Spring Newsletter
Chairs, Children, and Back Pain
Sitting in chairs with backward sloping seats can be a major contributor to the development of back pain. Most people tend to curve the pelvis back on backward sloping chairs. This backward curve causes undue pressure and tension and interferes with the natural postural mechanisms that would otherwise keep the body easily upright. (Going in the other direction, a chair seat with too much of a forward slope can put too much pressure on the knees.)

Chairs with seats that are parallel to the ground or that have a slight forward slope allow the sit bones to be easily and naturally poised on the seat of the chair, providing for more efficient support of the upper body. This allows the “sitter” to be more balanced, upright, and comfortable. (Video)
Most people (including schoolchildren) have tension habits that don’t allow them to accommodate well to poorly designed seating. People tend to exacerbate habitual tension patterns and create new tension patterns when trying to adapt to sitting in badly designed chairs. This can make sitting especially uncomfortable and tiring, and can even cause pain. 
Unfortunately, many children sit on backward sloping chairs in schools for hours every day. A cost-effective and easy fix is to use a wedge pillow on the seat to create a better seating angle, as shown in the photo above. The Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique (STAT) has been running a successful lobbying campaign in the UK calling for a stop to the use of backward sloping chair seats in schools. They have produced an excellent, short informational video for the campaign. Video
Also, The Guardian has published an article, Is your child sitting uncomfortably? Then we’ll begin, on the Society of Teachers' lobbying campaign:

“Judith Kleinman, a professional double bass player and Alexander technique practitioner who teaches at the Junior Royal Academy of Music, tells me she started the Chairs for Children campaign after coming across an increasing number of children with back pain. “Some of my students find it very difficult to sit or stand for more than a few minutes,” she says. 'They’re restless and exhausted. We’re really letting young people down by not recognising the long-term harm caused by a backward-sloping chair.’”
Spring and Summer Intensives
Marian's Intensives have been pivotal weeks in my understanding and practice of Alexander Technique. While I've been enjoying all the benefit that come with weekly lessons, I've made exponential progress during the Intensives. The experience of daily lessons is so transformative, I do whatever I can to participate in the Intensives every time they are offered.
Aaron Goldman
Principal Flute
National Symphony Orchestra

Often the New Year begins with a gym membership and attendance for several months that peters out. I chose a different route this year and invested in 5 daily lessons over a 7 day period. I gifted myself a new body in a short time; it moves more naturally and freer and I feel full of energy. I relished the week and have invested in a second to consolidate and advance. I have taken about 20 years of Alexander lessons and I have never changed so quickly. Thanks Marian for this opportunity.
–Gwynn Sturdevant, Ph.D.

F. M. Alexander teaching a lesson. Photo Copyright 2016 The Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique
F. M. Alexander teaching a lesson. Photo Copyright 2016 The Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique
Back when F. M. Alexander was teaching his technique, people would usually take half-hour Alexander lessons five days a week for a month or more (per F. M. Alexander's requirement). This worked very well, as having private lessons on a daily basis provides for more in-depth and rapid learning and improvement. This is still the most beneficial and efficient way to learn the Alexander Technique. Following on this tradition, special daily intensives taught by Marian Goldberg are being offered this  spring and summer:

Five-Lesson Intensives
Five 1/2 hour lessons over the course of six days
Fee: $265

  • May 17 - May 22
  • June 21 - June 26
  • June 28 - July 3
  • July 5 - July 10
  • July 12 - July 17
  • July 19 - July 24
Ten-Lesson Intensives
Ten 1/2 hour lessons over the course of two weeks
Fee: $520
  • June 21 July 3
  • July 5 - July 17
  • July 19 - July 31
15-Lesson Intensives
15 1/2 hour lessons over the course of three weeks
Fee: $765
  • June 21 - July 10
  • July 12 - July 31
20-Lesson Intensive
20 1/2 hour lessons over four weeks
Fee: $1000
  • June 28 - July 24
25-Lesson Intensive
25 1/2 hour lessons over five weeks
Fee: $1225
  • June 21 - July 24

Payment for the full series is due at the first lesson. No more than one lesson per week of a series may be rescheduled (with 24-hour notice). 
Spaces are very limited for intensives. To schedule a series or for more information, phone Marian, 703-821-2920 or e-mail alexandercenter@gmx.com .
 From Arthritis Research UK: Sameena's story
Dr. Sameena Akbar, a clinical psychologist, had been suffering from neck pain for a decade before she was introduced to the Alexander Technique.

She's never looked back and says the Alexander technique changed her life completely, citing one defining moment when she left a lesson, stepped out onto the street and, for the first time in years, thought ‘this is what it feels like to be pain free, this is how I’m supposed to feel.’” Link to article

Special Spring Series Offer
FM Alexander teaching a child. Photo Copyright 2016 The Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique
Alexander Technique lesson chair work
This spring, two series of private Alexander Technique lessons with teacher Marian Goldberg are being offered at special rates: 
  • Five 1/2 hour lessons at a special discounted rate of $275. (Standard rate is $325 for five lessons or $65 per lesson.)
  • Three 40 to 50 minute lessons for $195. (Standard rate is $255 for three lessons or $85 per lesson.) 
These series of lessons are for: 
  • people who have not taken a course of thirty lessons but would like to experience the change and improvements that come with a more in-depth experience of the Alexander Technique.
  • those who have previously taken a course of lessons and would like to take an Alexander Technique refresher. 
The series of five half-hour lessons must be completed within six weeks of purchase and by June 19. The series of three lessons needs to be completed within three weeks of purchase and by June 12. Payment for a full series is due at the first lesson. Rescheduling requires 24-hour notice. The total number of lessons that may be rescheduled is limited to two. Each of these two lessons may be rescheduled one time.
To schedule a series or for more information, phone 703-821-2920 or e-mail alexandercenter@gmx.com .
Alexander Technique Center of Washington
 © 2016 Marian Goldberg