Posts for Tag : Alexander Technique at High School

What is the Alexander Technique? 12 – 14 Year Olds Answer

What is the Alexander Technique?’


12 year olds 


‘I wear glasses, it is a bit like that. I have to clean my glasses so I can see. If I do Alexander Technique it gets my body clearer.’ Marcello


‘It’s like opening up a new world, new ideas, a different way to do things and think about things.

Every time I see myself doing a habit, like putting my hands in my pockets, I stop and do the right thing and it feels better.’ – Sid


‘A way to be free and feel a bit more open and keep your body moving in the way it should’ Elian


‘It helps you learn how to make sure your body doesn’t get all stiff as you get older by, for example, how to rehydrate your intervertebral discs and by teaching us how to take care of our bones and things.’ Edward


‘It teaches how to be at ease with yourself’ Amalie


‘It helps you have a good stance and keep your body in shape.’ Scott


13 year olds 


‘Alexander Technique is like being wirelessly charged. You can just charge up anywhere by plugging into the space and forward and up’ Xander


‘Its a form of letting go, all the tension is released and not part of me, for example I notice when I get annoyed my neck gets tight.’ Amelia


‘It is something constant that keeps you sane. With it running in the background all the time you have a  kind of level, it keeps you level. And when you are completely focussed on it, like in semi supine, you can put everything else to the side (it is still there, you haven’t forgotten about it) but when you come back you maybe have a different view of it.’ Esme


‘When you walk around school you are like a fizzing snow globe and when you lie down it all floats to the bottom.’ Xander


‘It’s a chance to be yourself, you true self, not the one that is stuck or has bad habits, but the real you. It’s like finding your inner queen’. Alicia


‘It is finding a way to be calm and not full of stress and stuff. You can be who you want to be and not who other people want you to be.’ Josie


14 year olds


‘Alexander Technique is being mindful about your body and knowing the mindfulness of your body. Mindful can be letting bad thoughts out of your body, not being tense and having balance and poise. It’s how to cater for your body and how it wants to be. It teaches you how to release physical pain and mental stress which can be interlinked. Even if I try to think about Alexander Technique in my every day life there is still a build up of tension by the time I get to Tuesday. It’s getting less though.’ Lucy


‘It is a way of thinking about the mind and our place in the world. It helps you know your body and understand your thinkings influence’. Mika


‘Alexander Technique helps you have a good perspective on life and how to deal with situations, developing a thoughtful mindset and attitude and how to channel emotions – knowing when to let go and when to be more confident with yourself. It helps you understand other people and then get a different outlook and be able to put yourself in their shoes. When you lie down and let go you free all the negative things and have better vibes.’ Anna


It makes you feel more positive. Sometimes things can feel overwhelming. When you take a few minutes out of the day and become more aware it helps everything become more bite sized. It makes you better at being better because when your doing anything you can think a bit of Alexander Technique and it just does its thing and you’re like ‘Cool!’ ‘ Maisie


Alexander Technique doesn’t take a lot to get the gist of. It’s more about the attitude you have and letting yourself understand there is a bigger variety of things you can do it with. You can tell anyone what Alexander Technique is, but it takes a lot of open mindedness to really understand it. It’s really helpful and useful and has lots of uses to it but it is really how you use it and process it in your mind that is important. It doesn’t take much time to have that moment to just listen up a little bit and let go.’ Marie


Is it useful to learn the Alexander Technique at school?


12 year olds


‘Yes, because pretty much what you do all day at school is sit down and slump. So Alexander Technique helps that habit disappear. I enjoy Alexander Technique and feel a lot happier so I don’t need to slump, but sometimes when I am in a bad mood I can’t resist slumping down. We all have bad days sometimes’. Elian


‘All the other lessons have rules and in AT there are still rules but it’s different because this is more focussing on me rather than learning about things and facts. This is learning about how we are made up and bones and stuff and how it works.’ Marcello


It helps you in your future life a lot as you know a lot of information about your bones and muscles and know how to control your body and look after yourself.  Elian


Yes, it is really fun. If you’re in say a bad mood you come to Alexander Technique and you feel different and a lot calmer and ready for the rest of the day. It’s definitely making me feel more confident. I do get nervous, especially before performing, but then I think to myself what is the worse thing that can happen it will be over soon and then I use the Alexander Technique and it helps me be calm. It is a different kind of confidence thinking forward and up and it feels like things will go well if I keep thinking forward and up.’ Sid


13 year olds 


‘Yes! It is fun and interesting. It is a high point in the day. Its an essential!’ Xander


You stop and think and stop worrying and find space to think. It is almost like taking time out gives you more time. Esme


It’s that one part of the day when you can just stop and let go. It also helps having a nice teacher! Write that down miss!’ Amelia


It is useful to learn Alexander Technique at school and get in the habit of letting go because some people are just so stressed it becomes their life.

I recognise in myself now that I have been too hyper and that is not a nice character. I’ve learned to pause and have more self control. I put myself in the mindset before a class to be calm.’ Xander


Specifically at high school there is a lot of pressure on students to always be focussed and study and do homework but Alexander Technique is time to yourself to focus and breath and sort out everything in your mind. It’s a skill to focus on one thing at once by clearing everything out of your mind.’ Esme


Yes, it is fun! It is probably useful to everyone and it relates to every thing.’ Josie


‘It relates to a lot of students lives because a lot of students are not free and confident in themselves. It helps not only yourself but it helps you understand other people and where they are coming from. It makes you more aware of your surroundings and yourself. You only have one body for the rest of your life so it is useful to learn how to look after it properly.’ Alicia


14 year olds 


‘It helps me understand myself, my strengths and weaknesses. School is quite a stressful place so it is useful to have a skill like this to help you.’ Anna


If I am nervous in a situation thinking forward and up helps me calm down. School is stressful for a lot of people so Alexander Technique helps stop that extra stress that comes when you hunch over. If you don’t learn it at high school when do you learn it? Primary school seems to young and by the time you leave school its almost too late, because if you have a habit now you’ve got that habit.’ Mika


‘Because school is most of our day and our interactions are mainly with people of our own age Alexander Technique is useful because it gives you a shared language that helps you feel more comfortable around people and if everyone is like that it creates a good feeling.  It is good having a strong yes or no. This helps you connect with people and have a better relationship. Teens minds are more malleable so influencing them with positive thinking is a really positive thing to do because it’s more likely to influence them and their relationships for the rest of their lives.’ Dom


‘It helps me feel comfortable in my own body and know why I should feel comfortable’ Lucy









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Alexander’s Story (a truly terrible verse)

ALEXANDER’S STORY (via a truly terrible verse)


This is the story of The Alexander Technique
Named after the founder. It’s fabulous! Unique!
Its extraordinary brilliance is worldwide recognised
Even applauded in the Nobel Prize


Alexander discovered a useful thing
For those who want to act, dance, sing
Ride a horse, swim, run, kick a ball
His technique will help you all!


Or just ‘To be more easily me!’
Alexander Technique will set you free
It’s simple to learn, to self apply
A skill to use from today ’til you die


This story I share is all about you
A two legged (tottering biped) I hope to renew
With knowledge and power and confident ease
A story of  freedom like the birds and the bees


So without any further ado
Let me introduce our teacher to you
Frederick Mathias Alexander, it would be his fate
To be in the hall of fame – those who made Australia great!


Our adventure begins across the sea
Our hero’s on stage ‘To be or not to be?’
But his comic shows of the English bard
In Oz were straining, speaking was hard


As he recited his voice got hoarse
He consulted the doctors, but just felt worse
‘We’ve looked, examined, we all agree
There’s nothing wrong in your throat to see!’


His neck was sore, his voice no more
His theatre dream becoming a chore!
They wrung their hands and said ‘Oh dear!
With you at the top of your acting career!’


‘This is no good, I’ll have to find
My own solution! I’ll use my mind
I’ve dealt with snakes and spiders wild
Rode young farm horses since a child

I don’t accept the doctor’s verdict
When up to now my voice has been perfect!’


He set up three way mirrors and saw
That as he spoke there was a flaw!
His head pulled back, his chest was raised
It made his voice sound weak and crazed!


He lost his tone when he talked like this
‘I must be seeing what doctors miss!’
A Eureka moment! Fate! Yippee
He’d found the mechanism to set man free!


It wasn’t hard, surprisingly easy
To feel so great, light and breezy
He’d leave Oz now and go and seek
His fortune in London with his technique


He’d spread the word, he’d write a book
And bit by bit the world would look
And say ‘Cor Blimey, what the heck
All I have to do is free my neck!’


‘My natural balance is just there
Walking, standing, I am light as air
No stress, no strain, no aching back
My natural rhythm’s back on track!’


But first a way to pay his trip
Across the Ocean on a ship
A hundred years ago or more
To sail from Oz to UK shore


‘What shall I do to make the course?
I know what, I’ll back a horse
I’ll bet on one that’s nice and free
And surely that will pay for me


If it moves with ease and grace
It’s bound to have a striding pace
Good carriage will show inner poise
‘Forward, forward – ATTABOY!’


Alexander London went
His passage paid, his money spent!
He made his way to the West End Theatre
To be a pioneering holistic teacher


Actors he taught, they paid his wage
He helped them free their breath on stage
And very soon his technique was known
Among the leading lights of town


Actors, writers, famous intellectuals
Said ‘Alexander you must go clinical
Doctor’s must be sensible
And adopt your amazing human principle!’


‘We are all excited to extol
The incredible virtues of your primary control!
Somehow Alexander, you’ve uncovered
What up to now has been undiscovered!


You’ve found the body’s guiding relation
That must be true for all creation!’
‘You’ve taught us how to be elastic
We really do now feel fantastic!’


But doctors are a sceptic lot
And though many loved him, others did not
They could not believe that it could be true
When he said – ‘Less is better than to do!’


And this is why the techniques still quite a hidden thing
Actors and musicians learn it, to better act or sing
Or those who may have hurt their back
Will find a teacher to get back on track


Dressage riders, that’s horse ballet
Or pupils of ‘The art of Swimming’, use it everyday
And a few cool schools teach the Alexander Technique
And find that kids learn better, a kind of thinking power peak!


So if you too want to learn with less stress and strain
Find it frustrating to try hard and end gain
Ache a bit, don’t feel quite right?
Find an Alexander teacher – there’s change in sight!



More Alexander Technique stuff –

The Daily Ease Colouring Book – purchase book

Body Magic – purchase download

Breathe – purchase download

Walking with your Horse – purchase download


Join my blog – link to side of post

or try out my free Alexander inspired creativity course – link below



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Hard Cheese!

Hard Cheese! by Kirsten Harris


Thirty three vertebrae

Support the body through the day

They’re your inner building bricks

Stack them well, let’s not be thick!


Disease, perhaps a lack of ease?

A painful back and hips and knees?

Our thirty-three spinal bones

Give support – a snake-like home


A slumping spine becomes C-shaped

Oh messed up human, misshaped  ape!

Don’t curl the spine and squash the heart

That’s never clever for a start!


Between the vertebrae are discs

Slumping puts these discs at risk

Those squishy sponges separate

The bone from bone – so they don’t grate


When you’re young they’re full and squishy

Later on they may get iffy

Worn down, thin and hard like cheese

Think up, spine long, before they freeze


Your discs are spongy spacing strips

Between the bones. Don’t slump! They’ll slip!

And then you’ll end up feeling bad

In dreadful pain, just like my dad


Ease out enough before you’re forty

Risky discs won’t be so naughty

Lie down and rest on a hard floor

Chill out and let your discs restore


Lie down, take time: semi-supine

Expands and balances your spine

Allow each sponge to rehydrate

It’s only seventeen minutes to wait!


(The spine is made up of 7 cerivcal, 12 thoracic, 5 lumbar, 5 fused sacral and 3/5 coccygeal vertebrae)


kirsten harris semi supine 001

I am interested in presenting the Alexander Technique in ways that children will hopefully enjoy and remember. I don’t claim to be the worlds greatest poet, far from it! However, a rhyme can be a quick and easy way of presenting information to discuss. It always seems to engage the teenagers I work with. They particularly remember the words ‘hard cheese’ when I teach this bit of anatomy.


The late Don Burton used the description of hard cheese to describe the change of consistency that occurs in intervertebral discs as we get older. I have stolen his description as a title and idea for this verse. Thank you Don, for your continued inspiration!


More stuff from me –
I have recently made an Alexander Technique colouring book CLICK HERE.


You don’t need to be into colouring to buy this. It is a teaching resource – an artists perspective on the Alexander Technique.

The colouring in bit just adds another dimension of interactivity and interest.

All profits will be used to plant trees.


The Daily Ease – A Walk in the Woods Colouring Story Book

Free postage in the UK
Email me for international postage –


Body Magic – Link to audio for semi supine to help you take care of yourself.

Breathe link to audio lessons


COLOURING BOOK KH-1         BodyMagic_mobile








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Tongue Tied
by Kirsten Harris


Here’s a funny little question
That left unchecked will cause congestion
Let me ask you, ‘Where’s your tongue?’
Clamped to mouth’s roof you’ll be high strung!


It’s best to let your tongue go south
Resting in your lower mouth!
If yours is held and pressed up tight
You will never feel quite right!


Tongue Up’s part of the startle pattern
Best let it loose in the oral cavern
If it’s up, you’re stuck in fear
Let it rest! I hope that’s clear?


Up tongue’s reacting from a fright
Neck, shoulders, back become too tight
Horrid habit! Be aware
Down with tongues to clear the air


The tongue up habit clamps your jaw
At night your teeth you may well gnaw!
Your neck will tighten, your face will fix
This grimace habit is best to nix


Your shoulders seize, that clamps your lungs
All from an up held uptight tongue!
Tongue tied to the roof right now dispense
Immediately you’ll feel less tense


Just rest it in a ‘low jaw’ place
Think a smile and feel the space
Your tongue will widen when you smile
Your face will soften in a while


Breathing opens, energy increases
What do you notice when your tongue releases?
It may at first feel big, weird and wet …
Have you got the message yet?


The world will feel a better place
When tongue’s at rest in smiling face
Ask your friends ‘where is your tongue’
To change the habit is good fun



Growl now if you’re a stress puppy?
I bet you’re habit is tongue ‘uppy!’
Family rows, disputes and fights?
Perhaps the family tongues not right


You’ll see it when friends thinking’s grim
Tongue up, jaw locked, tension within
‘Psychic glimpse’ of things not right?
Friends minds you’ll ‘read’ with this stress insight


The good news: things will change right now
With this wee gem of tongue know how
So down with tongues! You’ve heard me right
The tongue up habit’s just uptight!



Facebook – The Daily Ease Alexander Technique
Don’t forget to subscribe at the top of the page so you don’t miss out on more fun posts from The Daily Ease!

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‘Doing Alexander Technique at School is Legendary!’

‘Doing Alexander Technique at school is legendary and you’re a legend Miss!’

Or so I was informed by a seventeen year old at the high school where I teach Alexander Technique yesterday!

‘Oh, that sounds good! Is it? No-one has ever called me that, in fact I am not entirely sure I know what legendary and being a legend means. We didn’t use that expression when I was at school.’


‘It is very good Miss, not everyone is a legend!’ (They proceeded to tell me which teachers were legends and which were not, but that is classified information!)


So here is the definition of why doing Alexander Technique at school is legendary from a  group of high school students in Scotland  –


‘A legend is laid back, cool, understands people, treats everyone equally and is confident but not cocky.’

‘A legend doesn’t make people feel bad about themselves.’

‘If you persist with Alexander Technique it helps you to become more of a legend as you treat people with more understanding. You notice things about other people that you wouldn’t notice before which makes you more understanding and able to relate to others which makes you more of a legend.’

‘You have to be in a group of people to establish whether someone is a legend.’

‘Having Alexander Technique body awareness allows you to be more individual and you don’t care what other think. Legends don’t care what others think, and often have some  quirky personality trait or thing that makes them stand out.’

‘Taking innovative, creative, fun time to do Alexander Technique is legendary. A legend would do that.’

‘A legend is kind, and does kind things for others.’

‘You are not necessarily a legend in everyone’s eyes.’

‘Doing Alexander Technique at school sets you apart from other people because it is distinctive and not mainstream. People don’t know what it is and that is legendary. Yoga is like Starbucks, it is mainstream of the health industry – like a caramel frappuccino. Alexander Technique is legendary, like a quadruple espresso, getting you high on life!’


So now you know  – Alexander Technique is legendary!


I love my job!

a1 001

Things you might like

Body Magic, audio download for semi supine, as pictured – CLICK HERE

An Alexander Technique inspired colouring story book – CLICK HERE

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The Naughty Step!


I had to share this insight from a teenager …..


Yesterday, during a constructive rest session requested by one of the teenage boys at the high school where I teach Alexander Technique, 17 year old Harry quipped-


‘Semi-supine is like a productive version of the naughty step!

When I was little I would be made to sit on the naughty step … I was always all hunched up, elbows on my knee, in a rage … ‘


‘Lying down doing Alexander Technique is giving me time out to think about what I have done during the day, the bad decisions I have made and let them go. Yup, it is like the productive version of the naughty step!’


He continued –


‘I have had some great epiphanies in semi-supine – like where I have been going wrong and just by taking time out I get an idea about how to do it and when I go back to it it works … like learning a difficult piece on the guitar, suddenly I can do it… You wouldn’t think time out this way would be productive, but it really is!’


Out of the mouth of babes!

Constructive rest – the productive naughty step!


Here is a link to a constructive rest download – enjoy time out on the ‘productive naughty step!’ CLICK NOW







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40 reasons teenagers say learning Alexander Technique at school is good.

I asked my high school students why they think having Alexander Technique lessons at school is a good idea. Here is what they said


1. helps sore backs

2. helps learn about body

3. fun

5. educational

6. social, group application

7. anti – stress

8. relaxation before exams

9. a different zone

10. puts you in control

11. neck is free

12. stop being hyper

13. teachers need it for stress

14. physically and mentally good for you

15. right state of mind to concentrate

16. great life skill

17. easier breathing

18. awareness of tongue

19. confidence

20. teenagers have insecurities, it helps.

21. calming if tired

22. helps you sleep

23. choice to be calm or active

24. no disadvantage to learning it

25. relieves stress and strain of school

26. makes you forget what is actually going on

27. notice weird habits in adults

28. look forward to Alexander Technique as first time in week taught to stop

29. good age to put in solid foundations for movement

30. if I had done it when I was younger I wouldn’t be in so much pain. (16 yrs boy)

31. useful defence mechanism so am not ruled by insecurities

32. work much better not work much harder!

33. concentration feels right

34. just stop reacting to nonsense

35. things change

36. ‘I’ve been doing AT since I was in the womb!’ (Harry, age 16)

37. get frustrated but then I come back to myself and then I can do it

38. taking responsibility for ‘fixing’ ourselves

39. not blaming others

40. gives you a break from learning between periods, thats relaxing and helpful



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Children talking about the Alexander Technique

Children talking about the Alexander Technique


“The Alexander Technique eases you into the day be giving you the awareness of how to release your stressful thoughts.”


Harmony – age 15


“The Alexander Technique eases your mind to make you more productive for the day ahead with little simple things you can do – such as lying in semi supine.”


Jack – age 15


“Daily Alexander Technique is very calming, especially lying on the floor and knowing how to release my arms.”


Max – age 15


“Alexander Technique puts your mind at ease. i like it when you lie on the floor and then you get in the zone. I let go into this awesome place.”


Sean – age 14


“Alexander Technique helps your neck, your ams, your legs, your head, your spine. It helps you get into yourself and be free. Into a place where you are most calm and your inner self is at peace.”


Esme – age 14


“Alexander Technique makes you feel more aware of what’s going on. It makes you think more clearly so you can react to what is going on better.”


Ewan – age 15


“Alexander Technique helps you release tension. Its helped me learn how to let go and helped me stand straighter because I am tall. It has helped me feel a lot more confident and happier. I used to be really scared of everything.”


Anna – age 12


I feel Alexander Technique has helped improve my awareness, When I first started at school I used to be really sleepy in the morning and have a sore back. Now my back is fine. I feel Alexander Technique has helped my structure. I feel quite laid back almost. I feel more natural playing piano and sax. My fingers don’t feels so tense but more natural on the piano.”


Leon – Age 12


“Alexander Technique makes me feel more confident and learn things you didn’t know before, like being aware of where you hold your tongue to control yourself with more ease.”


Chiara – age 12


“I like it because I’m not as tense. My shoulders are not so tense. It’s easier for me to walk about on my crutches because I’m aware of how to release my shoulders.”


Ruairi – age 12

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