FAQ about Alexander Lessons
How long does it take to learn the Alexander Technique, and what are the challenges?
As a student of the Alexander Technique — a life practice — you must be willing to dedicate sufficient time to the process of reorganizing your body and fine-tuning the way you think. You will begin to see improvements early on — often at the first lesson. Usually, 20 to 30 lessons will establish your new coordination. After you advance to this level, you may adjust the frequency of your lessons to allow you to attain your desired degree of proficiency. You will experience the most profound results if you come for lessons at least once a week. I encourage my students — especially beginners — to come more often if they can afford to. (Alexander required his beginning students to commit to a six-week course of lessons five times per week!)
You may find that the path to profound change is not always tranquil and easy. A few of my students have gone through temporary periods of mild mental or physical discomfort while they were in a particularly dynamic state of transformation. Temporary soreness or lightheadedness may accompany a release of tension. Expanding your awareness may feel overwhelming or frustrating at times. I address these situations as they arise, and find that most problems clear up on their own within a short time.
Do I need a teacher to learn the Alexander Technique?
Theoretically, no. After all, Alexander was able to work out his principles for himself, but this process required him to spend years observing his movements closely in a mirror and correcting the patterns of misuse he detected. Most of us don't have sufficient time or diligence for such intensive self-analysis. With the support of a knowledgeable teacher, learning is faster and easier. You are more likely to commit to the challenging process of change in the environment of nurturing and guidance I provide in your lessons. As an Alexander teacher, I have been trained to use my eyes, ears, and hands to accurately observe your state of coordination as you sit, stand, and move. As anexternal observer, I can identify your habitual tensions, which you cannot easily perceive in yourself, and help you to correct them. My goal is to help you develop independence, so that you are increasingly capable of recreating improved coordination on your own.
What will happen in my lessons?
In your Alexander Technique lessons, I will use verbal instruction and gentle touch to guide you through familiar activities like sitting and standing, walking, and breathing. My words and hands will heighten your awareness and suggest more efficient patterns of movement. You will learn how to direct your thinking to put an end to unnecessary tension and allow for improved muscular coordination. You may elect to explore activities from your daily life at your lessons. I have helped my students bring greater ease and enjoyment to a wide range of activities, including singing, playing the oboe, working at a computer, tying shoes, lifting weights, swinging a golf club, talking on the phone, climbing stairs, and juggling. The learning process is both challenging and enjoyable. My students report feelings of lightness, calm, increased energy, and ease of movement from the very first lesson.
What should I wear at my lessons?
Since we will be exploring movement, loose, comfortable clothing is essential. Women may wish to choose pants rather than skirts to permit lying down on a mat or table during their lessons. You will never be asked to disrobe at an Alexander lesson.