It is extremely hard to convey in words, any real idea of the experience of learning the Alexander Technique. So, having an introductory lesson is the best way of finding out if it is for you.
Lessons are tailored to your individual requirements, giving support and guidance to enable you to change the habits of a lifetime. If you have a particular issue or problem that you would like to address, or a deep desire for change, then individual lessons will be key. They will enable you to absorb and embody the Alexander Technique understanding and skills, so that you can apply it in your daily life.
A group introductory workshop is also a great way of taking the first step, particularly if you’re just curious to get an idea of what the Alexander Technique is all about then. If you’re not sure whether an introductory one-to-one lesson or group workshop may be the most helpful for you, please contact me and I will be happy to advise.
What happens in a lesson?
A typical session will explore common activities like how we sit, stand or walk. I will work with you one-to-one, using gentle, light touch and simple explanations to guide you through movement. I will also work with you while you are lying down. Because we will be engaging in everyday activities, your usual clothes will be the best thing to wear. You may just want to remove your shoes.
In a lesson you will be actively engaged in a process of learning, which people generally find enjoyable and relaxing. Through the hands-on work and Alexander thinking, people begin to develop better postural support and discover how to let go of excess muscle tension, leading to a sense of well-being. Lessons often lead to a deeper sense of self and more agency and resilience. What is learnt in the session can be applied to any activity — from sitting at a computer with less tension, to exercising or gardening without strain, or to responding more calmly to your work environment and other stressful situations.
How many lessons will I need?
Benefits are cumulative and the number of lessons depends to a large extent on what you want to achieve – which will be different for everyone. After 5-6 lessons you will have a good idea of what the Alexander Technique is all about and how it can help you. You will be beginning to put it into practice in daily life and are likely to start to notice some benefits. For many people, particularly those with a long-standing issue, 10-30 lessons may well be needed for beneficial changes to continue to occur and become integrated. We know from a major clinical back pain trial (in which people attended 6 or 24 Alexander lessons) that the best results were found with 24 lessons; people who had taken 6 lessons did, however, experience significant benefit. A second major clinical trial of people with chronic neck pain offered 20 lessons and demonstrated significant long-term benefit in pain and associated disability.
Bespoke group workshops
Would you like me to come and run a workshop for your community group or third-sector organisation? An introductory workshop will provide useful Alexander Technique tips and tools for greater ease in daily life. This could be followed up with a course of classes to embed the skills learnt.
Alternatively, I run workshops and classes at my practice in Portobello for groups of up to six friends or colleagues. Contact me for further details.
Find out how the Alexander Technique, a practical embodying method, can enable you to look after yourself better in daily life – for poise, freedom in movement, reducing back and neck pain, coping with stress and becoming more effective.
Many people who have benefited from Alexander lessons would like to take it further and deepen their understanding, skills and confidence.
Edinburgh Alexander Training School offers a 12-week Foundation course that provides an ideal opportunity for such self-development. There are many diverse reasons why you might wish to join the Foundation course: from a desire to enhance performance in music, sport or business; or for developing a greater sense of embodiment and making some fundamental changes in life attitudes and ways of thinking; or simply to find greater ease and enjoyment in going about everyday life.
Where and when?
Portobello Alexander Technique is based in Joppa, Portobello, Edinburgh, EH15 2HB, so it is convenient for access from Musselburgh and East Lothian, as well as from the rest of Edinburgh.
Excellent public transport links, with buses about every 10 minutes from Edinburgh city centre and from Musselburgh direction. Buses number 26 and 19 stop more-or-less right outside. Several other buses stop at Portobello Town Hall and it’s a lovely 15 minute walk along the promenade from there. Access from East Lothian and the Borders via bus or the Tweedbank line, with Brunstane train station a 15-minute walk.
By bike: off-road routes from South-East Edinburgh (Innocent Railway cycle path) and from Leith via the promenade.
By car: within easy reach of Edinburgh city bypass and with ample, unrestricted on-street parking.
Appointments are available Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 7.30pm (with the exception of Thursday & Friday mornings during term time for Edinburgh Alexander Training School).
Accessibility: The teaching room and toilet are both ground floor level but the garden path contains 3 steps. If accessibility may be an issue for you, do get in touch to discuss.
Appropriate Covid-protective measures are in place for your safety.
Please contact me to book an appointment.
What does it cost?
I offer two options for one-to-one lessons to allow you to choose what lesson length suits you best – and this may vary, so you can always choose which you prefer each time you book.
- 60-minute one-to-one lesson: £52
- 30-minute one-to-one lesson: £38
Where it’s possible for you, I generally recommend the 60-minute lesson as it can be better tailored to your own experiences and interests, and allows time to explore and develop points that come up during the session. The 30-minute lesson may be more appropriate when time and/or finances are an issue, or perhaps, if you’re planning on a large number of lessons over a period of time. Whichever option you choose, please allow an extra 15 minutes for the first, introductory lesson (same cost).
Lessons can be booked either session-by-session or in blocks if you prefer (10% discount when a block of 8 is paid for in advance – same applies for any subsequent blocks of 6 or more).
Since some people prefer to come with a partner or friend, I am happy to offer a 75-minute lesson for two people (£65).
Group introductory workshop: £38 (see above for details)
Costs for immersive learning can be found on the Edinburgh Alexander Training School website
Gift vouchers are also available. Please contact me for further details.
Payment options are bank transfer, cash or cheque.
If you hold private health insurance, it may be worth enquiring whether your policy will cover Alexander Technique lessons. Some companies will reimburse the cost of a course of lessons when taken to address certain health problems (in these cases, sometimes the recommendation of a consultant or other healthcare professional is required).
What should I consider before starting?
Alexander Technique lessons can benefit people of all ages and any level of physical fitness or health.
The Alexander Technique is not a quick fix but if you want to take responsibility for your health and wellbeing, and are open to new ways of thinking, lessons can empower you by giving you the tools to make the changes that you want.
In a lesson you will be practising everyday activities no different to those in your daily life and I will be using both discussion and gentle, light touch (not manipulation) to enable you to discover how to apply the Alexander thinking and skills in your daily life. Generally after an Alexander lesson people have a sense of wellbeing, feeling more relaxed and in control of life. It is very unlikely that you will experience any untoward effects – occasionally, people can experience tiredness, aches similar to those following exercise or temporary light-headedness. Please tell me if any of these occur, or if you experience any discomfort during or after a lesson. Also, do let me know if you have any pain or conditions that may affect movement, if you are pregnant, or have low blood pressure.
Please note that Alexander Technique teachers do not give medical diagnoses. If you have any health concerns it is important that you discuss these with your GP.
What if I need to cancel?
In the event that you need to cancel a lesson, I ask that you give at least 24 hours’ notice to avoid liability for payment for the cancelled session.
Confidentiality & data protection
All personal information is kept strictly confidential in line with General Data Protection Regulations and the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council’s (CNHC) Code of Practice. I keep brief notes of lessons which you are free to see at any time. Your records will be kept for a period of 8 years from your last visit.
How can I find a teacher who suits me?
To ensure you get the most out of your lessons it is important that you feel comfortable with your teacher and like their style of teaching, as we are all very different. Since you are reading my website, I hope that I might be on your list of teachers to consider but it’s probably a good idea to consider several – find out which teachers are within travelling distance of you and make your choice after calling them up, looking at their websites, or going to one of their group introductory classes. Don’t be afraid to try out different teachers to find out who suits you best. Also bear in mind that, once you’ve got the basics, you may gain further insights through some lessons with other teachers.