The Alexander Technique

“People do not decide their futures.  They decide their habits and their habits decide their futures.
-F.M. Alexander

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The Alexander Technique trains the mind/body.  It teaches us to recognize harmful, ingrained habitual responses to life and to change them.  We  are becoming poised, open and authentic.  We are creating well-being.

As F.M. Alexander said, “The brain becomes used to thinking in a certain way, it works in a groove, and when set in action, slides along the familiar, well-worn path; but when once it is lifted out of the groove, it is astonishing how easily it may be directed. At first it will have a tendency to return to its old manner of working by means of one mechanical unintelligent operation, but the groove soon fills, and although thereafter we may be able to use the old path if we choose, we are no longer bound to it.”

Learning to recognize and change the unconscious patterns we use to live our lives is deep work.  F.M. Alexander found a way to speed up the process for his students.  It’s called hands-on work.

My first hands-on experience was with Rose Bronec in Florida.  I had read Dr. Barlow’s book, The Alexander Principle, and immediately became excited.  This was what I was looking for, a new and deeper way of teaching music.  When I called to tell Rose that I wanted to become an A.T. teacher, she asked me, “Have you had any lessons in the technique?”  I answer “No”.  She chuckled, “Well why don’t we start with a lesson.”

That first lesson was mind opening.  The Alexander Technique was much more than I realized from reading a book.  The technique was communicated not just by language but by sensation.

This mind/body approach asks the student to realize their thoughts are not separate from sensation.  Using a light touch, the Alexander teacher brings our attention to the ways that we grip, collapse or fix ourselves.  With this raised awareness and a teacher’s verbal instruction, we can learn a new way of being.  We can give up habitual, unconscious thoughts and movements that don’t serve us, and replace them with a new approach to life. 

Imagine being poised, balanced and clear minded.  We have the tools to live life in a new way, with less tension and greater ease and joy.

Some of the benefits reported by students of the technique: 

  • relief from joint pain and stiffness
  • relief from back pain and muscle aches
  • decreased anxiety
  • lower blood pressure
  • increased flexibility, coordination,  and balance
  • improved performance
  • improved self-image
  • a sense of well-being and  happiness

The Alexander Technique can be taught in classes, workshops or private lessons.

But I offer another alternative, remote lessons via Skype.  There are many people who live in areas where there are no Alexander Technique teachers.  Without the use of hands-on, we will approach the work as F.M. Alexander did.  I will coach you through the steps he took described in his book, “The Use of the Self”

As F.M. said, “You can do what I do, if you will do what I did.”

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Testimonial from a 33 year old student with carpel tunnel syndrome, shoulder and back pain.

 Aila is a master at creating the conditions for remarkable improvements to overall health. She is a truly creative teacher, one who tailors her approach to the needs of the client in the moment–and she models the kind of humor and flexibility that people need to bring about real changes. Aila has an extraordinary ability to see right to the core of poorly functioning patterns and to offer immediate ways to begin releasing them. I could write a great deal about the joys of the insightful, transformative process that the work with Aila entails, but will focus here on the physical, curative aspects of her work. In working with her over a year’s time, we dismantled what had been an untreatable and constant condition of wrist-shoulder-back pain (related to computer work). With her expert guidance, I now live and type thousands of words a day, pain-free!