alexander technique portland or
The Alexander Technique offers instruction in the best kind of self improvement, because it helps us understand more clearly how we function and enhances the more conscious kinds of attention and direction humans can bring to their own aid. Many people come for lessons because they are in pain. Learning to use oneself well in the normal activities of the daily round provides the foundation for good use in all activities, even the most demanding.
Alexander was a man with a problem. His intense desire to continue a successful performance career was threatened from loss of voice which caused him to cancel bookings. Extensive study of what he was “doing ” to himself while speaking led to fundamental discoveries of wider aspects of neuromuscular functioning. His discoveries, and the technical practices he invented, allowed him to function at an immensely improved level. He was able to teach others his discoveries and practices and they too gained many benefits.
Most Alexander Technique professional societies maintain a list of courses and workshops taught by their members. The websites of these societies are listed on the teachers’ lists (the three links at the top of this page) below the links to individual teacher’s websites – which themselves may contain information about classes and workshops offered in their areas.
If there is no teacher available in your area, there are four things you can do:
Furthering the ground breaking work articulated by F.M. Alexander over a century ago, the Contemporary Alexander Technique is a practical, hands-on study of the principles of coordination, movement, habit, and awareness. Whether encountered in a private lesson or group workshop, the Alexander Technique teaches a student how to sense and apprehend habitual life patterns in order to relieve pain, tension, dis-ease, and unnecessary efforting. The result of this subtle and profound study is the re-discovery of ease, balance, strength, flexibility, grace, joy, excellence, and choice in every activity of life. Equally relevant for the Olympic athlete, concert pianist, homemaker, seventy year-old devoted gardener, or 8th grader with performance anxiety, the Alexander Technique invites each student to realize an innate sense of physical and emotional unity and wholeness.
“I found Alexander Technique life-changing. As a competitive dancer, I began lessons to improve my dancing, but quickly found myself immersed in a deeper study of how I move and think in every aspect of life, especially how habits are formed. For me, Alexander Technique brought together disparate areas of knowledge and unified them on the foundation of bodywork. Linda’s expertise as a professional dancer and her depth of experience in applying Alexander Technique to choreographic movement makes her an absolutely invaluable guide for a dancer of any discipline. My dancing transformed from a bundle of habits to a connected, easeful whole. I was better able to direct my energy to make my movement powerful rather than tense. I believe any dancer or athlete will notice a huge difference in their performance with Alexander study. In addition to being an excellent dance teacher and Alexander teacher for dancers, Linda has been tremendously helpful for me with body movement outside of dance, including in acting, singing, and everyday movement. The benefits extend far beyond my dancing. I often recommend Linda to people whether they have an athletic/artistic goal or not, because I believe anyone with a body will find Alexander Technique to be a breath of fresh air, and perhaps as transformative as I have.”
Alexander Technique offers tools to bring us into the present moment to undo patterns that can cause pain in the body. Pain is not inherently negative, it’s information. Pain serves a purpose, it tells us that we need to be protected. If the brain has concluded that you are threatened, endangered, and need protecting, it may send pain signals. We want this mechanism, it keeps up safe, it’s super useful when we put our hand on a hot stove. However, not all pain is in response to an actual threat. Often pain, especially chronic pain, is either a habitual response from your brain, or a response to the habitual way you are in your body. Alexander Technique gives you a variety of choices in relation to both those habitual responses.
How do you describe Alexander Technique to a friend?
He will include protocols he developed for a codified movement sequence that can be used in group classes geared for this population.
Whether working with performers, people with neck or back pain, or those living with Parkinson’s, Bill takes a humanistic, individualized approach, seeking to support and encourage mind-body integration and holistic executive functioning.