Who am I?
Hi. My name is Lauren. In my late teens and early 20’s I was not comfortable in my body. Not at all. My body just plain hurt. Most of the time.
When I was freshman in college, I went out with some friends one night. We were in a minor car accident. I didn’t have any obvious injuries. Several months after that accident, my neck, shoulders and upper back just started hurting. A lot.
Sometimes the pain felt like pins and needles—but I got checked out and I didn’t have any pinched nerves. Sometimes it felt like a burning sensation. Sometimes I just felt so fatigued, like I couldn’t hold my body up anymore. The pain was always there on the inside. But I looked fine on the outside.
No doctors could tell me what was wrong. Chiropractic adjustments, massage therapy, and physical therapy either didn’t help at all or provided short-lived relief. Some suggested it was all in my head.
I was uncomfortable sitting or standing for more than a few minutes. I stopped driving any distance. Stopped running and doing any exercise that seemed to pound my body. Stopped playing the piano. Getting through college seemed like it might take forever.
But I’m tough. I don’t like to outwardly complain. I made it through college and even earned my master’s degree in teaching.
But the constant pain continued, and I got depressed. And who wouldn’t be depressed if you didn’t know when something so unpleasant was going to end, if ever. If it wasn’t for my mom (good ol’ mom!), I’d never have heard of the Alexander Technique. She was introduced to it at a conference she attended and mentioned it to me. At that point—even though I had tried so many things that hadn’t worked—I was willing to look into yet one more potential solution.
It’s true (but somehow funny) that you don’t look for things you don’t know exist. The Alexander Technique turned out to be just what I needed but didn’t know existed.
My lessons in the Alexander Technique opened a whole new world to me. One in which I began to understand how I was contributing to my pain—simply by better tuning in to my habits of posture and movement. I began to develop life-long skills to reduce the habitual tension in my body that was causing me to be so uncomfortable. It was like I finally had a foot in the door and gained a degree of control back over myself that I’d desperately been searching for.
When I turned 30, I made the decision to train to teach the Alexander Technique. I went through an AmSAT approved 3-year, 1600-hour training program with Joan and Alexander Murray and graduated in 2003.
What do I do?
Since 2003, I’ve been teaching the Alexander Technique to people just like you.
I also continue to be a student. In 2010 I completed a post-graduate course with Jessica Wolf (Art of Breathing); in 2016 I completed a post-graduate course with John Nicholls; in 2019 I completed a training in the Art of Running with Malcolm Balk.
You’re unique. So are your needs, habits, and learning style. That’s why I commonly work with students one-on-one out of my studio in St. Paul, MN. I also teach introductory-level group classes in the Fall and Spring through St. Paul Community Education. These classes are open to anyone. Since 2017 I’ve helped train the next generation of Alexander Technique teachers at MinnCAT, a training program in Minneapolis, MN. I’m also on the faculty of an annual residential retreat in Malibu, CA
Why do I teach the Alexander Technique?
I didn’t start out life wanting to be an Alexander Teacher. If it wasn’t for those years of chronic discomfort I’d had in my younger years (and my mom) I’d probably never have found it.
It didn’t solve all my problems, but it has been a literal life-saver. And I continue to use and build on my skills all the time in order to be as comfortable in my body as I can.
I love what the Alexander Technique has to offer because it’s simple and extremely practical. I love to help people learn the skills of the Alexander Technique—and watch them use those skills to make positive changes in their lives.
Often it’s the simple things in life that prove to be the sources of endless learning and exploration. That’s why I’m continually fascinated by this work more than 25 years since my first Alexander lesson.
When I’m not helping my students learn how to be more comfortable in their bodies, I’m ballroom dancing with my husband Bruce, telling jokes, writing, dreaming up next year’s Halloween costume or spending quality time out of doors.