My jaw and I
“I realised at that moment in my Alexander lesson that a key factor in the way I organise myself to be neat and contained, and to hold myself separate from other people, is by holding my jaw and cheeks rigid. In the lesson when I relaxed my jaw, not only could I relax the whole of my body much more effectively, and have a more succesful Alexander lesson as a consequence, I also related in an entirely different way to my teacher. We talked in a much more relaxed way. I realised that often when I am talking to her and to other people in my life I am partly holding my breath and waiting for the conversation to be over so I can go on to the next thing I need to do, without being held up longer than is necessary….in the time since my Alexander session I have remembered to relax my jaw on a number of occasions and the results have been profound.”
Kathy, publishing consultant
Alexander Technique and my game of golf……
I approach the Tee. I focus on the ball just so I notice where it is. then I expand my awareness and take it round my body and subtely reshape my stance to an Alexander balance and then i take my awareness outside if me to all the sounds and sensations behind me above me, below me and in every direction, and I wait for my body to decided when it wants to hit the ball, while i enjoy the moment and just be with my environment. Guess what? I now hit the ball straight 4 times out of 5 (before it was 2 out of 5) and in an effortless and relaxed way. And I have really started to enjoy my round of golf in this beautiful course as a walk in nature too.
Phil, Management Training Consultant
Alexander Technique for a Bad Back
“I’ve had a bad back for something like 20 years and have tried almost every conventional and alternative technique that you can imagine. Most, if not all, have helped remedially, but none seemed to improve things over the longer term. I eventually tried AT after having been recommended the approach by a retired doctor who now teaches AT.
It’s difficult to explain what a difference that AT has made for me. All I can say is that I was recommended AT nearly 20 years ago, and words can’t explain how much discomfort would have been avoided if I had taken that advice then. Please don’t make the mistake I made and take the advice from a former fellow sufferer who recommends that you at least try it and the sooner the better.”
Alexander Technique and RSI
“I found that the twice weekly session forced me to take a physical break from hours at the terminal and immediately made a difference to pain I had constantly felt in my fingers, hands, arms, and neck.
If I work for long periods now I know that the pain may come back to my fingers and arms, but I also know how, through Alexander Technique to “head it off” and tackle it better when it does happen.”
Alexander and cross-country skiing
“I suddenly had time to enjoy skiing. I took in the countryside which previously had been only a blurred grey/green backdrop to frustration and, at times, pain. I experienced my skiing as a whole body exercise not a disjointed sequence of arm and hand movements.
And what’s more interesting is I now ski faster, but without the pain and effort.”.
Nick, IT Systems Manager
Alexander, computers and horse riding
“After many years of comfortably hunching over a desk and peering at a computer I began to develop a non-specific stiffness and general sense of discomfort in my back and neck areas. I tried relaxing massages and other therapies which were highly enjoyable but gave only temporary relief before I settled back into my previous habits. Eventually I recognised that I needed to address my posture and came to the Alexander Technique through the recommendation of an equally desk-bound colleague who had experienced similar problems .
At last I understand how, over many years, I have been misusing myself and more importantly accepting that misuse as normality.The Alexander Technique as taught by Penny has provided me with the tools to recognise the source of these tensions and to let go of these habits.
Patience, humour, commitment,awareness, flexibility and open-ness to explore unknown territory- these are all part of the tool kit. Most important the lessons are fulfilling and fun.
As a keen rider I have found that the re-education embodied in Alexander Technique has carried over into my riding to the greater enjoyment of both myself and my horse.”
Caroline, Asset Manager
Change the world around you by changing the world inside
“My first experience was with daily lessons on a beautiful Greek island, and this for sure has shaped my experience of Alexander Technique. But I have subsequently done it in London. The Alexander Technique is not about standing up and sitting down, or even really about posture. It is about how to release the body from the tyranny of the mind – how indeed to release the mind from the tyranny of the mind, they both happen at the same time. It’s the tension in the body which is the physical expression of tension in the mind, and if you can stop the mind interfering, and get it to do something useful and happiness inducing like watching the world around you, paying attention and being here now, then it lets go of the body. The body once freed from un-natural tension from the mind, falls into perfect posture all by itself. It’s remarkable in fact how the body is so cleverly engineered with a structural architecture that means it somehow falls upwards! You let everything drop and the levers and pivots bring you to a beautiful upright healthy posture. Tense against the world and you crinkle up and bend and stoop and struggle. One of the wonderful things about Alexander Technique is that you only let go with your mind and everything else lets go in a cascade of dominoes. The postures and movements, the sitting and standing, only serve to make you more aware of what you’re mind is doing to mess things up, so that, noticing it, you can stop it (‘inhibit it). Learn how to stop it by get it doing something useful and you have a wonderful life.
As a result, Alexander Technique lessons are an exhilarating and mind opening experience as you awake from the dark struggle of where you were to the relaxed, bright and effortless world of the reality you’re in. It’s a fascinating way to change the world around you by changing the world inside. It is obviously a lot easier when sitting on a sun drenched vine covered terrace overlooking the hills, the sea and the islands in the distance, to be ‘present’! but simple as it is, don’t underestimate the power! It’s so easy to be in just such a gorgeous environment and be scarcely aware of it, one is so stressed and wound up in one’s inner world. For me, Alexander brings me out of my shell, my introspective thinking place. It makes me more natural, more aware, more alive. It seems to do that for everyone I’ve seen involved, each in their own way. It’s hard mental work though to stay focused on changing your engrained habits.”
Charlie, music company director.