The Lesson Format
I teach Alexander lessons at my Evanston studio, a low-tech environment with a chair and bodywork table, though I occasionally teach students at their workplace or during sports activities.
During the lessons, you, the student, wear loose, comfortable clothing that allows free movement of your arms and legs. I ask what problem or goal brings you here. You might discuss your medical history and what your life demands of you.
The lesson – usually 30-45 minutes long – is where I help you observe how your body is working. I guide you to notice how you sit, stand, walk or reach, and offer focused, supportive coaching on how to do simple actions more easily.
As you stand or sit, my task is to help you sense unnecessary tension in your body, release it and lengthen your spine. As you walk, I use my training and experience to teach you how to attain a lighter, more fluid stride.
In another segment of the lesson, you practice releasing the unnecessary tension in your body and lengthening your spine while you are lying on the table. Most people achieve greater release and lengthening on the table because their muscles don’t have to work to support their back. This facilitates the learning process.
No matter where your problem is, you and I will attend to the dynamic pattern in your entire body.
As you stand or sit, my task is to help you sense what you do to yourself – as you do it. As you walk, I use my training and experience to give you the feeling of a lighter, more fluid stride. In between lessons, you will notice changes in the way you move. You’ll recall an idea or sensation from your lesson and try to replicate that.
Over time, you’ll learn to imbue ordinary activities – writing, speaking, driving – with a spirit of observation as you notice your tendencies and explore ways to move more efficiently. You acquire a unique skill, a kind of portable body intelligence.