How to Learn
The Alexander Technique is often taught in a series of private one-on-one lessons. Lessons typically run 30 – 60 minutes.
Over a course of lessons, your teacher introduces concepts and practices that expand your awareness of the functioning of your nervous system, muscular system and skeletal system. You’ll learn to restore optimal poise, balance and ease in overall functioning.
As you progress in your study, you’ll find that what you’re learning applies to all areas of your life. Just as study and practice in a new language enables you to understand and speak the language easily without thinking, so does study of the Alexander Technique result in the principles being applied in the activities of your life on an ongoing basis.
What Happens in a Typical Lesson?
In an Alexander Technique lesson, your teacher will instruct you — with verbal and manual guidance — to approach movement differently. You will learn to recognize habit patterns that may be interfering with ease and flexibility and you’ll learn how to discontinue them.
No special clothing is needed - normal street attire is appropriate.
There are typically two parts to a lesson:
To more easily experience the body’s muscles in a neutral state, part of the lesson takes place lying down (fully clothed) on a lightly padded table - on your back with your knees bent. Your teacher will teach you how to recognize and release any unnecessary tension you may be holding, promoting an enlivened sensory awareness and quieting the nervous system. You are an active participant: your eyes are open and conversation takes place.
Guidance during activity
Using simple activities such as sitting, standing, walking, speaking and reaching, your teacher gives you verbal, visual and physical cues to help you perform those activities with greater ease and efficiency.
Guiding you in movement, your teacher will elicit your body's capacity for dynamic expansion and you will learn how to maintain that ease and freedom on your own. What you learn applies to all activities in your life, but you are welcome to work with your teacher on particular activities of interest such as lifting and carrying, computer work, public speaking, your favorite sport or even sleeping position. Actors may choose to work on a monologue, singers an aria, violinists a challenging passage, dancers a movement. In any activity you bring to a lesson - swinging a tennis racket, lifting a child or sitting in front of a computer - you learn to apply the principles of the Alexander Technique to reduce compression and increase overall ease and proficiency.