Some days ago, I was greeted by my 17 year old student, on Zoom, with this wonderful news:
James: “I would like to thank you”
Kay: “What for?”
James: “I have just had my school report which commented on how much more confident I have become, and I put this down to having lessons with you, so again, thank you very much, learning the Alexander Technique with you has helped me become a more confident person.”
How wonderful to hear this news!
Now I would like to add this, I have been James’ Alexander Technique teacher for over a year, but he has had to be open to the teachings and be willing to put in the time, practice and dedication, that has earned him this reward. An Alexander Technique teacher cannot fix things! I have been his “guide on the side” supporting and encouraging to develop his self esteem and poise and it has, and continues to reap dividends for him.
Learning the Alexander Technique is a life skill and is never mastered, we continue to learn throughout our lives. When James is ready, he will leave home and probably discontinue lessons, which is how it should be, he needs to be self-reliant and able to use the techniques he has learned without my support. James will have a set of skills that he can use throughout his life and help him cope with whatever problem arises.
James is lucky to have a mother, Anna, who has invested in him and believes in him, and his natural ability and here is Anna’s review of his learning:
( NB:Pseudonyms used)
Anna’s Review for Kay
My son was 16 years old when he started lessons with Kay, just after the first lockdown. He is now 17 and we have been working with Kay for about 10 months. He has a mild form of scoliosis, dyspraxia and dyslexia. He also had bad posture, which became more noticeable after each period of rapid growth. Years of constantly reminding him how to sit or stand correctly were to no avail.
I did not know much about the Alexander Technique until I spoke to a colleague whose son was around the same age as mine and had similar difficulties. He told me about the Alexander Technique and my son and I decided to give it a try.
My son started sessions with Kay just after the first lockdown. These sessions were initially face-to face with all the necessary PPE in place and I was impressed with the safety measures Kay had implemented to protect her patients and herself. During the second lockdown, my son continued to have sessions with Kay, but this time online. My son has sessions with Kay twice a week and, to my great delight, the results are staggering.
Having sessions during lockdown and the long period of online schooling has been highly beneficial for him. Sitting all day in front of the computer is not good for anyone, especially in the winter months. It was difficult for most people to maintain focus on their physical health but even more so for a teenager who has little self-awareness of their body, muscles and posture. During these difficult times the benefits of online sessions were evident. My son grew more and more confident and this is evident in the way he now stands, talks and his general demeanour and stance. He had started to unconsciously adopt a better body posture. There were many clear indicators, such as the way he stood talking to me that evidenced the effectiveness of the sessions with Kay.
The weekly sessions with Kay have also had a strong positive impact on my son’s emotional and mental wellbeing. He has remained positive throughout this difficult year and he always leaves his sessions with Kay (online or face-to-face) with a huge smile on his face. Kay clearly loves what she does and is always friendly, encouraging and supportive.
The sessions with Kay have also helped him build his confidence, which is noticeable. He stands tall, he talks confidently, and he appears to be less anxious and nervous (no fidgeting or nervous hand movements). The beneficial effect on the whole person is evident.
There is so much to learn from Kay and the Alexander Technique that my son has every intention of continuing with these sessions. He enjoys them so much. This in itself speaks volumes about Kay, her approach and her enthusiasm.
I only wish I had found out earlier about the wonders of the Alexander Technique and found Kay!