Lessons in the Alexander Technique can provide an opportunity to consider how we use ourselves, such as being aware of our sense of balance in a particular environment, how we use our voice, how we breathe and how much effort we make in any given activity. Learning to stop interfering with our habitual responses as a result of these and replace them with more beneficial ones based on our experience of their effect on us previously can be of benefit and benefits things such as posture, breathing, voice, equilibrium and co-ordintion.
Lessons take place with a trained teacher of the Technique, who works with hands-on guidance with their pupil. There are no exercises and teaching takes place at a comfortable pace. The pupil is taught a technique which addresses the root cause of symptoms such as back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain and other muscular disorders, namely it is the way we are using our entire selves which explains why we get into the mess we do. Little do we realise until we come for a course of lessons that in fact it is not the symptoms per se which are causing us the discomfort and pain, but rather our overall Use of ourselves, which is why the Alexander Technique does not seek to address any one specific symptom during a lesson, but looks at the total pattern of co-ordination and the whole self.
Poor co-ordination affects whatever we do. If we have developed hunched shoulders, a stoop and a stiff neck, this poor co-ordination will influence how we perform an activity such as sitting, standing and walking. They also affect us on a social and and professional level, also how we feel and how we relate to others. They affect our entire selves and it is not possible to perform activities such as singing and sport without discomfort and pain. Co-ordination habits affect our posture and ability to move gracefully, thus affecting how fast we age. By unlearning these habits we can begin to shake off many of the layers of misuse and poor co-ordination which hold us back in life.
The Alexander Technique provides a pupil with practical tools which they can then take away into their daily lives. The hands-on guidance of a qualified teacher of the Technique improves our sensory awareness, thereby equipping us with more accurate feedback about what we are doing with our muscles and posture. The Alexander Technique taps into the good poise we had a young children, when the head, neck and back relationship was not interfered with. A short course of lessons can be sufficient to teach us the main key principles of the Alexander Technique and to learn to apply these to our daily lives going forward. Lessons are held in a relaxed atmosphere of learning rather than treatment and it proves to be interesting to observe one’s unhelpful habits and how we can eliminate these. After a lesson the general feeling is one of positivity, lightness whilst walking and better co-ordination all round.