Alex Tech News & Events

Alexander Technique News & Events

May/June 2022 – Alexander Technique small group class, Mill Bay, Vancouver Island

Heather is pleased to be teaching Alexander Technique through a small group introductory class in the Cowichan Valley & Mill Bay area on Vancouver Island. The class comprises 3 sessions of 2 hours each, held on May 26th, 28th and June 2nd, 2022. This class is organized by a local professional singer and teacher of voice & piano, Eve Daniell. Eve was introduced to the Alexander Technique during her earlier voices studies in the United Kingdom, and found the technique pivotal to her musical career.

Heather Walker teaching the Alexander Technique

These small group classes will be taught to a maximum of 8 people, who are mostly piano, voice, and drama teachers. The group will be introduced to basic principles of the Alexander Technique, and taught tools, tricks and tips for exploring these ideas through movement, kinaesthetic awareness, imagery, visual clues, and verbal reminders. We will explore ideas around support, gravity, balance, body design, efficient use, awareness, stopping of habits, letting go of tension, and finding your place of most ease…among others! We will practice “constructive rest” and move through standing, walking, sitting, bending & folding, and ideas around our music making. Classes are participation and exploration based, and are a lot of fun!

If you would like to book a small group Alexander Technique class for any focus group, please be in touch with Heather Walker at 250-716-3464, or through her website, www.soundbeingstudio.com

March 2022 – Alexander Technique Group Class at Nanaimo Conservatory of Music

Stress? Tension? Bad Posture? Pain & Discomfort? Direct Yourself to Wellness!

Exploring the Alexander Technique – a four week group class

Nanaimo Conservatory of Music

Explore the possibility of lightness and freedom of movement using the Alexander Technique. We will use practical experiments to learn how to notice tightening, release muscle tension, re-establish better balance and move more efficiently. Learn tools for recuperation from injury and pain, and prevention of unnecessary tension. Understanding the principles of the Alexander Technique helps you to expand your awareness and make better choices about how you use your body & self. Anyone can learn to recuperate from stress and prevent undue wear & tear by using less effort in daily activities.

Wear comfortable clothes for movement and lying-down work. Some visual posters and handouts will be supplied by the teacher.

Wednesdays from 3:30 – 5:00 PM, March 2nd, 9th, 16th, and 23rd, 2022. ****POSTPONED until MAY 2022

Nanaimo Conservatory of Music, 375 Selby St, Nanaimo, B.C., 250-754-4611

Small group class, 6-8 students, by reservation only

$110 total for the four week course

For more information:

Nanaimo Conservatory of Music

Heather Walker, Certified Teacher of the Alexander Technique

250-716-3464

January 2022 – Alexander Technique for UVic “Business of Music” Class

On January 21st, 2022, Heather Walker will be presenting a virtual seminar about the Alexander Technique to the University of Victoria “Business of Music” class, MUS 310. The class is required for all music majors, and also open to students from other disciplines.

Heather is a professional musician, playing French horn in many different orchestras and music groups. She is also a certified teacher of the Alexander Technique, a century-old system for incorporating more awareness, ease, and efficiency of movement and thought into everything a person does. The Alexander Technique is particularly well known in the music world, since there is so much refined and repetitious movement in playing an instrument, and this often manifests itself into tension, repetitive strain, and injury.

For this presentation, Heather will touch on many aspects of the technique. Discussion will include:

  • The history of the Alexander Technique
  • The difference between treating a symptom, and un-learning harmful habits that are creating the problem
  • The understanding of kinaesthetic awareness and re-education to be able to change habits
  • Some of the principles of the Alexander Technique and how they are taught
  • Some basic experiments and tools to try at home
  • A better anatomical understanding of our design, especially the head, neck & back relationship

Heather is always happy to give lessons, workshops, and presentations on the Alexander Technique. Please contact her for more information at info@soundbeingstudio.com, or 250-716-3464

2021, 2022 – Alexander Technique being offered in Nanaimo with COVID safely protocols

2021 – Alexander Technique, ongoing with COVID safely protocols

The Sound Being Studio for Alexander Technique was re-opened from COVID lockdowns in July 2020 and has remained open for teaching throughout 2020 and 2021. The studio has limited teaching hours and a variable schedule, so please contact Heather at 250-716-3464 for exact teaching times and any questions or concerns. Since the Alexander Technique is taught with hands-on feedback and in close quarters, the studio is currently open to fully vaccinated students only.

Alexander Technique Canada is a national not for profit organization for supporting the Alexander Technique, and is a great resource for more information. www.alexandertechniquecanada.ca

Throughout 2021, please make yourself familiar with ongoing 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.
  • 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.

July 2020 – Alexander Technique studio re-opens with COVID safety measures

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

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!

www.canstat.ca

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….

February 23rd, 2020 – Alexander Technique Workshop at Nanaimo Conservatory of Music

Introduction to the Alexander Technique

Sunday February 23rd, 2020,  2:00 – 4:30 pm

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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.

 

December 2019 – Alexander Technique ideas and reminders for winter

December 2019

CanSTATwebThe 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:

– Join an Alexander Technique Facebook group, for access to forums, articles, discussion. Here’s one that’s available to join: A.T. forum image

– 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!

Heather Walker,

Certified Teacher of the Alexander Technique

Nanaimo, B.C.       250-716-3464