What is an Alexander Technique lesson?

Your Alexander Technique teacher, a professional trained in the art of observation and expert guidance, leads you through a one-on-one learning process tailored to your needs.

With the gentle touch of your teacher’s hands combined with appropriate thinking on your part, you will learn to overcome destructive habits you may have developed over many years.

By guiding you through seemingly simple, everyday activities such as sitting and standing, your teacher will help you learn to function without  unnecessary tension and stress.  Perhaps surprisingly, you may find this enhances all areas of life.

How many lessons does it take?

A basic course consists of 25 to 30 lessons over about 3 to 4 months. Depending on the student's needs and interests, lessons may continue for a few months or several years. We highly recommend that students take lessons as often as possible in the beginning to reinforce what they're learning. Ideally, students take lessons three times a week for two to three weeks, then scale back.

You can compare it to music lessons; if you took 30 piano lessons, you would be able to play “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” and if you were really dedicated and spent lots of time practicing, you'd could probably continue to improve on your own. After 30 Alexander Technique lessons, you'll have a handle on the basic principles and would be able to apply your new skills in your daily life. You would also know if it was interesting enough to continue taking lessons. As with any kind of education, you can learn as little or as much as you want and are willing to dedicate yourself to.

What should I wear?

Loose comfortable exercise or street clothing is best. Please avoid tight jeans, leather, down vests and skirts.

Will it hurt?

No, the contact from the teacher's hands should be comfortable and pain-free. Some people do experience “change aches” as they integrate new changes in themselves, which feel similar to the muscular soreness you might experience after a hard workout.

What if I'm no good at it? Will it be hard to learn?

We gear lessons to each person's learning style and learning speed. Most people find the principles of the Alexander Technique understandable and figure out how to apply the Technique in their lives in good time. Since the Alexander Technique is an educational process, it is not something that is 'done to you'. You will receive instructions to help you think in particular ways about how you make use of your psycho-physical mechanisms. Your progress will depend upon the guidance of the teacher combined with your willingness to apply and practice instructions you are given. Since each person is unique, each person's rate and manner of progress will be unique. Any person who is willing to follow the teacher's instructions for thinking in a new way about how they 'use' themselves will benefit from the Technique. Since each person is unique, everyone's experience will be different.

Is it like Yoga, Pilates, Feldenkrais, etc.?

As with any discipline, you can find similarities in principle or practice to other kinds of work. As with other disciplines, the Alexander Technique is a unique body of work. It is not a form of exercise, spiritual practice, bodywork or therapy, though you can use what you learn in Alexander lessons in all of those activities. It is more fundamental; in Alexander lessons, we work on how you organize yourself in order to function and perform at your best in all your activities.

Will it help with my particular illness or injury?

Maybe. Alexander Technique lessons can help with illness and injury in an indirect way. Un-learning habits which get in the way of good functioning usually has the effect of better health and healing in a general way. Many people discover their pains and injuries are a result of what they're doing to themselves. The Alexander Technique helps them learn to stop those habits. We have no medical training, so we cannot tell you whether your particular illness or injury will benefit from lessons. Give it a try and see if it helps. If you have injury or other medical concerns, we would urge you to seek appropriate medical services.

An Alexander Technique Lesson

An excellent introductory video

Several experienced AT teachers discuss the work.

Sandy and Forrest Hawkins,
AmSAT Certified Alexander Technique consultants
Call us with questions or to book an appointment:
We are located near downtown Boquete

"We can throw away the habit of a lifetime in a few minutes if we use our brains."
F.M. Alexander

The following quote summarizes the 'secret' of the Alexander Technique. You may need to read it thoughfully; consider the implications:

"You are not here to do exercises, or to learn to do something right, but to get able to meet a stimulus that always puts you wrong and to learn to deal with it."

F.M. Alexander