17 May Welcome
Welcome to the Alexander Technique SF Bay Area Blog! Whether you have been practicing the Alexander Technique for years…or are considering taking some lessons for the first time, this blog can help you to understand the technique a little better, and hopefully make your day-to-day life a little easier. Here you will find helpful tips about how to put the technique into practice. For example, one week we may explore how you can use the technique to drive easier in your car and eliminate lower back and neck pain. Another week we may delve into the basic principles of the technique and learn how to apply them to your business meetings. If there is something you want to know more about, give me a shout in the comments! I would love to hear from you and answer your questions. For this week, I will take you through my own introduction to the technique. Some seek out the technique because they are in physical pain, others because they learned it in acting school. Read below for my story…
I was introduced to the technique in 2002 while in an Acting 2 class at Washington University in St. Louis. A then teacher-in-training, David Marchant, came into our class and said he was going to practice the Alexander Technique. At the time I had no idea what this was, but it definitely looked weird. We all sat on chairs in a circle, and he went around and put one hand on someone’s head and one hand on their neck. No one spoke much. When he got around to me, I was definitely nervous. I found that his hands on my head and neck were deceptively gentle, and as he had them there, I started to notice my neck and head for the first time. What I noticed is that where my neck attached to my head (somewhere between my ears and behind my eyes) was SUPER TIGHT! I would not let him move my head! He then asked me if it was all right if he moved my head for me. I said ‘yeah, sure.’ But I had to do something, or rather, let go of something to let him. I did let go of that ‘thing,’ albeit, briefly, and something really strange happened… I felt like I could see more of the room. I felt like I could see, like really see, for the first time. I felt very light, like I was only the weight of a feather, but I also felt like I could feel my feet on the ground for the first time. I had more peripheral vision. Did this man just make me a SUPERHERO?!!
And then he moved on to the next person. I slowly sat back in my seat wondering what the hell had just happened. It felt strange, but also awesome. Soon after that I worked my acting scene in class, and all of a sudden I felt like I had all of these choices at my disposal. Different actions started to occur to me. I could see my scene partner’s face like it was in a close-up. I honestly felt like I could do anything at that moment.
After about an hour that feeling went away, and I felt back to ‘normal’ again, but I never forgot the experience, and vowed that I would find out more about it as soon as possible.
After moving to NYC to pursue an acting career, I started taking weekly sessions with John Nicholls. The days I had my lessons were my absolute favorite. I would leave John’s studio feeling invigorated and lighter than air. I would usually walk miles and miles afterwards back to my apartment because it was just so much fun to move so effortlessly!
At the time, I had little to no understanding of any of the principles of the technique, but I sure loved how it made me feel. I was never in any pain, but man oh man I loved the freedom it gave my body and mind. Little did I know, that I would one day use it for everything I do in life. Little did I know that it would be the secret not only to keeping my body free of every day aches and pains, but also the key to opening up my creativity and life force…
Fast forward to now, and I am AmSat (American Society for the Alexander Technique) Certified and have had the privilege of studying the Alexander Technique for 15 years! I get to feel that feeling of lightness and ease most days. (I still have days or moments where I am fearful of something, and the lightness disappears). BUT, I have a fantastic, reliable tool now (the Alexander Technique) that can pull me out of the fearful place, and into the present one.
What do you want to be easier for you? Work? Golf? Vacuuming? Running? Walking? Sitting? Acting? Pregnancy? Tell me what your interests are, and I will devote a post just for you! I will go into great detail (and maybe even a video or pictures) to show you how it can all go more smoothly for you. The best way to learn, of course, is to book an Alexander Technique lesson. If you do not live in the Bay Area, but really want to try one, search for one Here. Make sure your teacher is AmSat certified! You want a specialist!
Thank you for reading, and please, leave comments about what you would like to read here, and I will do my due diligence and get back to you. I’m sure you are not the only one wondering how to make your life easier, so share your question, and everyone will benefit!
Excited to have you here with me…