FM Alexander at work, or more accurately, helping to guide a pupil to be more at ease with themselves.
Alexander Technique is named after its founder; FM Alexander. 'FM' was an orator whose career was in trouble through repeatedly losing his voice. Unable to find an effective solution through conventional channels, he chose to closely observe his own behaviour instead.
What FM found was that his own habits of movement and posture were the cause of his voice problems. When he changed those habits the problem disappeared.
He subsequently found that he could teach others the technique that he had formulated for himself.
Over a century later, the Alexander Technique is still revolutionary in terms of Western culture. It demonstrates that trying too hard can be counterproductive, that change is possible at any age and that our minds and bodies are indivisible.
The Alexander Technique does not involve:
Instead, the teacher works in partnership with the pupil so that together they can, in a supportive calm and considered way, allow a change to occur.
The beauty and the surprise of this is that when the body and mind are reminded how live to in tune with themselves, profound changes can occur quite quickly.
Neville Shortt BSc MSc PGCE
"My introduction to Alexander Technique was a typical one.
I had been working in outdoor education for over ten years when I switched to an office-based managerial role. Much as I enjoyed it, I sometimes found it very stressful.
After a time, I noticed occasional 'pins and needles' in my fingers and a lot of tension in my shoulders. In fact they would be so tense that I would be obliged to roll and shake them for a little relief.
A friend noticed this and recommended I visit a local Alexander Technique teacher.
I dutifully did , and after two lessons the issue was gone. The following year I kayaked solo around my native Ireland. Those forty days returned a certain amount of undue shoulder tension, so I went back for a 'top-up ' lesson.
I really had no idea what that teacher was doing. All I knew was that it was that although it felt like she was doing nothing, she was entirely effective.
For very little input, my body felt more limber. I was not aware of any change in how I moved, but tango partners would comment on improvements in awareness and poise.
Whatever this was, I wanted more of it.
I started studying Alexander Technique full-time and ensured I was getting the best of training my attending a range of schools. I learned from teachers from the UK, Ireland, Germany, Israel, Holland, the US and Canada.
It has been quite a journey.
When I qualified I chose to teach Alexander Technique in Ayr. I have always loved being in Scotland for its people and mountains and coast. Glasgow also gives me the opportunity to tango and salsa to my heart's content. It's a good place to be"
'flowcoach' is how I see my role teaching Alexander Technique in Ayrshire (I do home visits much further afield!)
The responsibility of a coach is to work with other people, not on them. It is very much a partnership that can only be built upon mutual trust.
The effect of Alexander Technique lessons defies description. Words like 'spaciousness', 'freedom' and 'lightness' are often used, but always in the knowledge that they are not quite adequate.
I like to use the word 'flow' because it is apt for both the physical and mental outcome. Physically, it is immediately noticeable how people move in a more fluid way. Mentally, they are a little closer to the 'flow state'; they are a more engaged in the 'here and now' and less distracted by anxieties from the past or the future.