Vicky, the face of Feel Fab Mums SW18, came for an Alexander Technique lesson as part of her "self-care week". You can see the Facebook video and post by clicking here.
For background, Vicky also asked me a few questions, here are the answers I gave....
Please tell us a little about yourself and what it is you do
I’m a mum of 2 living in Southfields, south west London. I’m been married to Juan for 14 years, we met at university. I speak French and Spanish, we try to speak some Spanish to the kids! Before having kids I lived up in town, in Bayswater, and spent most of my 20s and 30s working in management consultancy, first for Andersen Consulting (later called Accenture) then for a small consultancy and research company called Matrix. I’m now a fully qualified teacher of the Alexander Technique.
How do you balance both work and family life?
I do feel like I “juggle” - the work as an AT teacher, being a mum, running a household, also we have been doing up a house which was badly in need of some TLC for the last 18 months and that has taken up so much time. The thing with the Technique is it helps you stay in balance by keeping your feet on the ground and allowing you to stop and let go when tension mounts. I also do quite a lot of exercise - mainly running and outdoor fitness classes - I’m currently training to do a second half “Tough Mudder” - I find keeping fit really helps with energy levels.
Tell me a little bit about your business
I’ve been slowly building up the Alexander practice since I qualified - I teach from a recently completed studio at my house and occasionally do home visits. I’m very happy with the steady increase in client numbers. I recently developed a website to advertise the practice and am hoping to do more local advertising and a social media campaign now that the studio is finished. I’ve also done some work teaching Alexander Technique to drama students at LAMDA.
What got you into the Alexander Technique?
When I was working full time in consultancy I loved the work, it’s exciting working on a wide variety of projects, but as the years went by I developed pain down my left hand side, mostly in my neck and shoulder but also in my hip and back. Working long hours, many of them at a computer were taking their toll. The other factor adding to this is that I’ve got a leg length discrepancy of about and inch, and was gradually “collapsing” down the side of the shorter leg. I started having weekly Alexander Technique lessons in my 20s after trying everything else - physiotherapy, osteopathy, massage, chiropractic. All of these helped for a little while then I’d be in pain again. The difference with the Alexander Technique is you are learning a skill to help yourself out of pain and tension - I loved it so much that in 2004 I gave up work and started training full time to be an Alexander Technique teacher. I’ve never looked back, I think the Alexander Technique is amazing and has helped me so much.
Give me a quick breakdown of your sessions - what can your clients expect?
The Alexander Technique is usually taught one-to-one (though I might do some group introductory workshops in the future…!). Expect to spend some of the lesson lying down on a bed like a massage couch while the teacher (me!) uses their hands to see where you are holding on and to help teach you to use your body in a freer, more balanced way. You should also expect to spend some of the lesson moving, again with the teacher’s hands guiding you, often from standing to sitting and vice versa. It’s actually quite difficult to describe how you learn the Technique - it’s about learning what your individual habits of tension are and how to let go of them. Most people coming for lessons say that they feel lighter, freer, more poised, less tense yet in contact with the ground after a lesson. It’s something you can learn to do for yourself any place, any time. It’s worth mentioning also that I’m a member of the regulatory body, the Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique (STAT), and their website www.alexandertechnique.co.uk has loads of useful information on it.