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 experiences 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.
Here is some recent feedback from a client who’s tried some of my online lessons.
Overall how did you find the online Alexander Technique lesson?
I was curious to experience a virtual Alexander Technique lesson. I loved the quiet interruption in my working day (without travelling!) to reset and realign. Michelle’s guided session allowed my thoughts to re-connect with my body and to open up more space, length and ease. I felt it set a different path for the day post the sessions.
There was a good balance of tips, techniques, and guided practice. I appreciated the practical tips for sitting at the desk with more poise and ease, making regular breaks happen and relieving neck and shoulder strain from PC working and video calls! It felt like I was bringing AT in to my home and reminded me of the benefits of daily practice and that it is doable when you allow the time!
How did it compare to an in person AT session? What are the advantages
and what are the disadvantages?
The two offer different and complementary qualities. The ‘hands-on’ practice with the teacher offers gentle external adjustments and sense of how ‘good alignment’ feels. Guided remote sessions can facilitate more regular reminders and encouragement of your own AT practise and self-awareness. Having a prompt to stop and slow down in the day is a huge help, if like me, you’re learning the value of boundaries in these lockdown times.
What advice would you give to someone thinking of trying an online Alexander Technique session?
Go for it! Be curious, set an intention for your AT practice and share with Michelle.