Some quotes from Alexander Technique students.
Sara, musician E9
“Having struggled with RSI in my left arm for quite a while from playing the bass and piano I was recommended by fellow musicians and by my physiotherapist to try Alexander Technique. I came to Simon for some lessons not knowing what to expect at all, but soon after starting regular lessons, I started seeing improvements and was able to play my instrument in almost the same way as I used to before the injury. I remember realising in the first couple of lessons, that I had a habit of tensing up my sore arm, and as soon as I was made aware of that I started to pay more attention and I think that was what helped me the most.
My general physical and mental well-being was also improving with each lesson, as the technique made me aware of how I use my body – and my mind – in my daily life, and simply made me slow down to think, instead of rushing through life mindlessly the way I had done before. For example, the way I walk has changed, before my walk had a bounce, now when I use the Alexander Technique my walk is more efficient and less tiring.
A year down the line, after falling out of the practice for a while, I have recently started coming back for lessons again and I can see the benefits coming back to me even quicker, and I think the Technique will stay with me even more this time around.”
Doing the AT has had a real influence on my entire life. It has helped me understand how to maintain my posture and ensure that I use my body effectively to minimise the aches and pains previously felt from working in an office environment. It has changed the way I walk and hold myself and given my a quick and simple remedy to improve and align my spine when I’m feeling particularly crumpled. Even if you do not have the time to continue classes long term, even a minimal understanding of how the body/posture works and being able to recognise bad postural habits has the ability to improve personal well-being and gives the individual greater control in the choices they make. Simon was a great teacher who helped me to understand how small changes can have a big impact.
I came to Alexander Technique with having little understanding. I soon realised that it was far from being a few postural exercises but about a whole different way of thinking and being and about changing/ breaking a life time of habits. I came from the lessons with a new lightness of being filled with enthusiasm, confidence, feeling taller and feeling open. However, changing the complex reasons behind the way you hold yourself is difficult, at times emotional and overwhelming. A lifetime of a way of sitting, moving, walking, reacting is a comfort and breaking this down feels raw and exposing. It was difficult going straight from the lessons into work where the instinct was to immediately adopt the usual comfortable, safe and known way of behaviour.
Simon is a wonderful teacher and although I have had a break from the lessons it is something I will return too shortly. Sometimes I feel that I have retained nothing from the lessons but writing this I have realised that I have made baby steps. Even if those baby steps are only to open up a new way of thought and to realize how much my movement is connected to emotions and life time events.
I’d be lying if I said I’d really made profound long-term changes to my lifestyle, which I think is partly because I haven’t taken the time to embed this in a routine as much as I should have. I do avoid scrunching my neck when I look at the screen now, which I consider a big plus. On the other hand, I’m more aware of my posture, and how I orient myself now, and in particular, I lie down on the floor with my head on a book regularly, and even more regularly if I get pain in my neck (which is thankfully more rare now). I also stretch more.