In Alexander "Chair Work" we learn to improve the coordination of the most basic movement patterns: sitting, standing, moving from sitting to standing and vice versa, bending over, tilting at the hip joints, rocking back and forth on the pelvis, bending at the knees and hips to go into various levels of squating position, etc., etc. This is a deep intensive type of work where the teacher with his hands-on skill will bring about a profound change in your whole body coordination. Over a series of lessons the student will learn to elicit these changes in body use for themselves.
The Alexander Technique is taught in a series of private half-hour to hour lessons. Using gentle hands-on guidance and verbal instruction, the teacher helps you become more aware of patterns of movement and tension that interfere with your natural postural reflexes and teaches you to allow these natural mechanisms of poise to function more freely. The process of lessons changes your general coordination in daily activity, which is the key to an improved standard of health and well-being.
In "Activity Work" we learn to apply the knowledge and skill we have gained from the chair and table work. This is an essential part for the process. We need to change the way we do things in our everyday life. Activity work can be applied to anything. Office workers will want to learn how to sit at their desk as they type at the computer. Manual laborers need to learn how to use their back, legs and arms with power in the acts of lifting, shoveling, sawing, hammering, etc. The squating and lunging procedures learned in the chair work will start to be useful. Musicians, actors and dancers love the technique because they learn to use their body more skillfully in their art and avoid injury. Mothers find benefit with picking up and holding their children and dealing with the constant bending over to pickup stuff off the floor. In short, anyone can learn to become more skillful and pain-free in their daily activities.
The Method of the Alexander Technique
In Alexander "Table Work", the teacher uses skillful hands-on work to help the student release even deeper patterns of tension in the musculature, connective tissue and nervous system. In the process, you will become aware of tensions which were previously completely out of your awareness. This gives you a more sensitive and reliable sensory awareness of the body which is essential for changing conditions of pain, tension and malcoordination.
“The four-year Actor Training Program at Juilliard is based throughout on the physical relaxation and subsequent rechannelling of energy that is inspired by Alexander Technique classes. As a result of these, students, in ridding themselves of bad postural habits, not only appear to grow taller by two inches or so, but are generally helped to reach, with their bodies and their minds, an enviable degree of freedom of expression from which to embrace the rest of their training.”
Michael Langham, Director, Theatre Center, The Juilliard School, New York
Center for Conscious Learning and Movement
Alexander Technique with Wes Howard