Free Alexander Technique for NHS Staff

Six Free Alexander Technique online lessons for NHS staff

I am offering NHS staff six AT lessons as a thank you for all their dedication and hard work, particularly during this COVID-19 pandemic.  Just contact me using an NHS email address. Other people are of course welcome to have some AT lessons but will be charged for these, at 20% the cost of traditional lessons.

These are internet lessons on Zoom, so will not include the hands-on element of Alexander work. I am registered with both STAT and CNHC  and have an enhanced DBS certificate

The Constructive Rest Lying Down Procedure

Learning the lying down procedure, for instance, gives us a tool we can use to relax, reduce tension and pain, plus recharge our batteries.  Using this procedure daily can help us avoid getting into burnout through overwork, whilst reducing problems such as back pain.

In lessons, we also begin to recognise our habits of body use that cause us problems.  When we learn to let go of unhelpful habits and reactions, we can move and act more mindfully in the world, enhancing our wellbeing.

Testimonial from a GP

You may like to read a testimonial from a student of mine, a GP and amateur musician:

 “A very committed and experienced teacher

… As an amateur musician with problems of tension getting in the way of performance, I was delighted to discover that (Hilary) had experience with helping musicians, but I can thoroughly recommend her to musicians and non-musicians alike. She is a very committed and experienced teacher. I have found it fascinating to explore with Hilary the more general applications of the Alexander technique. This has led me to some important insights about the relationship between my mind and my body… An excellent listener, she is able to focus on whatever problem I bring with kindness, encouragement and gentle hands-on expertise. She always strives to find the root of issues of bad use of the body, with suggestions on how to work on them…  When it is time to leave, I always feel revitalised both in mind and body. Dec 2018. “

Martha ~ Doctor and Musician
NHS offer is available until 1 September 2020

Contact me   If you are an NHS staff member, remember to use your NHS email address

Online Alexander Technique Lessons

Online Alexander Technique lessons now available * Six Free Online Lessons for NHS Staff

With Covid-19 and lockdown still in force, I am now offering online 1:1 lessons. These also allow people outside my local area the chance of learning something about the Alexander Technique.

Alexander lessons offer you self-help skills you can use throughout life.  You can learn to let go of old habits, move mindfully, relax and reduce problems such as neck and back pain – plus better manage stress in these challenging times.

 

In traditional Alexander lessons, teachers communicate their directions to clients through their hands, as well as with their words. Obviously this is not possible at the moment, so I am reducing fees by 20% for online sessions. There will also be an initial 30 minute session for free, so that the basics can be gone through.

Once lockdown restrictions have been lifted, you will have a chance to continue with normal Alexander Technique lessons in Harringay N4. These would be at the usual price.

Six Free Online Lessons for NHS Staff

I would also like to offer NHS staff six free lessons, to thank them for their heroic work during this pandemic and to help them cope with all the stress they are experiencing.  Just contact me using an NHS email address.

Contact  me to enquire about booking a session

Learning Resources – Website Articles and Glossary 

Alongside Alexander lessons, my website offers a range of resources to support your learning:

Interview for Hackney Magazine

Hackney Magazine Article

I’ve had an article published in Hackney Magazine, about how the Alexander Technique can help people during the COVID-19 pandemic. I’m not alone in finding the AT a great self-help tool that we can utilize in many ways. It helps me keep calmer and more positive;  I use it to reduce discomfort and tension; it recharges my batteries and helps me manage stress.

Active Rest Procedure in Semi-supine

The lying down procedure is the easiest way to start using the AT, even if you haven’t had lessons. It’s more effective than relaxation exercises – the AT reaches the parts other disciplines just don’t reach! You can find more info about how to practice the Active Rest procedure here. The Alexander Technique has many more applications than I was able to mention in the article, that can aid us during this stressful period.

There is a positive gift to be found within lockdown: STOP  

Many of us have to stay home, to stop our usual activities and very often our work. So we have to stop living in our habitual way. Despite the hardship and trauma, this stopping can be a gift, as it allows us to experience living differently and see the world afresh. For instance, many people appreciate the fact that there’s less pollution now, plus enjoy having more time with their children – and they are spending less.

I’ve just moved house and immediately had to self-isolate with lockdown. Fortunately I’m used to living on my own and looking after myself. It’s hard not seeing my family and new grandson and it’s hard asking for help from people I don’t know – but I am very grateful to my new neighbours in Umfreville Road. They are so welcoming, offering help and shopping for me. I’ve had to adapt to new ways of doing things – very abruptly – and the Alexander Technique has helped with this too.

Letting go of old habits allows us to adapt

These are challenging times and we all need to adapt. Change in itself is known to be a major stress factor for most people.  Incorporating Alexander principles can help us gain some choice over how we respond to these changes and stresses. Having the AT, a tool we can use, also helps us avoid feeling powerless.

Choosing not to be ruled by old habits is a skill worth developing. Learning the Alexander Technique helps us to stop and let go of unhelpful habits, so we can choose new ways of acting and being. This allows us to be adaptable, which is invaluable, particularly when we’re facing such huge changes in our way of life.

For those of us fortunate enough to avoid the virus, remember what Charles Darwin said:

It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change”.

Coronavirus and Alexander Technique lessons

Well the short explanation is that they don’t go together! Alexander Technique lessons are a hands-on teaching procedure, so we can’t comply with the rule to keep 2 metres apart.

Alexander teachers have to cease teaching until the coronavirus epidemic has passed. Sadly, I am unable to set up my new teaching practice in Harringay at the moment but look forward to doing so in the future. Online teaching is something I aim to set up soon.

Use the Alexander Technique to help you through this difficult time

Use the Lying Down Active Rest procedure to help calm and centre yourself, for instance.  Think about your body use when doing your daily exercises.  Not only will you  help yourself keep healthy but you’ll look after your back and muscles at the same time.  There are many good books and videos on the internet about the AT.  If you have had lessons already, this is a good time for you to enjoy using all your AT skills to help you through this challenging time.

Hilary King is teaching Alexander Technique in Harringay

I have not posted here for a while as I have been busy organising to move house.  I will soon be relocating my teaching practice to the North side of Finsbury Park, in the Harringay Ladder, N4. Providing all goes well I will start teaching the Alexander Technique in Harringay in late March.

So it is with mixed feelings that I say goodbye to my Stoke Newington home for over 42 years and where I have been teaching the Alexander Technique for 33 years. I shall miss my lovely teaching room but look forward to creating another one in my new house.

Goodbye to my Alexander Technique studio in Stokey.

The Harringay Ladder is just a couple of miles further up Green Lanes and transport links are very good. It is only a couple of minutes walk to the Harringay Green Lanes Overground station and about 12 minutes walk to Manor House Tube station (or a little longer if you take the green route through Finsbury Park). The buses serving the area are – 29, 141, 341 and W5.

Watch this space for updates about my new Alexander Technique teaching practice in Harringay and do contact me for full details of my address and details of my fees.

Alexander Technique for Young Musicians

Book Launch 

Last Sunday I went to the launch party at LCATT for this great little reference booklet, ‘The Alexander Technique for Young Musicians’.  I think  AT teachers and musicians will find it a very useful resource. The authors are colleagues of mine and are an impressive trio, Judith Kleinman, Peter Buckoke and Fuensanta Zambrana Ruiz – All are Alexander teachers, performers and lecturers at major music colleges.

The Alexander Technique for Young Musicians – great little booklet!

We had wine, nibbles, chamber music and then a workshop with input from each of the authors. We explored topics found in the book – Music Practice, Body Mapping and Sensory Awareness.  Like the booklet, the workshop was clear, to the point and very useful.

Fuensanta Zambrana Ruiz, James Sholto and Peter Buckoke

The booklet uses clear language and illustrations to explore the basic concepts of the AT. For instance, I love the use of ‘Fake News’ as a way of explaining Alexander’s term ‘Faulty Sensory Appreciation‘ – Simple, right up to date and good value – so I hope many people make use of it!

Fake News

Misha Magidov

Another sad notification, this time for Misha Magidov who died on 28 May ’19 aged 90.

Misha ran the North London Teacher Training Course where I qualified as an Alexander teacher back in 1987. Misha had trained with Patrick Macdonald, who in turn trained with FM Alexander himself.  Misha was always so caring towards his students and his valuable teaching gave me a wonderful basis from which to work on myself and to teach the AT to others. Misha ran his course for many years with his lovely wife, Judith, until she went to Israel for cancer treatment but sadly died in 2005.  Misha continued to teach in Israel but he visited the UK occasionally to run some workshops for AT teachers.  We were always so pleased to experience his work again and he will be missed by many people. 

I took this photo of Misha in 2008 when I participated in a Workshop that he ran in London.

Kevin Saunders

It was with great sadness that I learned of Kevin Saunders‘ recent death. Kevin came to me on and off for many years for Alexander lessons and during that time he trained firstly as a yoga teacher then, I’m happy to say, as an Alexander Technique teacher. Kevin went on to develop an approach to yoga teaching that utilised his Alexander training and he wrote an excellent Blog on the topic.

This lovely photo of Kevin by Ron Cox shows him in 2003, about the time when he first came to me for AT lessons. Kevin thoughtfully explored new ways to incorporate the AT into his daily life, whilst playing the guitar, working in IT, improving his eyesight and fine- tuning his yoga.

The only photo I took of Kevin was during a lesson when challenging his sense of balance whilst on a wobble board, performing a deep version of the position of mechanical advantage (2012). Not something every pupil is asked to do, or could even think of performing!

Kevin always came to lessons with an intellectual curiosity and gentle thoughtfulness about the human condition, discussing theories and exploring different ways of using the AT. Teaching Kevin was always stimulating for me and I also learned a lot from him over the years, for instance about different approaches to the AT. He will be missed by many.

Next Intro Alexander Workshop

My next Introductory Workshop is on Saturday June 22nd.

This offers you a chance to find out about Alexander classes and how they can help you.  As this will be for a small group, it is essential to enrol in advance. Further info and Booking.

There will be some simple experiential activities, in which you can begin to develop awareness of the way you use your body. You will also learn the Active Rest Procedure, which you are encouraged use every day, to help you to become calmer, reduce tension and look after your back.

The photo shows participants at a previous workshop, as they are getting up from using this procedure. They are pausing midway, so they can be aware of how they are moving whilst gently maintaining a lengthened head neck and back. AT work is about how we move and act in the world, whatever we are doing, rather than just performing exercises at specific times.

This workshop could form the first part of a short course if enough people would like to attend.

Celebrate FM Alexander’s 150th Birthday

What better time to explore the AT than on F M Alexander’s 150th Birthday on 20th January 2019!
 
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Special Offer – A limited number of Reduced Rate private lessons of one hour are available, only during January, for just £30. Just 4 are left……
 
Here’s a chance to discover what Alexander work is all about and just how it can help you throughout your life, when you use it during your daily activities.
Let go of old habits that don’t serve you and start afresh for the New Year.
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