METHODS

Image by Thomas Vimare

Wholeness in Movement

Alexander Technique

The Alexander Technique helps you to identify and lose the harmful habits you have built up over a lifetime of stress.  You learn to go about your daily life with a heightened awareness and overall sense of well-being.  It is a holistic approach to mind-body use and works towards rediscovering the ease and freedom in movement, so noticeable in small children, that we tend to lose over time.  The teacher guides you with a light touch of her hands and together you pinpoint tension areas and improve patterns of movement. Lessons leave one feeling lighter, freer, and more grounded.

F.M. Alexander (1869-1955) was an Australian actor who suffered from breathing problems and hoarseness whenever he performed. Failing to find any helpful medical treatment Alexander set out to solve the problem for himself. His observations and experiments led him to uncover excess tension in his neck which formed a habitual pattern of tension throughout his body.  His significant recovery encouraged him to continue his research while training others in what became known as the Alexander Technique.

It is a technique used successfully by many professional actors, musicians and dancers and is highly praised by the medical profession.​​

hands on table feet.JPG

“Mr. Alexander’s method lays hold of the individual as a whole, as a self-vitalizing agent. He reconditions and re-educates the reflex mechanisms and brings their habits into normal relation with the functioning of the organism as a whole. I regard this method as thoroughly scientific and educationally sound.” 

- Professor George E. Coghill, award-winning anatomist and physiologist

“Alexander’s work is of first class importance and investigation by the medical profession is imperative.” - British Medical Journal

We move everyday yet most of us don't question HOW we move or consider our IDEAS about movement until we have aches and pains or find it difficult to master a technique or sport.  This work gives a fresh perspective on how our minds and our bodies function as a whole.  Misconceived ideas about movement are just as important as the movement itself. 

Being in touch and aware of your habitual way of living can enable you to move in harmony rather than against your physical design avoiding needless stress, injury and discomfort. Ultimately, it aims to give you the knowledge and tools to become your own expert.

 

The Work 

The premise of this work is that our thoughts and beliefs generate continual physical patterns of coordination. In other words, the way we think is interwoven into the way we move and live our lives in general. 

 

For example, if you have sore shoulders, it could be the result of you rushing around all day trying to achieve the unrealistically long list of tasks you have set yourself.  The tension you feel in your shoulders is reflecting what it is like to try and accomplish the impossible.   Or perhaps it is due to the way you sit at the computer day after day.  That is why in this work we begin with a clean slate and aim to uncover the source of the problem rather than treating the result of it. In other words, treating sore shoulders may not necessarily mean working directly on the shoulders.  There are two different ways of approaching an issue which are explained below.

Moving with knowledge

​Classes help you understand how to prevent injuring yourself through learning to move more constructively. This also stimulates your own healing and alleviates or eradicates pain. Sessions will help you become aware of your harmful habits and show you the way to change them. By refining your movement capabilities and use of intention, you can improve your technique in sport, dance, yoga amongst others. 

How are they taught?

​There are no physical exercises, machines or treatments. Sessions involve bodymapping, simple demonstrations and exploring simple activities. These include standing, walking or whatever kind of movement is problematic for you, to pinpoint your unconstructive movement patterns.  By using a sensitive and very light touch I can also help you become more aware of certain tensions and holdings. 

The learning process involves:

  • refining your self awareness to notice harmful habits

  • exploring what you learn in between classes 

  • sharing and discussing your questions and discoveries

At the beginning of the session you are invited to comment on your findings and ask questions to follow your progress and adapt to your particular needs. Resource materiel is also available throughout the course.

How does it work?

​Self exploratory learning is fundamental in understanding your issue.  After all you have a lot of information about yourself that the teacher can never have.  As you follow the course under the teacher's guidance, you will accumulate the tools that allow you to understand why you have your problem and how you can solve it.  The course material will also uncover common misconceptions about posture, muscle strength, core muscles, strengthening and much more.

No previous anatomical knowledge is necessary and the emphasis is on how we function as a whole and less on learning about body parts.

It can be applied to personal issues or professional activities and used in training programs, retreats, school programs or physical well-being workshops. 

NOTE: medical attention is always advocated when necessary

LearningMethods™ - Uncovering fixed ideas and misconceptions  

Neuroscience has made enormous leaps in uncovering how, in fact, our way of thinking or our belief systems influence our physical and mental health. Such findings have supported the extensive empirical research of an Alexander Technique teacher called David Gorman.  He set out to examine FM Alexander’s work more closely questioning how the primary control actually worked. What he discovered was a new model of human organisation which has become known as the Anatomy of Wholeness™ work.

Another aspect he was interested in was to help the participant learn how to learn for himself, hence the name, he gave to his work, LearningMethods.™ He describes how « a huge part of our chronic problems lay not in the 'body' but in our consciousness and habitual way of seeing things and how we misinterpret our daily experiences and then become caught in reaction to these misunderstandings.»

The aim of these sessions is to teach you a method to solve problematic issues in your life. 

How is it taught?

They are mainly conversational with games to demonstrate certain principles. Through questioning your ideas you will begin to see how they affect your behaviour, habits and even your way of moving.  It is very practical, in that from the very first session, you are invited to put your new knowledge into practise.  The emphasis is on self learning and exploration with the guidance of a certified teacher. Resources are available throughout the course.

Many times we think we know what the problem is but fail to get rid of it, often making choices that keep us entrenched in our suffering.  Feeling sad, frustrated or angry for example, are just symptoms of the underlying problem. (see blog)  but in many cases we see these emotions AS the problem and set about trying to alleviate them. We become locked into a circle of habitual reactions that increase in strength until they lead to health problems and even more suffering.  Yet, most of us have the necessary faculties to find a solution to our problems ourselves. We just don’t know how to use them.. yet.
With the teacher’s guidance the student learns to make sense of their situation or/and emotional reaction and see how they got caught up in the problem. Very often it is not at all what they suspected.  By asking the relevant questions that reveal misconceptions, fixed ideas or false projections, the student deepens their understanding of themselves and the reality of the situation. They then have to act on this knowledge and make the necessary changes in their lives. 

This work requires an active and complete engagement on the part of the participant with the close guidance of the teacher.   Once the cause is discovered there is an opportunity to make changes and choices to improve the quality of your life.  Workshops and individual sessions help you learn the necessary tools to accomplish this. This  is based on David Gorman's work called LearningMethods.™