The Alexander Technique
stands on two central ideas. First, that a dynamic relationship between the head and spine governs our coordination of ourselves in every activity, either in a way that improves our overall psychophysical condition or in a way that is harmful to that condition. Second, that the essential aspect of human design is a functional unity of mind and body and, thus, that methods that try to change behavior by dealing with only one or the other aspect of ourselves – either primarily physical or primarily mental – are fundamentally flawed.
Think In New Ways
Alexander’s psychophysical approach seeks to address learned habits of misuse that interfere with postural mechanisms governing movement and coordination. It is not a therapeutic or treatment oriented discipline but an educational one.If we learn habits of tension and misuse that interfere with our coordination, we can also learn to change these behaviors. The Technique does not treat symptoms directly but educates the student to become self-aware, to think in new ways, and to take responsibility for constructive change.
Impact of Alexander Technique
Often a student begins Alexander lessons because of a musculo-skeletal problem but continues his study because, after a number of lessons, he discovers that the benefits he experiences encompass many other areas of his life. Does a patient who goes to a physician for knee pain continue to see the physician even after the pain goes away? Certainly not. On the other hand, many Alexander students continue to study the Technique for years because of its continuing and broadening impact on their lives.
The Alexander Technique
A typical lesson lasts between 45 to 55 minutes in which I aid you in finding a greater ease of use with verbal instruction and gentle hands on guidance. By observing how you sit, stand and walk, I am able to provide an experience that will teach you to recognize and stop counter-productive behavioral patterns. Over a course of Alexander lessons, you acquire a more conscious way of guiding yourself through daily activities.
Is It For You?
Do you feel you are not performing at your full potential?
Do you suffer from backache or stiff neck and shoulders?
Do you become uncomfortable when sitting at your computer for long periods of time?
If you answer yes to any of these questions, The Alexander Technique could be of great benefit to you.
What do you want to learn?
You want to learn how to change your automatic movements to make it easier and pain free
to notice what you are doing versus what you think you are doing
to stop the unwanted tendencies as you proceed with activities
to think and picture the basic directions of
Allowing the head to balance at the end of the spine
Allowing the neck to be free
Allowing the back to lengthen and widen
Thomas Glen Cook
As a classically trained actor, I have been exposed to many techniques for mind and body awareness. At Juilliard, in addition to Intensive Voice and Speech Training, I studied Mime, Yoga, Tai Chi, Pilates and Stage Combat. But only the Alexander Technique was offered every year. It is used as the foundation for all voice, speech and movement study because of the physical and mental balance it creates within a person. I draw upon this experience when teaching people how to release unnecessary stress and how to improve their speech. For artists this means enhanced performance. For the general public it means finding greater ease and comfort in every day activity.
In New York I taught Movement for Actors at Juilliard, SUNY Purchase, Brooklyn College and The Actor’s Center. I also taught Tai Chi at Mangho Studio and The Peninsula Spa. My first experience with the Alexander Technique at the University of Utah in 1995. Juilliard then exposed me to intensive Alexander’s study and sparked my ambition to become a teacher of the technique. I started my formal training in 2004 at The Mathew’s School (IRDEAT) in New York City and completed my certification in 2007 at the Alexander Teacher Training Center in Vienna.
In addition to giving Alexander lessons, I also teach Movement for Actors at Elfriede Ott Studio.