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'From my first lesson with Richard, I was hooked. Alexander Technique has radically improved my life.
'Alexander Technique has given me the posture of my dreams.'
‘The Alexander sessions have helped me alter my neck and shoulder tension and reduce the runaway anxiety that has dogged me for years.’
‘I felt a great expansion after Richard’s lessons which has transformed how I live in
‘The Alexander Technique is about so much more than good posture. To stand tall and
‘The Technique has changed my relationship with the world. I feel I have more space around me.’
‘It’s like I’m in nature, in flow and fully connected with my body and self.’
I was formerly an accountant with Reuters and I often used to get lower back problems and shoulder tension from too much sitting at the computer. In my drama and clowning training, I was fascinated to discover how small adjustments in my posture could make a huge difference to how I felt.
I had read and known about the Technique for some years and started having lessons. I was amazed after my first one – it was like I was floating down the street with a wonderful sense of freedom and lightness. In time, my lower back problems and tensions disappeared.
I was inspired to learn more and decided to train as a teacher at the Constructive Teaching Centre in London with Walter Carrington. Following the 3-year course, I am a member of the Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique and teach in central and west London.
Richard Dunkerley MSTAT
The way you move and use your body is an expression of you, reflecting what you think and feel. It mirrors your reactions and inner responses to life and has a profound effect on your whole mind, body and spirit.
The originator of the Technique, Frederick Matthias Alexander, was born in Tasmania in 1869. His ambition was to be an actor and he launched himself on a promising career as a solo performer. But he began to experience vocal difficulties when he performed, which his doctors were unable to diagnose. They advised him to rest his voice but as soon as he went back on stage, his problems returned. He realised that this must be the result of something that he was doing to himself. Observing himself in mirrors, he concluded that his condition resulted from poor use of his postural mechanism. He started teaching his technique to many actors and influential physicians in Sydney and Melbourne.
In 1904, he came to London and set up a large and fashionable practice. His pupils included George Bernard Shaw, Aldous Huxley, the actors Sir Henry Irving and Lily Langtry, and the politician Stafford Cripps. He divided his time between London and New York and set up a training course for teachers in the 1930s. He wrote four books including The Use of the Self in 1932, which describes his process of discovering the Technique. He continued teaching until his death in 1955 at the age of 86. After his death, his teacher training course was taken over by Walter Carrington who founded the Constructive Teaching Centre in London. Walter Carrington died in 2005 at the age of 90.
Many people come to the Technique because of longstanding pains and tensions due to back and neck aches, RSI, stress, breathing and vocal problems. Learning the Technique can help you to manage and reduce such pain.
The Technique is widely used by musicians, actors, and sports people where poise, vitality, and fluidity are essential to their performance.
In general, anyone who wants to improve the way they use and move the body can benefit. If you are holding yourself crumpled, you will be inhibiting your breathing, internal organ function and energy flow, and generally feel diminished. But if you are lengthening and widening within your body, your internal organs and breathing will work optimally, your voice will deepen, and you will feel good.
The Technique is totally experiential and is best learned in one-to-one lessons with a trained teacher. In a lesson, I assess your individual needs through simple everyday movements like standing, sitting, bending, and walking. Using a gentle guiding touch, I help you to re-discover your natural poise and freedom of movement. The experience of lessons offers a sense of ease and wellbeing.
Although people can learn a lot from one or two lessons, a series of lessons is generally recommended. Habits of movement which may have built up over one’s lifetime do need time and space to change. A lesson lasts 40 minutes and costs £35. I teach at the Bloomsbury Alexander Centre in Holborn, central London.