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What Happens During an Alexander
(Much of the following has been taken from Chapter 4, "The Alexander Lesson" in Fitness Without Stress by Robert Rickover. Links to additional descriptions of the Alexander teaching process and to photos and a video of an Alexander Technqiue lesson can be found at the bottom to the page.)
You can also listen to a growing number of podcast interviews by senior teachers about how they approach teaching a first Alexander Technique lesson.
When I speak to new pupils on the telephone before their first lesson, I find they often have questions about what will go on during the lesson and about the teaching process itself.
What Not to Expect
Alexander lessons are not painful. There is nothing physically aggressive about the work. On the contrary, it is a process of allowing the pupil to release tension and the harmful habits that were responsible for it - at the pace that suits him or her, individually.
What Does the Teacher Do?
To help her with this, she will probably ask you to perform some simple movements - perhaps walking, or standing up or sitting down in a chair - while her hands are kept in easy contact with your body.
At the same time that the teacher's hands are gathering information, they will also be conveying information to you. The teacher's hands will gently guide your body to encourage a release of restrictive muscular tension.
Naturally, teachers vary somewhat in their approaches to teaching. Just like any other group of professionals, there are variations due to differences in personality and style of training. Some teachers may talk and explain more at first; others prefer to spend most of the time during the first lessons simply helping you to get a new experience of ease and flexibility. Similarly, some teachers emphasize a few, fairly basic movements, allowing the effect to carry over into all your activities, while others prefer to work with you in a wide variety of applications.
How Long Are Lessons - And How Many Will I Need?
At the start, pupils are usually urged to come for lessons fairly frequently, perhaps two or three times a week if that's at all possible. This is because the new approach to movement, and to thinking about movement, which they are learning, is a bit unfamiliar at first and may need a little extra help to become established. Later on in the process, pupils often find they can continue to progress quite well with lessons spaced a week or more apart.
One of the best answers to the question "How long does it take to learn the Alexander Technique?" can be found here.
What About Group Work?
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