Alexander technique for work, sport, music
The Alexander technique can be applied to do anything better and easier. Better functioning results in better performance.
A sports coach or music teacher etc can show you what to do, but cannot tell you how to get there if you can't do it. Alexander technique rebalances your muscles and links them better to your brain, and suddenly what seemed impossible becomes possible, even easy.
It is the secret weapon of many top musicians, actors, sports people, celebrities, business people and royalty, enabling them to stay on the top of their form consistently, and look and feel poised and comfortable in any situation.
Work, music, exercise & computing
- Alexander technique can complement any discipline
- Brings the body into balance & freedom, ready for activity
- Do Alexander technique before or alongside other disciplines, for better results
- If you are not getting the results you expect, you need Alexander technique first!
- The secret weapon of many top performers and sports people
- overcome performance anxiety, increase confidence and poise
I have helped others, as well as myself, to apply the technique to swimming, running, tennis & squash; office work and house work; public speaking and teaching; horsemanship, cycling, surfing; yoga, martial arts, exercise classes and gym work; gardening; guitar, fiddle and cello, recorder, flute and clarinet, both kit and hand drums, piano and singing; Irish dancing, ballet, tango and ballroom; walking: up hills, on icy pavements and in heels; driving.
I'm waiting for the next challenge: you tell me what you need to achieve, and together we work out how to use the Alexander technique to bring that about.
Yoga, Pilates, Tai chi, gym work, fitness classes
People often ask whether Alexander technique is like yoga, Pilates or Tai chi. The answer is yes & no!
Yes: in that it is learning mindful movement, which brings in better tone, use & posture.
No, in that: although these other methods aim to build strength, poise & flexibility, they can only work with our bodies as they currently are working. So if your yoga / fitness teacher gives an instruction & you cannot do it, or you are not getting the expected results, you probably don’t have access to the right muscles. Alexander technique brings your body into balance, gets the right muscles working, (including bringing the core muscles into play), & very quickly makes us much more conscious of what we are doing with our bodies & minds. Then when we come to yoga /Pilates etc, we will find it easier & more satisfying, & can develop faster.
from the Alexander lessons my head, neck and shoulders are now properly aligned. I have also noticed my narrow hips have broadened. I now have better abduction movement of my legs, as a result of this in yoga class I am able to get a better stretch.”
– Michelle, massage therapist
Alexander technique gives us the key to good movement patterns, but it is not an exercise regime, we need to move & exercise to apply it! So it is excellent to do some sort of mindful exercise alongside your lessons.
So not: Alexander technique OR yoga / Pilates
It’s: Alexander technique FOR yoga / Pilates
Musicians & performing arts
- Alexander technique is taught in most music and performing arts colleges.
- Awkward playing positions held over long hours can easily cause strain or injury to musicians.
- Neck shoulder and back problems are particularly common.
- Learning the technique improves ease of playing, coordination, tone, and can save careers.
- Confidence improves, relief for performance anxiety.
- Come “into the zone” for playing or performing, increase your consistency of performance.
"As someone who's life and income revolves around the fiddle, I was alarmed to develop a stabbing pain in my right shoulder while playing and giving lessons. Fortunately a friend mentioned the Alexander Technique to me before it became chronic. Penelope was my teacher for many months and through one to one lessons she gave me a series of physical and cognitive techniques which helped me be more aware of my body use and helped me release unwanted muscle tension.
Several years on I find myself still relieved of pain, and able to pre-empt any recurrence of problems by using a few simple steps when I spot the warning signs. Not only that, but I am able to play more fluidly and with better concentration.
Most musicians I know have a tendency to ignore and play through discomfort and pain and put themselves at risk of a chronic injury and ultimately losing their life as a player. I know I would have ended up with serious injury through persistent playing despite pain so I can wholeheartedly, and with much gratitude, recommend Penelope as a teacher.
My Alexander lessons have not only helped me immeasurably as a musician and teacher but also indirectly all my fiddle students. Although I do think they should all be having Alexander technique lessons as well!”
– Cath, folk fiddle performer & teacher
“I took Alexander technique lessons from Penelope a few years ago, to try and reduce anxiety related tension, which occurred sometimes in a live performance situation. I`m a jazz guitarist and found that my muscles would tense and impede performance, due to the perceived pressure of playing often very difficult music, especially in a live situation. The lessons greatly increased my awareness of this tension and also gave me the methodology to counteract it, making me much more comfortable on stage in front of an audience.”
– Joe, jazz guitarist
“I've begun to learn specific fingerpicking patterns. I'd tried this before but it has always been a frustrating process. Now after several months of lessons I'm calmer and more focused while practising and enjoying a better connection between my brain and my fingers.”
– Stuart, bluegrass guitarist