Q. Is the Alexander Technique right for me?Everyone's situation is different. Contact Flora to receive a personal response to your situation. Please include a brief description of your main reasons as to why you are interested in the Alexander Technique, so she can respond to you in a timely manner.
Q. How is the technique taught? The Alexander Technique is typically taught through a series of private lessons. It’s also taught in group classes in performing arts schools, continuing education programs and other venues. Private lessons with a certified teacher are the best way to learn the Alexander Technique. Over a course of lessons, your teacher introduces concepts and practices that expand your awareness of the functioning of your nervous system, muscular system and skeletal system. You’ll learn to restore optimal poise, balance and ease in overall functioning. As you progress in your study, you’ll find that what you’re learning applies to all areas of your life. Just as study and practice in a new language enables you to understand and speak the language easily without thinking, so does study of the Alexander Technique result in the principles being applied in the activities of your life on an ongoing basis.
Q. How many lessons do I need? As with becoming proficient in any skill, time and dedication are fundamental aspects of making lasting changes. How many lessons you need is highly individual. You will know right after the first lesson if the Alexander Technique resonates with you and if you want to make it your own. To start, a set of 6 lessons is recommended, as this is the number of lessons reported by the British Medical Journalto be effective for chronic back pain.
Each lesson will bring new insights that you can apply immediately. Within the first 6-12 lessons you will probably notice that what you are experiencing in your Alexander Technique lessons is carrying over into your daily life. As you continue and your understanding grows, you will be able to apply what you've learned to a wider range of activities. Instead of a quick fix with a fleeting effect, lessons result in gradual change and long-lasting results. After the initial set of 6 or 12 lessons a re-evaluation of the process and direction of the lessons is important.
The number of lessons you need also depends upon your goals, interests and physical condition. Some students study for 3-5 months, others continue taking lessons after reaching their initial goals and study for years, learning more. Duration of study is up to you.
Most people find a series of at least 30 lessons, once or twice a week for three to six months, to be what's needed for it to become incorporated into daily life. Like learning a musical instrument or a foreign language, time is needed to fully integrate new skills.
Q. How long are lessons? Lessons are typically 45 minutes.
Q. What are your rates?Please contact Flora for rates for private lessons and small group classes at Walk in Balance Alexander Technique Center in San Francisco. Gift certificates and discount packages are available upon request.
Q. What are the basic concepts of the Alexander Technique? Recognition of the force of habit We develop many habits over the course of our lifetime, some of which are helpful and some of which are not. Our habits come to feel right or normal. Recognizing habitual reactions is a first step in enabling change. Your Alexander teacher will often recognize your habits before you can. Faulty sensory appreciation The force of habit interferes with the accuracy of our kinesthetic feedback. This often results in a faulty sense of how we are functioning and limits our ability to make productive change.
Inhibition We often react automatically and habitually to the various stimuli of life. The Alexander Technique teaches how to take advantage of the space between stimulus and response to choose a different/improved course of action. This is inhibition. It is a skill that we already have and can learn to develop and refine.
Direction We all have the ability to send a message from the brain through the nervous system to our muscles. The Alexander Technique teaches how to use this ability more effectively, resulting in more efficient functioning of the muscular system. Primary control The relationship among the head, neck and back is what F.M. Alexander called the primary control. The quality of that relationship — compressed or free — determines the quality of our overall movement and functioning. Q. Is the Alexander Technique bodywork?No, the Alexander Technique is not a form of bodywork. It’s an educational method that’s taught through a series of lessons by a qualified and certified teacher of the Alexander Technique. As with any kind of education, the student is an active participant in the learning process.
Q. What training do certified teachers undergo?AmSAT-certified Alexander Technique teachers have completed at least 1,600 hours of training over a minimum of three years in an AmSAT-approved training program, maintaining a five-to-one student/teacher ratio, as specified in the AmSAT Bylaws. Teachers of the Alexander Technique are trained in careful visual observation to be able to determine the source of movement problems. They are also trained to be able to communicate expansion and lightness of movement through the kinesthetic sense. They learn teaching skills that encourage learning in a non-judgmental, supportive atmosphere. Additional learning includes anatomy, study of F.M. Alexander’s writings, literature and research by scholars of the Alexander Technique and related fields.