Yoga classes in small groups
Yoga timetable for small groups
Yoga enhanced by the Alexander Technique

Yoga enhanced by knowledge of Alexander Technique

There is no such thing as "Alexander yoga", yet these two powerful methods can be integrated to improve awareness, co-ordination, balance, flexibility and strength.

Chance meeting leads to greater insight
Alexander Technique teacher Karyn Chapman describes how she came to learn these two modalities:

"Being 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!

Falling 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.

"This 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 teacher.

"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 arose.

Integrated 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 about myself.

"I'm often asked how Alexander Technique has helped my yoga.

"I 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.

A 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.

"Alexander 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."

Alex before yoga!
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.

"When pupils do enter a class, numbers are small enough that they get plenty of 'hands-on'.

"We will never stop people wanting to exercise and explore greater ranges of movement.

"For 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 potential."

Could 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 us.