What Goes On In A Typical Alexander Technique Lesson?

I charge $100 for a 45-minute lesson.

If my student is in pain, I’ll typically have him lie down and I’ll use my hands and my questions to help him notice patterns of unnecessary tension and to let them go.

Most of my work is helping the student to become aware of needless compression. Once he realizes how he’s scrunching himself, it is relatively easy to show him how to take up his full space in the world.

Some of our lesson will take place in a chair. We’ll learn together how the stimuli of folding and unfolding the limbs getting in and out distorts the head-neck-back relationship. I frequently notice that people hold their breath when they stand up and sit down. Often they go into a little bit of a startle pattern, compressing their necks and tipping their heads back, shortening and tightening their torso during this common activity. Most people only bend their knees when they have to, preferring compression and collapse into a chair. The older people get, the more these simple tasks of life become an ordeal.

Without becoming aware of our patterns of needless tension, most people become trapped in their own habits of useless compression.

I want my students to notice what they’re doing to themselves and to stop doing the things that are hurting them. For most of us, if we stop injuring ourselves and pulling down, we naturally bounce up and do the right thing.

Alexander Technique is less about learning new things to do than about learning what not to do.

Most transformational systems build upon where you are at. By contrast, Alexander Technique deconstructs your harmful habits.

I like to have my students walk and to bring their attention to what is going on with them. Many people tip to one side an inch or two. I help them to become aware of their habits and to move more gracefully.

For most people, graceful movement leads to graceful thinking and graceful feeling and graceful relationships with others. How many people do you know who are needlessly contorted in their movements but easy to be around?

Some of my students are actors or musicians or athletes. I like to watch as they do their thing and then I offer suggestions on how to do things more easily. I don’t need to know anything about throwing a javelin or playing an oboe to be able to spot patterns of needless tension and to help a student release them.

* How many lessons will I need?

Most people can learn the basics of the Technique in about five lessons. Becoming proficient usually takes dozens of lessons. Some people don’t make permanent changes without at least 30 lessons. Learning the Technique is like learning a foreign language. You can master the alphabet and a few phrases in a handful of lessons but fluency takes more study.

* How much does a lesson cost?

Most Alexander teachers charge between $50 and $150 per lesson (which will range from 30-60 minutes). I charge $100 for a 45-minute lesson.

I have a 24-hour cancellation policy.

If I come to you for the lesson, depending on how far you are from Beverly Hills, I charge from $25 (within 2 miles) to $100 extra.

* What should I wear?

Doesn’t really matter. I can work with anyone dressed in anything. Preferably, wear pants rather than a dress.

* Where can you take a lesson?

I can teach anywhere. I can teach the Technique anywhere, including walking down the street. Most of the time, I’ll teach in an office, working chiefly with the student in a chair and on a table.

* Will it hurt?

I’ve never heard of anyone getting hurt in an Alexander lesson. Alexander teachers have liability insurance premiums under $200 a year because our work is gentle and safe.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
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