Alexander Technique Amherst
with Ruth Rootberg

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Ruth Rootberg
Amherst, MA
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Living the Alexander Technique

Living the Alexander Technique by Ruth Rootberg

by Ruth Rootberg

Nine distinguished teachers of the Alexander Technique—Elisabeth Walker, Frank Ottiwell, Anne Battye, Joan and Alex Murray, Sarnie Ogus, Rome Earle, Ann Mathews, and Jane Heirich—speak with Ruth Rootberg about their lives, their work, and their approach to using their Alexander skills as they face aging, loss of loved ones, and the challenges of illness and injury. With over 400 years of combined teaching experience, they reveal how the Alexander Technique provides a dependable pathway to meet the ongoing challenges of daily living.

This book is a wonderful resource for Alexander Technique students, teachers, and anyone who seeks models of aging with dignity and passion.

"Students and teachers of the Alexander Technique will gain valuable and thought-provoking insights from these personal stories and life lessons, generously shared by master teachers of the profession."
—Missy Vineyard Ehrgood
Teacher of the Alexander Technique
and author of How you Stand, How you Move, How you Live

"In an age that 'worships youth' it is important to learn to overcome our fear of growing older and, ultimately, of death. This is an important book because it gives you a template for aging gracefully. The spirit of enjoying whatever each day brings and of continual learning at every stage of life infuses each of these master teachers as they discuss the Alexander Technique as a practical tool that allows life to be 'just a little easier.'"
—Michael Frederick
Alexander Technique Teacher, training director, and founding director of the International Congresses on the Alexander Technique.

"I think it would be wonderful if, when a person turns 65 and receives a Medicare card, eligibility for the card would require lessons in the Alexander Technique."
—Sarnie Ogus
Alexander Technique teacher

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Excerpt from Living the Alexander Technique

Finding (again) the Essential First Step
Frank Ottiwell

Frank: I'm in a place now where my illness has prevented me from functioning in the world. I mean, not completely. It's not that I don't get out; in fact, I'm going to the theatre tonight. But I get taken everywhere; I'm not driving.

Ruth: Sometimes I am not sure, in tracking my own journey as a committed but aging student of the Alexander Technique, whether I'm discovering something new since my training days, or rediscovering something that I had already learned, but forgotten. Are you saying you have discovered a degree of specificity that was unknown to you in your younger, healthier days?

Frank: No, not really, though it often seems so completely new and fresh in the moment that it is only when my rational mind wakes up that I have to remember that I have been through this before, with the help of a teacher. What is different, I suppose, is my situation, and in that new situation I am fooled into thinking that I have made all these fantastic discoveries myself! Periodically, over the years, I would have realizations or insights and think: Now, that’s what the Technique is really about. [We laugh.] Maybe this time it really is a new beginning. We'll see.

Ruth: What led to a “new beginning” this time?

Frank: For one thing, I am becoming more and more aware of myself moment to moment. Because of my lack of so much of my customary ability, many physical activities have become quite difficult. I remember soon after I came home from the hospital, I was walking across a room and became aware that I was moving very awkwardly and holding myself together intensely, in a sort of all-over grip. I'm sure it was a misguided attempt to prevent falling—the scourge of old age and brittle bones—but in that moment, something cleared. I realized I was behaving as though I had never experienced the Alexander Technique. It was a shock, but in retrospect, a blessing. I had, once again, found the essential first step in the Alexander work: recognition of what I was doing. I don’t take any credit for that important moment. After all, I was stopped in my tracks by it. I think it was my Road to Damascus.

Frank Ottiwell was born in Montreal in 1929. In 1949 he moved to New York to study acting, and in 1954 began Alexander Technique lessons with Judith Leibowitz. In 1956 he entered Judy’s first training course for teachers, qualifying in 1959.

Order Now

Buy online at:
Print & Kindle available at:
Also available at iTunes & iBooks, Google Play, and Nook

Bulk orders (over 5 & 10 copies): 413 256-6425
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