Intrigued, serene, energised, perplexed, joyous, hopeful – you may well feel some or all of these after your first Alexander Technique lesson. You may feel lighter, less achey, or just more fully yourself, or perhaps slightly different but not sure how or why.
An Alexander lesson provides an opportunity to have a different experience of yourself and of the activities you engage in. It enables you to discover different possibilities of responding in any given situation, rather than simply reacting in whatever is your usual way.
You may have come for help with a specific issue and perhaps be surprised that the issue is seemingly not being addressed directly. And yet, hopefully, by the end of the lesson you may see the potential for how the Alexander Technique may help you resolve the problem, as well as more generally giving you a different and more fruitful approach to life.
It’s likely that you will be introduced to the Alexander concepts and skills while you are carrying out everyday activities. This approach may make it all more relevant and easier to translate into your daily life. So, you may well spend some time in activities such as sitting, standing and walking. While the activity might sound familiar, the experience of doing it will probably feel very different to usual. With hands-on guidance from the teacher, and suggestions for how you can usefully direct your thinking and awareness, you will discover less effortful and more enjoyable ways of moving and being.
And what of the teacher, what are they doing and what is their aim? They will be wishing to put you at ease and to begin to understand you enough to relate the lesson to your interests and needs. They will be using gentle hands-on and verbal guidance to enable you to have a new experience and to think differently in ways that have positive impact for yourself. They will share with you the core Alexander thinking skills so that you can begin to use them for yourself as you go about your daily life.
All STAT-certified Alexander teachers will teach the same core Alexander skills and principles but the way in which they teach them will be unique to themselves. For example, some may want to begin with ‘just one thing’. Others (like me) want to first ‘paint the big picture’ to convey the ‘what’ and ‘why’. Different approaches will suit different individuals. So, if after your first lesson, you’re left feeling curious but perplexed and not quite sure how the lesson is relevant to the reason you went; rather than dismissing the Alexander Technique, give it another go with another teacher. Do get in touch if you’d like to book an introductory lesson with me, or find out more about how the Alexander Technique may be of interest and help to you.
For a full list of UK certified teachers see STAT’s teacher directory.