Who was F. Matthias Alexander?
Born in Australia in 1869, Alexander was a Shakespearean actor who early on began having voice problems. Doctor’s prescriptions of bed rest did nothing to cure him, as he would return to the stage only to lose his voice again. He realized it must be something he was doing to himself and through an extended period self-observation he became aware of his habits of tensing and straining that were causing his vocal loss. He continued to observe these habits and found a way to eliminate them. He became known for his strong voice and immense stage presence. He gained renown for teaching the Technique which he developed, mostly in the UK, until his death in 1955. In teaching he realized that the benefits of his work went well beyond the voice. Amongst his students were John Dewey, Aldous Huxley, and George Bernard Shaw.
What are the benefits of learning the Alexander Technique?
In studying the technique you begin to recognize inefficient postural habits and learn to let go of them while integrating the principles of the Technique. The results are often improved coordination and greater ease in movement; in many cases students report improvements in balance, long term or even permanent pain relief, an increase in energy, and a general feeling of lightness and ease.
What does a lesson consist of?
Using a combination of hands-on work and verbal instruction a teacher guides you through a range of everyday activities-walking, sitting, bending, reaching, breathing-Together with the teacher, you explore alternatives and learn to replace inefficient habits with improved coordination by locating and releasing unnecessary muscular tension. Part of most lessons include lying down work where the student, lying fully clothed on a table, is guided to a deeper level of musculoskeletal release.
What should I wear to a lesson?
Wear comfortable clothing that allows full range of motion.
How long are lessons?
Typically they are 45-minutes long.
How many lessons do I need?
The American Society for The Alexander Technique (AmSAT) recommends a course of 30 lessons to be able to apply the Technique reliably on your own. Some people study for less time and are satisfied, and some study longer, taking their exploration to deeper levels.