Smartbody Alexander Technique: Smartbody is now thrilled to offer Alexander Technique, a sophisticated approach to improving posture, fitness, and body awareness while reducing pain, tension, and muscle spasm.
- What is it?
- Why take lessons?
- What are lessons like?
- Group workshops
- About our teacher
- Famous students
- Scientific Support
- Pilates vs. Alexander
- How do I find out more?
What is Alexander technique? Alexander technique is one of the most respected and time-tested methods for improving posture, coordination, and general well being. The student learns to reduce harmful patterns of muscle tension and improve alignment. This results in a more balanced, efficient posture that can support all activities and improve ones quality of life.
Why take lessons? There are many reasons to start taking lessons. Many people come to the technique with chronic pain, excess tension, or RSI. Others come because they want to improve thier posture and coordination. Leaders and presenters who speak to groups come to improve their vocal projection, poise, and calm. Musicians, actors, dancers, and athletes, come to improve their poise in performance. Desk workers come to learn how to sit and interact with a computer with less tension. In fact, because the technique offers so much insight into how to use your body and mind, it can help you enjoy and excell at just about any activity.
What are lessons like? Lessons combine verbal instruction with expert light touch manipulation. This combination allows the student to develope a practical understanding of both his own harmful habits and of proper postural coordination. Typically, the student walks away from a lesson feeling very relaxed ("like a really good massage") with a feeling of ease of movement ("as if the joints have been oiled") and with an improved understanding of the fundamentals of how the body is designed to function. This unique combination of bodily experience and intellectual understanding allows the student develop his/her own means for change.Group Workshops Smartbody brings Alexander technique principles into your workout routine, as well as into your understanding of your body with three new workshops; running, swimming and anatomy in motion. Each workshop combines principles of Alexander technique with comprehensive knowledge from a broad range of sources. You may join single workshops or any combination.
About Patrick Johnson Our Alexander technique teacher, Patrick Johnson, has been studying and/or teaching the technique since 2002. He is certified by the most rigorous of the training bodies, the Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique (STAT) as well as the Nederlands Vereniging voor Leraren van de Alexander Tecknique (NeVLAT). He also has a broad experience in sports and movement, currently a teacher of running and dance improvisation and formely a high level tournament squash player. Finally, he has a particular interest in anatomy and the science of movement, having originally trained and worked as a scientist. Read more about Patrick »
Does anyone famous use it? It is used by many famous actors, dancers, and mucisians, but also writers, philosphers, and scientists. A short list includes Paul McCartney, Sting, Keanu Reeves, Paul Newman, Jeremy Irons, Julie Andrews, Patrick Stewart, Kevin Kline, Joanne Woodward, John Cleese, Robin Williams, Judy Dench, Ben Kingsley, Professor Niko Tinbergen (Winner of Nobel Prize in Medicine), Frederick Perls (Originator of Gestalt Therapy), Moshe Feldenkrais (Originator of the Feldenkrais Method), John Dewey, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, George Bernard Shaw, Aldous Huxley.
Scientific support? Yes. In a remarkable recent study, students of the Alexander Technique learned to dramatically reduce thier back pain over the long term. This study was published in the British Medical Journal, one of the most respected medical journals in the world. The study followed the most rigorous protocols including multiple control groups and proper randomization. It showed striking evidence for the effectiveness of the technique in reducing pain and improving quality of life, even 1 year after the first lessons. No other method for treating chronic back pain, including standard physical therapy, Mensendick, Cesaer therapy, etc. have scientific support that beats this study. The reader is encouraged to find out more at the STAT website or by looking at the original article, available for free at the British Medical Journal website.
How many lessons do I need? We will work with you to tailor a course of lessons that meets your needs, depending on your problems, your goals, and your budget. While a standard course of lessons is twenty to thirty lessons, as few as six lessons have been shown to provide a long term benefit.
Pilates or Alexander? There are both similarities and differences between Pilates and Alexander Technique. Both improve alignment, coordination, balance, and general well being thus bringing you more "in your body". While Pilates emphasizes precision exercises that strengthen and stretch, Alexander technique emphasizes release of tension and clear thinking as a means for change. If, in the process of getting "into your body" you are particularly looking to build strength and flexibility, Pilates is probably your choice. If you want to emphasize ease of movement or are particularly concerned with muscle spasm and chronic stiffness, Alexander might be the way to go. Feeling adventurous? Try both.
How do I find out more? The best way to find out what it is all about is to come in and try a lesson. We'll explain the technique and give you your first hands on experience of the so-called "Alexander high." Then we can work out a plan for a series of lessons that fits your needs. Or contact our Alexander teacher (Patrick) directly via email or phone. See Contact ».