enhanced by knowledge of Alexander Technique
is no such thing as "Alexander yoga", yet these two powerful
methods can be integrated to improve awareness, co-ordination,
balance, flexibility and strength.
meeting leads to greater insight
Alexander Technique teacher Karyn Chapman describes how she
came to learn these two modalities:
a student and teacher of yoga for many years made it a big
part of my life. Yoga has helped me through difficult times,
including a serious spine problem. "
Some years ago, I met a man who was not only a yoga teacher
for whom I had great respect, but also an Alexander teacher.
At first, I didn't respond well to Alexander lessons, having
already decided that my yoga and dance training had given
me enough of the 'awareness' that the Alexander teacher was
trying to impart to me.
"But in the years following, I always remembered the words
of this teacher: Watch how most yoga students and teachers
go into a postural collapse when the class is over!
in a heap
"I began to observe this in myself and in those I worked with.
It seemed like the yoga class was a performance; once over,
the old, habitual patterns of 'use' returned until another
class was attended.
was what finally made me want to know more of the technique,
and eventually I knew that if I was to grow in my own yoga
practice and teaching, I would have to train to be an Alexander
"When I first started the three-year training course in London,
I still had the idea that the Alexander Technique would be
something I'd keep separate-an additional qualification I'd
have tucked up my sleeve to be called upon as the occasion
methods enhance each other
"But, before I knew it, there was no way of telling where
my yoga ended and the Alexander Technique began. This new
awareness my Alexander training was giving me made me seem
to have been asleep before. I was only now beginning to learn
often asked how Alexander Technique has helped my yoga.
believe that it is the stopping of old response patterns that,
in my experience, distinguishes the Alexander Technique from
all other disciplines. Other mind/body systems simply impose
a new pattern on top of an existing one-they do not ask you
to STOP what you are already doing, as Alexander does!
"I sometimes wish I'd had Alexander training before becoming
involved in yoga, as it's the base necessary for real growth
in any direction. As it happened for me the other way around,
I began to approach my yoga as if I was experiencing it for
the very first time.
different approach to yoga
"My whole attitude to yoga, now, is very different from the
way it was. Most yoga students and teachers have a a very
'end-gaining' attitude in their postures, so they try to move
too far into a particular position without giving consideration
to how they are using the rest of their body. They are so
totally focused on the end result, they wonder why they leave
the yoga class with sore knees or back.
used the word 'inhibition'-the need to pause or stop and consider
the best means whereby we might improve or reach our goal.
This, together with the character of thinking involved, is
what makes the Alexander Technique so distinctive."
Karyn explains, "For myself, I require pupils who want to
join the yoga class to first have Alexander Technique lessons.
Its application must already be in their life before they
enter a yoga class. Some prefer to continue one-to-one, while
others want to join a class situation.
pupils do enter a class, numbers are small enough that they
get plenty of 'hands-on'.
will never stop people wanting to exercise and explore greater
ranges of movement.
those of us who have a love of this area, the Alexander Technique
offers the key to help us become our best and develop our
yoga help you?
Would it be suitable for your body-type? When is the best
time to start? There's only one way to find out! Contact