An Alexander technique lesson usually involves some practice of upright movements such as standing, sitting, bending, reaching and so forth and some time spent on the table in a relaxed position known as semi-supine. The teacher helps you to recognise your habitual patterns of thought and movement and to apply principles known as inhibition and direction to teach you how to think and move in a new and different way.
Alexander Technique Lesson
A short health history is taken to determine the onset of any pain or mobility issues, the progression of any injuries and so on and to determine what, if anything, helps your condition and what makes it worse. This is to get an idea of what you spend your time doing and what you might prefer to be doing as well! The aim is to discover together the origins of any postural habits and to begin to unravel them whilst teaching new ways to organise your body and so feel more comfortable. This is where the principles of Alexander technique, inhibition and direction, come in. By teaching a new way of thinking, Alexander technique teaches you constructive conscious control, that is, to be able to constructively and consciously control your habits of thought and movement. Prior to lessons in Alexander technique, much of our daily use involves unconstructive, unconscious, uncontrolled movements which can aggravate pain and discomfort. In Alexander technique, the way you think is linked to the way you move and it is this which sets Alexander technique apart from other forms of pain relief and posture improvement.
The teaching process uses a mirror so that you can see yourself applying those principles of inhibition and direction and objectively assess their impact. Your teacher will also give verbal directions and gentle hands on guidance to help you apply the directions and to move in a more organised and efficient manner. You will learn about faulty sensory perception; how what you feel isn’t often what is really going on and learn to rely not on your feeling sense, but your thinking, to improve your coordination and body awareness.
Why Not Give It A Go?
The best way to discover what happens in a lesson is to come in for one. It really is a bit different to other things you may have tried in the past. Whilst you don’t have to have any physical pain to learn the Alexander technique, we find many people are prompted to come in because they have something they would like to improve. This may be general posture improvement, or something more specific such as reducing neck pain and migraines. Whatever your reason for coming, the process remains the same – to learn more about what you are currently doing, to understand how you can change it, and to practise the techniques required to make those changes with someone trained in observation and hands-on guidance.