Steve Poskitt - Alexander Technique
Hi. My name is Steve.
I’m a qualified Alexander Technique Teacher, Personal Trainer and Classical Guitarist.
I have found applying the principals and wisdom of the Alexander Technique and learning about my habits incredibly helpful in getting rid of back pain, refining my guitar playing, and allowing a general comfort and ease in everyday living. It has also formed the bedrock of my approach to sustainable strength training.
The process includes a mindfulness approach to how you use and treat your body, how to move with better quality and posture and free yourself from restrictive physical habits, with an emphasis on PROCESS as opposed to end results.
The Alexander Technique is an amazing preventative health measure, and I’d like to help with whatever YOU would like help or improvement in. I have well over 10 years of experience working with people of all ages, both 1 on 1 or in groups.
Try a free introduction!
Send me an email or give me call and I’ll give you a free introduction and initial consultation!
What does the Alexander Technique Do?
The Alexander Technique helps to develop an awareness of our physical habits. Not all habits are bad of course, but some can cause undue pressure and pain, and the thing is, we so often don't realize we are doing them! Whether they are undue tensions through the torso, breathing patterns, postural collapses, or tensions through the jaw and face, they can all contribute to chronic and acute pain in mild to extreme ranges. Because we are so interconnected, habits can be quite misleading, and treatment can often be misdirected. For instance, a habit in the toes and soles of the feet may be causing a whole body pattern that manifests into pain in the lower back. Because the pain is in the lower back, that’s where treatment may be focused, but if the habit at the feet unraveled, the back would take care of itself and the pain response would go away! These habits become very engrained over time, and especially engrained around repetitive or common tasks. So a habit that completely escapes our senses is repeated time and time again in our daily lives, and we can be causing ourselves a dose of discomfort! We often blame the equipment or environment around us when, often, all we have to do is stop doing the habit!
And here’s where the Alexander technique comes in. Firstly, we learn about what it is we are doing that is unnecessary, habitual, potentially harmful or awkward. We then learn a practical method of re-training the way we use our bodies, we learn how to “catch” these habits so they don't happen, and we “re-educate” the body towards an easier and more coordinated way of working, engaging with our highly evolved ability to think EFFECTIVELY in activity.
Here is a list of some of the things it can help with!
- Improve your posture
- Reduce or eradicate chronic neck, back, shoulder and other pain.
- Restore natural breathing patterns
- Reduce anxiety
- Manage performance anxiety
- Alleviate stress
- Prevent and relieve repetitive strain injury such as carpal tunnel syndrome
- Improve muscular tone and flexibility
- Improve coordination
- Improve your speaking/singing voice
- Play music with appropriate tension and physical ease.
What to expect in an Alexander Technique session.
Although practicing the Alexander Technique has therapeutic outcomes, a session itself does not take on a format that is more commonly conceived of as therapeutic. We are not passively receiving a treatment in an Alexander session, like receiving a massage for example. We engage more with a communication and learning process, exploring primarily the ways we think about ourselves and our bodies, and how we can adjust and take control of our “state of being”. One of the great things about the Alexander Technique is that it is NOT a passive reception of treatment, but that it provides pathways with which we can consistently take responsibility and care of ourselves on a moment to moment basis. IT EMPOWERS US. We learn how to employ our conscious reasoning to bring about qualities that we want, be it physical ease, balance, tension, release, calmness, comfort, freedom, poise and so-on. A teacher will use any number of strategies for imparting to and receiving information from a student. Commonly, a gentle “hands on” is employed by the teacher to enhance sensory, spacial and body mapping awareness. Vocal cues are also used, and in combination with the hands, help the student notice their habits as well as help them re-direct themselves towards a more suitable way of engaging their body. Often simple activities such as “chair work” (sitting and standing/changing our height), lying down, and walking are used as parameters in which to explore our habits and engage with the process.
Fitness and Strength with the Alexander Technique
The Alexander Technique is an extremely clear and powerful way of embedding us within the “process” of what we are doing. The appreciation of the fact that the way we think directly influences the way we move, brings to the fore our most fundamental as well as our most powerful tool for effective, sustainable fitness and strength practice, that tool being our brains!! And subsequently, our nervous system!! Whether we appreciate it or not, our “manner of use”, or in other words, the way we are THINKING, is always the core governing influence upon the way we function, or in other words, the way we move. To take this a step further, the way we move leads us to particular “conditions” we find ourselves in, be they conditions of freedom, appropriate tension, restrictive joint inflexibilities, postural discomforts, over flexibilities, habituated pain patterns, poise ,comfort and balance.
Why is it that there is a large drop-out rate within the fitness industry amongst general population, who simply want to enjoy recreational fitness and strength for general wellbeing? Well, you don’t have to look very far to see an industry focused on RESULTS instead of process. If you’re over-focused on results, the tendency will be to “end gain” towards them, loose a sense of engagement and process, and quite possibly become dis-enchanted because results are not achieved, or injured due to lack of awareness! A template for mindful process and long term enjoyment is often overlooked.
Embedding the Alexander Technique within the process of fitness and strength training addresses this so often over-looked stage of “manner of use”, or, “thinking in activity”. Engaging effectively in process is the true key to enjoying ANY human activity, least of all an activity demanding extra physical demand such as weight bearing for strength, or the expression of power to cultivate speed, or a combination of both in order to facilitate a grace and ease for endurance activities such as running, cycling, swimming, or functional work capacity and cross training in a gym. The technique brings us back to appropriate thinking for process and execution, promoting enjoyment and presence, where RESULTS become a welcome by-product.
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