July 2020 – Alexander Technique studio re-opens with COVID safety measures
As of July 2020, I am happy to announce that I will be re-opening the Sound Being Studio for Alexander Technique. During the COVID pandemic we have all had to adjust and reconfigure how we will work with people in close quarters. I have missed teaching the Alexander Technique, and missed seeing how it can help change people’s habits and allow them to live their lives with more ease and efficiency. Please note that there are limited appointment times at the studio. Fridays are the main teaching day, with a few other possibilities during the week. Please inquire for more information, at 250-716-3464.
As of July 2020, please make yourself familiar with the new safety procedures at the studio:
- Please complete the online pre-screening form on the day of your appointment: https://bc.thrive.health/covid19/en
- If you are sick (fever, dry cough, tiredness) or if you have been in contact with a Covid-19 infected person, please cancel your appointment!
- Wait in your car or outside of the clinic until your exact appointment time.
- Disinfect your hands at our ‘hand sanitizer station’ when entering and leaving the office. Remove shoes and leave on tray.
- Wear a face mask for your own protection.
- Don’t overstay your appointment time as we need the time to clean and disinfect for the next appointment.
- As a disinfectant I use 80% Isopropyl solution.
- The room is cleaned and disinfected.
- Headrest, bolsters and table are covered in plastic for easy wiping/disinfecting, or cloth covers that are washed after each treatment.
- Room is aired when disinfecting and teaching for better air flow.
- Frequently touched surfaces are disinfected: Door handles, door frames and any other surface clients may have touched
- The bathroom is cleaned and disinfected after each bathroom visit. Clients are asked to reduce the use of the bathroom if possible.
- The office will be cleaned and disinfected at the end of every day.
- All participants wear a cloth mask or face shield.
- We wash hands and/or use a hand-sanitizer afterwards before and after the treatment. Clients are asked to use hand-sanitizers as well.
- Clients are asked to bring their own water bottle.
April- June 2020 – Alexander Technique “pause” due to COVID restrictions
We are in unprecedented times with the arrival of the COVID -19 pandemic in Canada and around the world. Here in British Columbia we are “physical distancing” mode as much as possible to prevent the spread of the virus. For those of us who teach Alexander Technique in our private studios, this means that we took a break in teaching for a few months while we figured out how to be safe in our daily lives and our professional practices.
The Sound Being Studio for Alexander Technique was therefore closed from mid-March until the end of June, 2020. As a teacher of the Alexander Technique, I definitely missed helping my students find more efficiency and ease in their lives. However, this “pause” also gave me some wonderful opportunities to re-connect with the Technique and re-embody the principles into my own daily life.
One of the first principles of the Alexander Technique is that it’s about non-doing, not falling into the same habitual movement and tension patterns that we constantly repeat when we are over-engaging and too focused on an end-goal. So suddenly stopping all of our “busy-ness” gave me time to practice more constructive rest, more awareness, more letting go of habits and directing myself into a more balanced state. A good lesson for the teacher, as well as the student!
Further, there are thousands of certified Alexander Technique teachers around the world right now, including many senior teachers and teacher trainers that have much insight and experience to offer. When the COVID shut-down started happening, more of these teachers started offering professional development sessions online, and I was able to take part in quite a number of seminars and workshops. Since many Alexander Technique teachers work solo (with their students), it was a wonderful experience to log into a seminar and see 500 other Alexander Technique teachers online from all over the world, excited to be learning more and sharing about the technique.
I also was able to catch up on a number of other activities at home, which included finishing a renovation on a workshop and the corresponding landscaping and gardening that went with it. Since the Alexander Technique is about being more in balance and at ease in everything we do, all of these activities gave me time to put the principles into action even more in my own life. It’s hard work sifting huge mountains of soil, but much easier if I do it with efficiency of movement, the least tension, and the most ergonomical and balanced way. Good practice, good fun!
Sound Being Studio for Alexander Technique in Nanaimo will be re-opening in July 2020. Updates coming soon….
Introduction to the Alexander Technique
Sunday February 23rd, 2020, 2:00 – 4:30 pm
Group workshop presented at the Nanaimo Conservatory of Music, 375 Selby St. Nanaimo, B.C.
Heather Walker is a certified teacher of the Alexander Technique, and a professional musician. She was recently asked to teach an introductory workshop for adult amateur students at the Nanaimo Conservatory of Music. The workshop was organized by Alexandra Lee, who is the cello professor at the conservatory. When teaching cello, Alexandra includes attention to good posture and ease of movement along with the technical and musical aspects of the instrument. She has a large group of adult cello students, and she decided that it would be a great opportunity for the class to be introduced to the Alexander Technique as a supplement to their cello lessons.
An introductory workshop is a great place to explore some of the basic Alexander Technique ideas and how to start to practice them on your own. During this workshop we touched on many ideas by using explanation, imagery, visual aids, kinaesthetic awareness, and a small amount of “hands-on work”. We explored many concepts including balance, ease, support, fluidity, different types and designs of joints, habitual tension (and how to let go), efficient movement, and the head/neck/back relationship to co-ordination. We explored these ideas through standing, walking, sitting, and lying down (the Alexander Technique “active rest”.) And of course, we touched on ideas relating to playing our instruments and how to incorporate good “use” into all we do, whether playing your instrument or not.
Heather is available for introductory workshops for any group by request. The workshop length and focus can be tailored to a specific group or activity. Please contact Heather at 250-716-3464 for more information.
The Alexander Technique can be used for increased awareness of your body, your sensations, your thoughts and feelings. The technique also help us to understand better how our whole self is connected, and naturally designed for efficiency and ease. Once we are more aware and understand the unity of the self, we can make better choices about how we react in any moment, choices that align with this understanding.
But…is it easy to do? Well, no, not exactly. The principles of the technique are pretty simple, and all the basic “check-in” activities and self care involve doing LESS, not adding more. Everyone has thousands of micro-moments per day when we can re-awaken our awareness and make a different choice. However, habits are strong and it’s easy to forget to think about these new possibilities! That’s why it’s important to factor in ways of reminding ourselves how to use this technique.
Personally, even after teaching this technique for years, I can always use extra reminders to integrate it more into my daily life. As one wise person said, “The price for eternal freedom is constant vigilance.” Here’s some ways I’m thinking about adding more Alexander Technique to my life:
– Get a few simple Alexander Technique books and leave them nearby….you only need to read a page or two to get a quick idea for new thought. Check your local library, or the “Links, Articles, Books, More” page of this website can be a starting point.
– Commit to doing more lying down work – schedule it in, or pair it with meals, walks, sports activities, or musical practice sessions. Read some tips on semi-supine work through this article that I wrote.
– Schedule in refresher Alexander Technique lessons once a month or so. As with any art form, there is no end to what you can learn. Even as a certified teacher of almost 14 years, I still take refresher lessons and workshops with senior teachers whenever possible, to expand my learning.
Phone me or email me if you have questions about the Alexander Technique!
Certified Teacher of the Alexander Technique
Nanaimo, B.C. 250-716-3464
This July I had the wonderful opportunity of attending and helping to organize a 2 day professional development workshop for Alexander Technique teachers here in Nanaimo. We were honoured to have a master teacher, Avi Granit, visit us from his home base in Haifa, Isreal. Avi has run a training course for Alexander Technique teachers for years, and he regularly travels around the world giving professional development workshops to Alexander Technique teachers. There were eight Alexander Technique teachers participating in the workshop; 2 from Courtenay, 1 from Victoria, 3 from Vancouver, 1 from Langley, and myself from Nanaimo. We were priviledged to experience 10 hours of his teaching over 2 days, and very much enjoyed being back in the “student” role. We learned a great deal, honing our skills and finding new ways to describe and apply the technique to better help our own students. A memorable event! Thanks Avi….
There was also the opportunity for some of my Alexander Technique students to have a private lesson with Avi, which they very much enjoyed.
Avi Granit trained with Patrick McDonald, graduating in 1983, and teaches full-time in Haifa and Tel Aviv, Israel. He was the senior teacher trainer in Rica Cohen’s AT school for many years before opening his own training course in Tel Aviv in 2003. Avi is a popular presenter at International Congresses, giving workshops at Freiburg, Oxford, Lugano, Limerick and Chicago in 2018. He continues to hone his skills by applying the AT to daily life such as running, hiking and skiing, and is currently learning carpentry.
If you are interested in the Alexander Technique and how it might help you live with more ease and efficiency, please don’t hesitate to get in touch…. 250-716-3464 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Happy Spring 2019.
Heather Walker is a certified teacher of the Alexander Technique in Nanaimo, B.C. She teaches the technique to anyone who wants to find more freedom of movement, better posture, and more awareness and ease in everyday actions. Her students learn how to notice tightening, release muscle tension, re-establish better balance and move more efficiently.
Heather is also a professional musician, with a busy performance schedule. In celebration of the end of the 2019 music season, she is taking a 3 week break to travel and rejuvenate. The Sound Being Studio will be closed from May 20th until June 11th. Alexander Technique sessions resume on June 12th, 2019 and continue througout the summer. Please don’t hesitate to email or phone for more information or to book a session. 250-716-3464 or email@example.com
For more information about the Alexander Technique, you can also go to:
Quote from “The Poise Project” website:
People with Parkinson’s and their partners ask:
“What else can I do for myself besides taking my medication?”
Alexander technique is a way of managing symptoms for people with Parkinson’s.
While dance or exercise programs offer satisfying and necessary periods of choreographed, aerobic or strengthening movement, Alexander technique works directly with cognition to teach new ways of thinking about organizing movement while carrying out exercise or during daily activities away from class.
Lessons involve verbal instructions and hands-on guidance to teach self-management strategies that improve and, as much as possible, restore functional movement patterns enabling the person with PD to carry out activities with greater confidence and minimal interference from PD symptoms.
AT offers the potential for long term benefits that continue the self-management learned during lessons.
Heather Walker is a certified teacher of the Alexander Technique, based on Vancouver Island, B.C. She is giving a short introduction of the Alexander Technique to the the Parkinson’s Support Group in Nanaimo on Wednesday May 15th at 1:15 pm. For more information about the technique, you can also contact her directly at 250-716-3464 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nanaimo Parkinson’s Support Group
Nanaimo Alliance Church
1609 Meredith Road
3rd Wednesday of each month (no meetings in July or August)
1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
From Alexander Technique Canada, The Canadian Society of Teachers of The Alexander Technique (CANSTAT)
Health And Well-Being
The Alexander Technique is practical, educational approach used by people of all ages and abilities to enhance health and well-being. Students of the Alexander Technique learn to enhance their natural coordination and improve how they engage in everyday life.
In Alexander Technique lessons you learn to recognize, understand, and avoid harmful patterns of movement, posture, and ways of going about your activities that may be contributing to pain and inefficient function.
As you increase your ability to recognize how persistent aches, pains, and stresses relate to the ways in which you perform, move, and posture yourself in daily life, you learn to move with greater ease and efficiency, and build your independent ability to positively influence your health.
There is considerable research available regarding the Alexander Technique and Health-related outcomes: Please go to https://alexandertechniquecanada.ca/research for more information.
Here is a sample of some of the research you will find on the above link:
AT for Medical and Health‐Related Conditions
Overview: Evidence for the effectiveness of Alexander Technique lessons in medical and health-related conditions: a systematic review (2012)
AT for Chronic and Recurrent Back Pain
Overview: Randomized controlled trial of Alexander technique lessons, exercise, and massage (ATEAM) for chronic and recurrent back pain (2007)
AT for Chronic Neck Pain
Overview: Alexander Technique Lessons or Acupuncture Sessions for Persons With Chronic Neck Pain: A Randomized Trial (2015). Alexander Technique lessons led to significant reductions in neck pain and associated disability compared with usual care at 12 months in persons with chronic non-specific neck pain.
Heather Walker is a certified teacher of the Alexander Technique. She works with individuals who want to be free of tension, pain, bad posture, and injuries. Each Alexander Technique session involves practical experiments to learn how to notice tightening, release muscle tension, re-establish better balance and move more efficiently. Anyone can learn to recuperate from stress, prevent undue wear and tear, relieve back pain, improve posture, and use less effort in daily activities. Heather is based in Nanaimo, B.C. and can be contacted at 250-716-3464, or email@example.com.