Welcome to betterATbeing, a Manhattan-based teaching studio for individual, hands-on lessons in Alexander Technique (AT). AT promotes dynamic posture, balance and poise.
Poise, besides being pretty, is important.
Human beings are the only animals with an upright stature. We have to maintain that stature throughout our waking hours, against the force of gravity.
And without poise, gravity really twists us out of shape. And our bodies and minds don't work as well as they need to, for our health, comfort or longevity.
AT, and the poise it brings about, helps us oppose gravity. Gracefully. And effectively.
Could AT help you?
Well, that depends on who you are and what is going on in your life. Ask yourself if any of these things apply to you:
- Is your daily routine causing you pain?
- Are balance problems limiting your activities as you get older?
- Is stress affecting your well-being?
- Do you have difficulty breathing?
- Would you like to feel and perform better? On stage? At work? At your favorite sport, instrument or hobby?
Using AT to get the results you want takes practice. Lessons impart AT's mind-body skills, and you apply them in your daily life. And if you use them in everything you do, all the time, the benefits of AT continue and build on each other. The process is never done. And it's never dull. Because getting better is an ongoing adventure.
AT is a way of being.
And it's a better way to be.
Poise vs. pain: stop being stuck
With betterATbeing you will receive hands-on lessons with your own certified teacher of Alexander Technique (AT). And the dynamic posture you develop in your lessons can help you change your own life for the better. Because with instruction, you can be poised for more comfortable, efficient movement, breathing and general functioning. And with practice, that can help you reduce pain and stress. And make you better at what you do.
Let us introduce you to your Self
Your first lessons with betterATbeing Alexander Technique will get you started toward greater poise, and less pain. On the way, you will go through a series of new kinesthetic experiences and discoveries. Most importantly, you'll become aware of the inseparable mind-body unit we call your Self, and how to use it.
When you're hard on your Self
Your Self includes everything you are, and affects everything you do. In an instant, your Self goes from planning to execution of every single movement. Every breath.
But you may not know how you are doing what you do - and that means you may not be operating your Self in a way that is good for you.
You may be exacerbating organically caused pain or breathing problems, or even injuring yourself. Unfortunately, when you are hurting your Self, medical treatment may not solve the problem.
Have the conversation
You need to have a conversation with your Self. Because the thinking behind everything has got to change. Your AT teacher will be your expert, hands-on change consultant, and help you negotiate a better relationship with your Self.
It's something you're doing
Collapsing. Slouching. Hunching. Clenching. All these habits can cause enormous wear and tear on our Selves. And interfere with everything we try to do.
We don't have to keep screwing ourselves up forever. We can do better. But first, we have to know what we are doing wrong. And we need to know what to do instead.
Dynamic posture: freeing your Self
When you stop your habits of excess tension, your whole Self will have the opportunity to think differently and start functioning better. And your back, neck, lungs and every other part of you will thank you.
Your teacher will lead you through an orderly sequence of learning steps and repeat them frequently so you can master them better and better.
- First, you'll observe yourself, and learn to notice when you are falling into habits of excess tension that undermine your postural support. Healthy posture is not about holding yourself straight. Instead, it's about your dynamic availability for movement.
- Next, having become aware of your overexertion, you can stop it. AT's creator, F.M. Alexander, called this stopping process Inhibition. You will gently but firmly tell yourself to do less whenever you notice yourself over-tensing. And you'll say No to your automatic reactions.
- Finally, having inhibited your unhelpful habits, you will learn new and better ways of thinking and doing things. For this, you will use a process called Direction. Direction means substituting your Self-sabotaging habits with effective, specific instructions for freeing your neck, head, back and limbs.
A journey begins with new Directions
By giving yourself these new Directions, you'll be able to coordinate your Self more harmoniously. You'll notice changes.
Your experience with Inhibition and Direction will grow with each lesson. Little by little, you'll find your Self growing, too. Thanks to your new skills, you will begin to take on your full stature, and achieve better balance and well-being.
As a result, you will perform better in all the activities that matter most to you. Without distorting your Self.
You'll be on a new path
AT puts you on a path to practical Self-knowledge. If you follow this path, then you'll discover how to stop restricting your own breathing, movements, and voice. And stress and pain will be intermittent difficulties you can reduce, manage, or overcome altogether.
AT will help you to remain mindful while being active, so you can avoid injury, and keep your poise in challenging circumstances.
Enjoying life to the fullest
Mastering Inhibition and Direction - your new skills for dynamic posture - will take persistence. But it's well worth it.
Because Alexander Technique helps you tap you into the greatest renewable resource of all:
Alexander Technique is an experiential learning process, and you will find that your first hands-on lesson will answer a lot of questions. Individual lessons are affordable, and what you will learn is invaluable. Fortunately, you can also arrange groups of lessons to obtain reduced rates.
what students are saying
“I had the great pleasure of studying AT with Elizabeth for a few months just before the shutdown. I was working in busy, high end restaurants, and suffering from back pain and incredibly sore ankles -- making walking nearly impossible after coming home. My lessons with Elizabeth made a massive difference. Not only did all the pain go away, but so did the stress . . . I could always feel a sense of relief from our sessions. More importantly, she gave me the necessary skills to take it with me on my own. Thank you, Elizabeth!”
“I always look forward to my weekly sessions with Elizabeth. She is a gifted and thoughtful teacher. I leave each lesson feeling more attuned to my body—more settled and grounded, but also almost taller somehow. And I carry that feeling with me through the following week.”
“I found Elizabeth to be an empathetic and intuitive teacher, and she makes learning the Alexander Technique a joy. Elizabeth was able to creatively adapt to my particular needs and make a real impact with each lesson. Working with Elizabeth will help you feel more in tune with your body and movement, and enable you to make long-lasting changes to stop habits that create and perpetuate pain and discomfort.”
"To say Elizabeth and Alexander Technique have totally changed my life is a complete understatement...I feel as though Elizabeth is giving me the tools to live more consciously in my body, ultimately giving me the power to heal myself (and live more pain free!) And while Alexander Technique may seem mysterious at first, Elizabeth leads her practice with a down-to-earth warmth that is palpable...with plenty of clever analogies along the way. I’m never short of “aha moments” every week. Cannot recommend enough!"