What Happens in a Lesson?
During a lesson a pupil is gently guided by a teacher's hands and verbal instructions through familiar movements such as standing, bending, sitting, walking and lying down. Typically a part of every lesson is spent in sitting and getting up from a chair and part in lying down on a table in semi-supine (on your back, with knees bent). Through these everyday activities you will learn to recognise and release muscular tensions that are particular to you and which result from years of unconscious habit of both movement and thought (affecting what Alexander called our 'use'). In this way you can experience and learn how to move with a more appropriate amount of muscular tension by losing the habit of over-tightening which is triggered as soon as you think of moving.
As you gradually re-educate your neuro-muscular system (the way your thoughts interact with your muscles), you can begin to apply your new, better 'use' to whatever you are doing, wherever you are, at any time. If you have a particular hobby or activity that you would like to work on, such as playing an instrument, practising a sport or gardening, then, as your understanding deepens, these may also become the focus during lessons.
A lesson lasts approximately 45 minutes, is taught one to one and is tailored to you individually. The number that you will require varies from pupil to pupil, although it is helpful to equate it with learning to play a musical instrument. As the Technique works with shifting long-standing habits, the most important thing is to have lessons at regular intervals, especially at the beginning.
No previous experience is required to learn the Alexander Technique, and age is no bar. All that you need is an open mind and a willingness to explore and make mistakes!