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Alexander Technique Lessons at Rhinebeck Pilates

Posted Oct 18 2010 7:04pm
We are thrilled to announce that Alexander Technique lessons are now available at Rhinebeck Pilates!

Alexander Technique Teacher, Judith Muir, MM M.AmSAT DipIMH, is now available on Wednesdays and Thursdays for appointments.

What is it?
The Alexander Technique is a practical hands-on educational method for life enhancement. Its basic premise is that our natural, innate posture is fundamental to our wellbeing. We all begin with a naturally solid foundation in childhood, but we lose it in response to the stresses and strains of modern life. Alexander called this “misuse” and devised a way to restore his own natural movement so successfully that others begged him to teach them. This result is now known as the Alexander Technique.

How does it work?
Through regular one-on-one lessons, you learn how to observe and gain awareness of patterns of moving and thinking that are counterproductive to your optimal wellbeing. Your teacher uses explanations and guiding touch to demonstrate how unconscious patters of tension get triggered in simple everyday movements and how to change them. This gives you an experience of ease and freedom that leads to an unparalleled long-term improvement in psychological and physical functioning.

Principles behind it:
Alexander observed that the relationship between the head, neck and back was crucial to upright posture and ease of movement. He called this the Primary Control, noting that how well it operates at any given moment affects your wellbeing either positively or negatively. He also observed that what happens when we move is tied entirely to our thought process, leading him to coin the term psychophysical unity – what we now call holism. His genius was not only in this realization, but also in devising a way of teaching this to others.

A course of Alexander lessons trains us to become aware of how our own unconscious thoughts and physical attitudes affect one another, and how they can be transformed. The application of these easily learnt principles has a positive effect on any activity and therefore wellbeing, from something as simple as sitting at your desk to complex athletic activities like horseback riding.
Noted actors, musicians, equestrians, and athletes have used it for over 100 years to enhance performance and stage presence. Among them are Sir Colin Davis, William Hurt, Jeremy Irons, James Earl Jones, Kevin Kline, Paul McCartney, Kelly McGillis, Paul Newman, Lynn Redgrave, Maggie Smith, Mary Steenbergen, Sting, Robin Williams, Joanne Woodward and members of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra.

About Judith Muir:
Judith’s first exposure to Alexander’s work came in 1972 while studying clarinet, piano and voice at the Coventry School of Music. The benefits to her music were immediate; her clarinet playing actually became easier. She went on to attend the Royal Academy of Music where she was awarded the Drapers Scholarship for Advanced Clarinet Studies. Later Judith completed her Masters in Music in clarinet performance at the Manhattan School of Music. Much in demand as a soloist and chamber musician, Judith has appeared at numerous venues including Wigmore Hall in London and Carnegie Hall in New York City.

After training as an Alexander teacher in 1983 with Walter Carrington at the Constructive Teaching Center in London, she was invited to teach in Cape Town, South Africa for three months. Upon relocating to New York a year later, she served as Vice Chair of ACAT New York and was a founding member of the North American Society for Teachers of the Alexander Technique (now AmSAT). While in Manhattan, Judith maintained a large teaching practice, and served on the faculty of the Actors Movement Studio for eight years. She has been guest instructor in the music, dance and drama departments of Universities in Michigan, New Jersey and Georgia and has appeared numerous times on radio and television.

A longstanding interest and involvement in healing and the power of music led to a degree in music therapy, and in 1997, after working with children with special needs, Judith began her study with Dr. John Diamond, a leading authority on the use of music and the creative arts as methods of life enhancement and healing.

Judith also teaches the Alexander Technique in the Theatre Department of Bard College, and she is the co-founder, with her husband Peter Muir, Dip. IMH Ph.D., of Music for Life, a program based upon the work of John Diamond, M.D. She is one of a handful of people in the world certified to teach the Diamond-Dart Meridian Sequence.

I have written a number of blog posts on the amazing benefits of Alexander Technique, so I am of course very excited for this addition to the studio! Alexander Techinque changed and improved the quality of my life, and this opportunity to share it is wonderful!

Judith is available at Rhinebeck Pilates on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Lessons are $90/55 minutes. Please contact the studio for more information or to book a lesson.

For more information on Judith Muir and Alexander Technique, visit her website.

For more information on Alexander Technique and Pilates, check out this site.
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