Jonathan Leathwood works with a pianist in an Alexander Technique lesson


Before you come for your first lesson, you may have a lot of questions. Here are some that have been asked. Don’t hesitate to contact me to ask for information on anything pertaining to the Technique and lessons.

What is the Alexander Technique?

The Alexander Technique is a method for recognizing harmful patterns of movement and thought, and learning to undo them. [more…] | top

What are the professional standards for a teacher of the Alexander Technique?

Rigorous standards for certification of Alexander Technique teachers were set in London in the middle of the twentieth century; today in the United States, these same standards are upheld by the American Society for the Alexander Technique (AmSAT) and by affiliated societies around the world.

To achieve certification, teachers must train for at least 1600 hours in an AmSAT-approved course over a minimum of three years; to maintain certification, they must engage in regular postgraduate training. Finally, they must abide by the AmSAT code of ethics. | top

Where did you train?

I was trained at Alexander Technique Denver, an AmSAT-approved training course. | top

How long will each lesson last?

45 minutes. Occasionally students find that a 30-minute lesson is best for them. | top

What will we do?

I will personalize your lessons to address your needs and interests, but there are three main kinds of activity that we will choose from in a given lesson:

  1. Fundamental, universal movements, such as sitting, standing, bending, walking, grasping an object, speaking, and so on. When we improve in these movements, we lay the foundation to improve any activity.
  2. Tablework: the student lies down on a table and the teacher guides the student in simple movements, informed by thought and awareness. The purpose of the table is to allow the large muscles of the back to rest while continuing to work on the principles of the technique.
  3. An activity of your choosing.

In any given lesson, we might focus on just one or two of these activities. Whatever the activity, however, the emphasis will be on not what we do, but how we do it. We will look for underlying patterns—those that support and those that interfere—that we bring to our activities so that we can discover how to go about them with the greatest ease and freedom of movement.

In our first meeting, we’ll talk together briefly about what has brought you to lessons, any issues I should be aware of, and what you are hoping to work on. | top

How many lessons will I need?

This is best answered in stages:

  • many students find 3–6 lessons is enough to get a sense of whether the Alexander Technique is for them;
  • 20–30 lessons make up a wide-ranging course in which many kinds of activities and types of movement can be thoroughly explored;
  • as with any skill, there is no limit to how far one can advance in the Alexander Technique; a small percentage of students continue to study intensively in lessons and workshops, or even train to become teachers themselves. | top

What should I wear to the lesson?

Come in your everyday clothes. The only clothing that could cause a problem would be clothing that is particularly restrictive to movements such as raising your arms, taking a wide stance, and so on.

Remember that one possible activity in an Alexander Technique lesson involves lying down on a table, so women might feel most comfortable wearing pants. If you are wearing a skirt, I will place a blanket over your legs; alternatively, you may choose not to do tablework that day. | top

Once the lesson is over, are there any activities I should avoid?

I would advise against taking your first Alexander lesson on the same day as a job interview, public performance or similar high-stakes activity, in case you experience an unexpected change and find the unfamiliar sensations distracting.

The purpose of the lessons is to make your life easier: once pupils have taken a few lessons and know what to expect, they often choose to take an Alexander lesson on just these important days because they find that the Technique helps them to be at their best.

If you have the choice, it is good to schedule your Alexander lesson for when you will be able to have a little quiet time afterwards, but it is not essential: many people take lessons in the midst of their busy schedule. | top

Will you give me exercises to do at home?

Yes, but it all depends on what is meant by exercises. In the Alexander Technique, the emphasis is on building awareness in order to be able to undo habits that interfere. From time to time, I will suggest activities you can try at home to help you develop this awareness. These won’t take the form of repetitive movements but rather things you can try at moments in your daily life, only as you have time and mental space. When you come for your next lesson, there will be no test! | top

Are there any books I will need to get?

Not as a requirement, no. Some pupils, however, find it helpful to use the time between lessons to learn about the foundations of the Technique. I can suggest some good books, YouTube videos, blogs or podcasts that might support you in your learning.

Books and online resources… | top

How will I pay for the lesson?

I can take cash or a check at the beginning or end of the lesson as you prefer. Other possibilities are Chase Quickpay or PayPal, paid in advance.

A 45-minute lesson costs $65. Inquire about a sliding scale if the cost is outside your budget. | top

Where do I find parking and your office?

  • Simplest is to use the Newman Center parking lot. The entrance is on Wesley, between University and York. Guest parking is on the lowest level. Parking costs $1.50 per hour.
  • Otherwise, allow up to 20 minutes to look around the neighborhood. Most promising is the neighborhood on the east side of University, around Iliff and Wesley.
How to find my office, room 300a
  • Enter the building on Iliff (between University and York, opposite the Iliff School of Theology). When you enter, immediately turn right. You’ll pass a classroom on either side. Then take either the elevator or the stairs to go up one floor. You’ll easily find a door marked 300 that leads to a suite of three offices, including 300a. My name is on a sign outside the door.
  • The reason for these detailed instructions is that the building is cut into two parts. If you go into the main atrium and walk up the impressive-looking staircase, or use the elevator just inside the entrance on York, you won’t be able to get to my office.
  • If you need help, I’ll have my cell phone: 303-763-0608 | top