What is The Alexander Technique?
The Alexander Technique is a system that teaches how to perform everyday tasks without tension, fatigue, or pain. It is concerned with exploring the means to achieve a goal, without focusing on the goal itself. Students of the Technique become gradually aware of their capability to stop and think about what they are about to do instead of simply rushing ahead with the task at hand, which may engage the body in old habits that can be harmful. See this video for a brief explanation!
Where are the lessons held?
I teach at my home studio in the Riverview area of Tulsa, OK, near downtown/15th and Denver.
Who is it for?
I believe that almost anyone can benefit from Alexander lessons. Traditionally, many people begin lessons to learn how to overcome pain, or as a method for injury rehabilitation. Actors, musicians, and dancers have been drawn to the Technique as a means to conquer stage fright and enhance performance capabilities. However, it can find a place in the life of anyone who feels that there is too much tension or stress in their daily routine.
What happens during a lesson?
During a lesson, the student, while fully clothed, will be gently guided by the hands of the teacher and will learn what it feels like to move without actively engaging one’s muscles. A portion of the lesson will be spent “on the table” (usually a massage table) in a semi-supine position (lying on the back with the knees bent). The head will be supported by a few inches of books in order to bring the entire spine into alignment. The head and limbs are gently lifted and moved by the teacher to convey the experience of movement without tension. The rest of the lesson is spent “at the chair”, working on everyday activities such as getting in and out of a chair, walking, typing, speaking, writing, or playing an instrument. The student will learn to use the minimal amount of muscle activity needed to complete the task, which in turn leads to an understanding of how to move through life without excessive tension or pain.
How much do the lessons cost?
Lessons are $40 for a half hour one on one session. If you pay in advance, though, four lessons will cost $150. PLEASE NOTE: You will be charged for lessons canceled without a 24 hour notice. Your four lessons must be completed within 90 days of the first lesson, or any remaining lessons will be forfeited.
Isn’t the Technique all about relaxation or posture?
Taking lessons usually results in an improvement in your ability to relax as well as your ability to maintain good posture. However, these are side effects, as it were, of the focus of the Technique.
Who was Alexander?
Frederick Matthias Alexander (1869-1955) was an actor from Tasmania, Australia who was building a promising career as a solo reciter when he began to lose his voice during performances. His doctors were unable to help him, so Alexander began to observe himself in a mirror to see what harmful changes were taking place as he recited. He found that he was pulling his head back and down, into his shoulders, while he spoke, which put a tremendous amount of pressure on his larynx. Through patience and careful observation of himself, he began to change every aspect of how he ‘used’ his body and was able to make a full recovery. His later years were spent in England, teaching his technique and discovering that new teachers could be trained to ensure that his ideas would live on.
Where can I get more information?
Please contact me or visit the website for the American Society for the Alexander Technique (AmSAT).
How can I contact you?