My name's Kate Minogue and I've lived in ten countries on three continents. I've worked as an editor, an English teacher, and an exercise instructor. But from childhood I always had back problems, and that's why I became interested in the Alexander Technique. I was looking for an end to my discomfort. I'd become aware of the massive amount of tension I was carrying as a leftover from ballet classes when I was young. Somehow I hadn't been able to come back to neutral when I was out of class. I wondered if it was connected to my back pain. I'd also noticed, when teaching exercise classes, how people can't always do what they're asked to do. Often they don't realise what they're actually doing. Have you ever been shocked on seeing yourself in a photo or on film?
Tone, not tension
The technique applies to your whole life. Appropriate tone is good for us. Full-on tension is not. As the old song says, "Tain't what you do (It's the way that you do it)". You don't need to tighten your shoulders when you sit at the computer. You don't need to grip your jaw when you drive the car. And there's no point following a fitness regime if you give yourself pain from the way you perform the exercises. You may be surprised at how much unnecessary effort you put into everyday activities. Book a taster lesson and begin to find out how you little you can get away with.
Allow yourself to breathe
I've always been a bit of a worrier and the sort of person who wants to get things right. I've found that Alexander Technique has helped me feel more in control of my responses. I can't change what happens around me, but I can choose my reaction. Throughout the day I'll regularly take a moment to notice how I'm breathing, what's around me, and how I'm responding to it all. Alexander Technique doesn't add on layers to your already complex life; it strips them away. So, for example, there are no breathing exercises. A useful skill to cultivate is that of Active Rest. Do this for a few minutes every day and notice the benefits.
Gretel, Great-Grandmother, said:
"It is a lifestyle now for me. I feel younger, more loosened up in my body. My joints feel springy even though my hip operation was only five months ago. I feel free, happy and joyful." Gretel, Great-Grandmother