I have been teaching the Alexander Technique since 2003 working with a wide range of people to help them with a variety of physical, mental and emotional challenges. My students make improvements in both their personal and professional lives. Below are some of their testimonials:
I signed up for a ten week series of Alexander Technique lessons with Veronica hoping they would help to ease the tension I often experienced in my shoulders and upper back. The lessons have encouraged me to unpick how and when I put unnecessary pressure on my body, and to reflect on how I could approach everyday tasks with greater awareness.
I soon discovered that I would get much more out of the Alexander Technique than just rethinking how I move. So much of my thinking has been transferrable to other aspects of my life: how I manage change, the impact of habits formed over time, even the way in which I manage colleagues at work. I’ve left lessons feeling lighter in body and mind, and with a determination to continue on this journey.
I was fortunate enough to start Alexander Technique lessons shortly before becoming pregnant, so was able to put into practice what I’d learnt, at a time when my body was undergoing rapid and potentially uncomfortable changes.
By using AT, I had absolutely no aches or pains in pregnancy because I had learnt how not to distort my body unnecessarily. For example, the physiotherapists told us, in ante-natal classes, that “we would get back pain because we would arch our backs”, to which Alexander might have said “don’t arch your back and you won’t get pain”. My midwife was amazed at my ability to paint my toenails despite having a 9 month bump, but there was nothing to stop me bending my hips and knees, so it was easy to do. It’s such a common-sense approach. I continued to move completely naturally despite my growing bump, so even at 7 or 8 months, people (including one or two doctors and old friends!) were still failing to notice that I was pregnant.
It also helped with labour: I ended up needing an emergency forceps delivery, so I was told I needed to do some really efficient, rapid pushing. I clearly remember actively engaging my AT mental disciplines to use only the muscles necessary and inhibit unhelpful activity and Alice was born with only 3 pushes.
I stumbled upon the Alexander Technique and Veronica’s classes by accident. However I can honestly say that the AT has changed my life for the better.
I always knew I had a tendency to stoop. Friends and family have been telling me to sit up or stand up straight for as long as I can remember. I had tried straightening up but it had always felt like such an unnatural uncomfortable thing to do.
Through studing the AT I have learnt that my stoop was just the most obvious manifestation of a more general misuse of my body. Looking back now I can see that I was effectively handicapping myself in everything I did by habitually scrunching my body up and tensing muscles unnecessarily.
The most surprising thing now is that at the time it felt so normal.
The Alexander Technique and Veronica have given me the tools I needed to unlock my mind and to, almost literally unlock my body. I have more energy and better concentration. I am convinced that had I not discovered the AT, that the pressure I was putting on my body would have led directly to health problems of some kind.
I used to believe that it wasn’t possible to experience the freedom in your body that you experienced as a child, as an adult. Studying the Alexander Technique has given me glimpses of this freedom once again.
It has also given me greater physical awareness. I have noticed strange “postures” that I am inflicting on my body, and I am now using my body in different ways that make things easier. It has also made me think – a lot!
Before taking Alexander Technique lessons I used to suffer from pains in my back after singing, and people used to say that I looked tense in my shoulders and my jaw, and that even the sound felt tense in certain notes.
After a few lessons I have learnt that the problem that caused all this was the fact that I was trying too hard. By engaging my thoughts and concentrating on just singing, not trying to have a bigger voice than the one I have, not trying to use any other muscle to “help” the production of the voice, I have achieved a round, focused and bright sound that goes smoothly from the lower notes to the higher register without altering my stance or creating any tension.