealing with a challenging situation or learning a new skill.
How we support ourselves (posture) affects and is affected by our overall health and wellbeing. Through having lessons a wide range of benefits have been noted including improvements in breathing, voice, confidence, digestion and the management of stress. See personal accounts for more about benefits from the Technique.
The Technique can also aid recovery from injury and help those with conditions that affect movement such as arthritis and Parkinson’s Disease.
Professor Nicholas Tinbergen who won the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1973 spoke about the Technique in his acceptance speech:
"I recommend the Alexander Technique as an extremely sophisticated form of rehabilitation... many types of underperformance and even ailments, both mental and physical, can be alleviated, sometimes to a surprising degree, by teaching the body musculature to function differently. We already notice, with growing amazement, very striking improvements in such diverse things as high blood pressure, breathing, depth of sleep, overall cheerfulness and mental alertness, resilience against outside pressures, and in such a refined skill as playing a musical instrument."