HOW ALEXANDER ALLIANCE TEACHERS CAN HELP YOU
We simply observe how you do what you do. We observe with kindness and clarity. We watch you do what is important to you, and what is not quite working the way you want it to work. It could be walking up or down the steps, or singing a song, or playing the cello. It could be relating to people at work, or at home. For some it is speaking in front of people, or being more comfortable at your computer. It might be practicing Yoga, Pilates, or Tai Chi. Maybe what is important to you is swing dancing, or tango, or weaving, or pottery, or painting.
Whatever it is, we watch you with a benevolent eye. We see what you are doing well, and we perceive what is interfering with what you want to do. Gently, we make you aware of what you are doing, and we help you. Often we use our hands, always respectfully and without force, until you undo what you are doing that's getting in your way. Pleasure, comfort, and ease return.
Sometimes it's hard for students to feel what they are doing. That's why it's sensible to get a little help from teachers who know how to see you.
You will learn an incredible amount about your body and being. Your relationship to your body will change for the better, forever. You will leave our Retreat more deeply in touch with yourself, with others, and with the world around you.
Who Studies Contemporary Alexander Technique?
Anyone who wants the tools to change their life.
Anyone who is physically uncomfortable due to stress, tension, postural habits, movement problems, old injuries, or poor self-image.
Performing artists and teachers of performing artists.
Athletes, martial artists, fitness/Pilates/Gyro teachers, yoga instructors.
Equestrians, Centered Riding/Natural Horsemanship teachers and students
Bodyworkers, movement therapists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, counselors, psychologists, chiropractors, and physicians
Why Study Contemporary Alexander Technique?
We learn to replace habitual life patterns with new, more conscious choices. Through study, we become capable of redirecting excessive effort into useful energy, and creating the experiences we desire.
Regaining deep structural support, we can relieve chronic pain, restore balance flexibility and strength, refine the use of our bodies as an instrument of artistry, regain conscious awareness within our daily life, and rediscover the sheer pleasure of movement and life.
The Alexander Technique teaches us how to be relaxed and ready, soft and strong, light and substantial, firm and flexible, awake to ourselves and to the world.
We will help you do whatever you love to do.
If you love to play an instrument, bring it with you! We will help you.
If you love to ride horses, we will help you do that!
If you love to walk in the woods, we will help you.
The Alexander Alliance International Schools are devoted to furthering the Work of F.M. Alexander. If he were alive today, what would his Work be like? We are bringing the Work forward, to address the unique needs and challenges of today, and tomorrow.
Frederick Matthias Alexander (1869 - 1955)
FM, as he was known, was the eldest of 8 born on a farm in Tasmania, and had an affinity for horses and theater. As a young actor, he had difficulty with his voice, which he eventually resolved through long and careful observation of his habits. This led him to a deep and lifelong exploration of human movement and the nature of habit and thought. He moved to England and began to help others with his discoveries. In 1931, he began to teach his unique observations and skills to others. Marjorie Barstow, a young dancer from America, was in that first training class and was the first person he trained to teach his Work.
Marjorie Barstow (1899 - 1995)
Marj, as we called her, was a rancher and dance teacher from Lincoln, Nebraska, who traveled to England to become the first 'Alexander Teacher' other than FM himself. Returning to her ranch, she took Alexander's principles and applied them to real activities of everyday Midwestern life - walking the land, doing the chores, and mucking the barn. As her popularity as a teacher grew, she developed a method for teaching the Work in a group setting, allowing students to learn by collective observation and exploration. Bruce and Robyn were longtime students of Marj in Lincoln.
Alexander Alliance - Germany
In 1982, Bruce Fertman and Martha Hansen Fertman created the Alexander Foundation, an Alexander Technique teacher training program in Philadelphia, PA, based on Marj's model of teaching in groups. They added their own innovative and cutting-edge style to the way we think about the Work, with an emphasis on working in activities of all kinds. As their work developed and spread to Asia and Europe, the Alexander Alliance International was born. Robyn, Midori, and Sakiko studied with Bruce and Martha, and now each run independent schools within the Alliance.
Alexander Alliance - USA
Robyn has been a student of FM Alexander's Work for over 40 years. She is the Founding Director of the Contemporary Alexander School, the USA branch of Alexander Alliance International, offering Alexander Technique Teacher Training in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Portland, Oregon; as well as being on the Core Faculty of the AAI schools in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, France, Japan, and South Korea. In the classical music world, she is head of Musicians' Wellness at the renowned Meadowmount School of Music, and teaches students from the world's leading conservatories.
Alexander Alliance - Osaka/Kibi
Midori Shinkai, director of The Alexander Alliance Japan/Kyoto, has been studying Alexander's work for 35 years. Having trained and translated for dozens of internationally renowned teachers, her understanding is exceptionally comprehensive. Her doctoral research in Anthropology explored how Korean, Chinese, and Japanese women sit, stand, walk, and move. Midori's teaching is informed by her years of study of Sen-Tai, a traditional Japanese approach to health.
Alexander Alliance - Tokyo
Sakiko Ishitsubo is the director of the Alexander Technique Tokyo School, providing teacher training since 2003. She started studying the Alexander Technique in 1986 in Japan, going on to study at the Alexander Alliance in Philadelphia from 1991 to 1994. Sakiko has taught internationally, working with dancers, musicians, actors, athletes, therapists and others. She is currently a faculty member of the Actors School of the New National Theater in Tokyo. She teaches private lessons and group lessons. Sakiko has a Masters degree in Physical Therapy from Long Island University, New York and is a former board member and continuing sponsor teacher of Alexander Technique International.
Today this core teaching team continues to pass on FM's basic principles, as influenced by Marj's group style, through Bruce and Martha's application to activities. We are a collective of independent schools in the US, Germany, and Japan. We teach together as much as possible, and once a year, we come together to renew and reconnect. We encourage our graduates and trainees from all of the schools to join us, so that we can continue to explore the next realm of Alexander's Work. We teach in groups, through activities, using FM's principles, in a setting of astounding natural beauty.