Mystified by your tweaky low back pain after years of trying to figure it out? Frustrated by nagging neck and shoulder tension that won’t seem to go away? Want to feel more comfortable in your body? Yet, getting older seems to go hand in hand with increased discomfort?
Do you work out at a gym, have a stretching routine, or practice yoga? Have you visited a massage therapist, PT, or chiropractor—all in an effort to feel better in your body? Yet, nothing is really changing?
Is your life just going to be more of the same? It doesn’t have to be. Maybe it’s time to stop trying. At least in the way you’ve been trying. And start trying differently. The Alexander Technique can show you what that differently is all about.
Remember when your mom told you to stop slumping and stand up straight? She might have been annoying, but her advice wasn’t all that off track. She knew your posture affects not only how you look, but also how you feel, and move. The problem is, there was more you needed to know. Some basic common sense for your body. The Alexander Technique can teach you that common sense.
The Alexander Technique: Posture Redefined
The Alexander Technique is often associated with helping people improve their posture. The problem is you often think of posture simply as your alignment. But it’s not the whole story. There’s another aspect of posture that’s often overlooked—your patterns of tension or postural tone. The Alexander Technique focuses more on teaching you about your patterns of tension than finding some ideal shape to assume.
Your habitual tension patterns are intertwined with things like how you think, react, and focus your attention, as well as your emotions. These patterns can be deep and subtle, and it takes time to wake up to them. But it can be an interesting, fascinating, and rewarding journey of self-discovery—if you decide to take it.
The Alexander Technique started in the late 1800s with one actor’s vocal problem. As a young man, F.M. Alexander was an aspiring actor who had problems losing his voice while on stage. Search for help with his chronic vocal problem led him to make some very important observations about human behavior, posture, and the connection between mind and body.
Today the main reasons that people search out Alexander teachers fall into two broad categories:
Pain: back pain is one of the major reasons that people seek out the help of an Alexander teacher. But people also come for help with chronic neck and shoulder tension, headaches, and repetitive strain injuries. People who deal with chronic conditions such as arthritis, osteoporosis, or scoliosis can also benefit from learning tools to better manage their conditions on a day-to-day basis. In 2008 a large randomized control study showed the effectiveness of Alexander lessons for people with low back pain.
Performance: People will come to get help performing better at a favorite activity, such as theater, music, dance, or athletics; or to simply do their everyday activities with more ease. The Alexander Technique is frequently offered in many acting programs and music conservatories. Many famous actors have studied the Alexander Technique such as Annette Benning, Juliette Binoche, John Cleese, and Lynn Redgrave.
What your body wants you to know
The Alexander Technique is what your body wants you to know. And what you were never taught in school. It’ll show you how to find balance and ease within yourself. To understand how your postural and movement habits are getting in the way—and how to change them. And why how you think is instrumental to how you move. Most importantly, it will help you develop the self-care skills you need for a lifetime. So you can be more comfortable in your body.
Ready to try a step in a new direction?
Private Sessions: Individualized Attention
My new studio is now open in the Baker Court Building at 821 Raymond Ave in St. Paul
You’re unique. So are your needs, habits, and learning style. When it comes to your posture and how you move, it’s hard to see your own habits, especially at first. Private sessions are tailored to your individual needs. As an Alexander Teacher, I’m trained to use my hands to help you in a very gentle way. Working one-on-one with you allows me to use this gentle hands-on guidance to help you clearly understand where you hold unnecessary tension. And how that tension is getting in your way.
Group Classes: General Overview
Join one of my group classes currently offered through St. Paul Community Education. You’ll be introduced to the basic principles of the Technique and benefit from the group dynamic. Group classes are especially good if you’re not in a lot of pain and are good at taking basic ideas and applying them to your specific situation on your own. All group classes are geared toward those with no prior experience with the Alexander Technique—but anyone at any level of experience is welcome to attend or repeat a class. Currently offered in the spring and fall only.
Alexander Technique: Redefining Posture
Wednesdays Apr 20—May 18
Ramsey Middle School
1700 Summit Ave, St. Paul
Explore practical ways the Alexander Technique can help you better understand and improve your posture so you can experience more joy and ease in everyday movement. Just “standing up straight” is not the answer! Some work will be done on the floor. Students should bring a mat.
Online registration through St. Paul Community Ed. Class size is limited. Register early.
Constructive Rest Virtual Group Practice
Online (via Zoom)
Next class TBD
This class consists of 5 30-minute live guided Constructive Rest sessions. We progress from exploring the basics of the position and mindset to better understanding how to incorporate Alexander Directions into this practice. Audio recordings that you can download are available following each session. Open to anyone. Mixed level group. If you’re new to this floor practice please review the Constructive Rest page before you join.
Residential Course: Immerse Yourself for a Week
Join me in southern California each December for a week-long immersion in the Alexander Technique. Since 2017 I’ve been teaching alongside a team of veteran Alexander teachers at this annual residential retreat
The retreat normally takes place Dec 27 — Jan 1 at the beautiful Serra Retreat Center in Malibu, California. Located in a canyon overlooking the Pacific Ocean, it’s a very special setting for this great week of exploration and learning and to welcome in the New Year!
This workshop welcomes you wherever you are in your study of the Alexander Technique. Come and spend a week with a variety of highly skilled Alexander teachers in a community setting. Have fun, enjoy yourself, make new friends, and take practical skills home with you to use for the rest of your life!
The Alexander Technique Workshop is one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had, both as a college professor and administrator and as an Alexander Technique student. It could not have been better organized or have more outstanding, masterful faculty, as well as intelligent, interesting participants from around the world.
It was a life-enhancing, even transformative experience for many. The atmosphere was extremely positive, caring, supportive, energizing, and stimulating. I came away a happier, more whole person.
Barbara Lister-Sink, Ed.D.| Director, School of Music, Professor of Piano, Salem College, Winston-Salem, NC (2017 workshop participant)
Custom Workshops and Presentations: Just for You
I’d love to create something just for your group, focused on your interests and needs. In-person or virtual.