Alexander Technique : Lessons

"You translate everything, whether physical, mental or spiritual, into muscular tension." F.M. Alexander

I graduated with my AmSAT certification in the Alexander Technique in 2015 under training course director Luc Vanier. I initially started taking lessons to learn how my training as a dancer was affecting my posture and chronic pain. When I was 20, I needed hip surgery due to an overuse injury. After the surgery, I moved to Milwaukee to study Psychology, but I found myself dealing with residual physical pain, and deeply missing dance. Taking lessons truly changed my life and I was able to graduate with a BFA major in Dance. When I initially started Alexander Technique lessons, my only goal was to get out of pain and avoid further injury. Within the process of taking lessons and training to become a teacher, I have learned much beyond that.

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What is the Alexander Technique?

Throughout our lives, we accumulate patterns and habits, both physical and mental. The Alexander Technique is a process which helps you become aware of those habits, and gain better functionality in your everyday life. My training as a teacher was rooted in Developmental Theory, a philosophy that as small children we held the capacity to learn, grow, react, and take in our world and the environment with resiliency. As we grew into adults, we learned patterns and habits that we continue to carry within ourselves, that could be contributing to pain or a less efficient way of moving or working. The Technique teaches us how to mindfully address these patterns and habits in our daily lives.

From AlexanderTechnique.com:

"The Alexander Technique is a method that works to change (movement) habits in our everyday activities. It is a simple and practical method for improving ease and freedom of movement, balance, support and coordination. The technique teaches the use of the appropriate amount of effort for a particular activity, giving you more energy for all your activities. It is not a series of treatments or exercises, but rather a reeducation of the mind and body. The Alexander Technique is a method which helps a person discover a new balance in the body by releasing unnecessary tension. It can be applied to sitting, lying down, standing, walking, lifting, and other daily activities..."

… but what is it exactly? Why take lessons?

Many times the Technique wants to get grouped into things we are more culturally familiar with like Yoga, Pilates, or stretching. But a lesson doesn’t necessarily consist of a specific set of exercises. A lesson with an Alexander Technique teacher will address posturing that may be contributing to your pain or unease. The work is about integrating the mind and body. This integration can provide results in pain reduction, posture re-education, and awareness.

What is a lesson like?

A typical lesson consists of two parts. The first includes sitting and standing in and out of a chair, and the second the student lays down for tablework. We use the chair as a tool for several reasons, one reason is that many of us spend time in chairs, whether that be at the computer, driving a car, at work, in school, etc. The Alexander Technique has the philosophy that if you have a habit in one area of your life, it could be repeating in other areas. So, how one may sit and stand in and out of a chair may also hold the same physical habits as how you would dance, play an instrument, put away the dishes, go for a swim, walk the dog, etc.

How much is a lesson?

~ 45 minute private lesson: $40

Students and Artists: Sliding scale starting at $20

For group classes and/or lessons please contact me directly.

Cancellations in less than 24 hours will be charged full lesson amount. Payment can be made through cash, check, or PayPal. (Credit Card possible with additional $2 fee).

Schedule here!

Further resources about the Technique:

Habit & Choice Blog - by Alexander Technique teacher Beret Arcaya

AmSAT (American Society for the Alexander Technique Teacher) Website

British Medical Journal: AT & Back Pain

Further Research & Links