What is the course about?
This course is a general introduction to Alexander Technique, which is concerned with how a person uses themselves as a whole - mind and body - in everything they do. The technique can help you move and breathe with less effort, improve posture, be more focused and efficient, cope with stress better and be calmer and more confident. The Alexander Technique involves no specific exercises, requires no special equipment and can be practised wherever you are. It is suitable for people of all ages and levels of physical fitness.
What will we cover?
- How to become mindful of and how to use your body better during everyday activities, including sitting and standing, walking, lifting, bending, sitting at desks, lying down, speaking and breathing.
- Spatial awareness, balance, co-ordination, developing powers of observation and focusing.
- Anatomy and physiology where applicable.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Identify the Alexander principle that the way you use yourself influences how you function in everyday life
- Recognise at least two habitual patterns of posture and movement which may be causing excessive tension, aches and pains, shallow breathing, restricted movement or stiff joints.
- Recognise how applying the Alexander Technique can help eliminate tension habits that interfere with poised natural body alignment and overall functioning and well-being
- Practise the Alexander Technique in the classic semi-supine lying-down position.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
No previous experience is necessary. The course is suitable for complete beginners in the Alexander Technique, as well as a refresher for people with previous experience, and as a compendium to one-to-one lessons. A basic understanding of English is required. You will need to be able to read short sentences and follow verbal instructions.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
The Alexander Technique is a practical method which involves the students participation through direct hands-on work from the teacher, self-observation and work in small groups and pairs involving interactive games and application of everyday activities. Students are videoed at the start and at the end of the course to demonstrate development (although student can opt-out of this if they wish). Some anatomy and physiology may be introduced where applicable through movement work and occasionally using anatomical teaching models. The tutor may also have volunteer teaching assistants for extra hands-on work. You will be expected to do some simple homework between classes.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
There are no examinations, materials or extra costs. However, students are asked to wear loose comfortable clothing (trousers may be most suitable, especially for floor work). Suggested reading: Body learning by Michael Gelb; Use of the Self by F.M. Alexander: Alexander Technique in Everyday Activity by Seán Carey.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
As the Alexander Technique is usually taught on a one-to-one basis, you'll be given information on how to
continue learning. You may like to deepen your learning of the technique by enrolling for a further course at City Lit.
General information and advice on courses at City Lit is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details