Where are you located and where do I park?
I teach in my home studio in North Austin, off McNeil Drive, between Hwy 183 and Parmer Lane. The address is 12603 Blackfoot Trail, Austin, TX 78729.
When you are on McNeil Drive, be prepared to turn north onto Blackfoot trail just after the intersection with Oak Knoll if coming from Parmer Lane and after Technology Blvd.; when you see the purple Stepping Stone school sign,if coming from 183. After you turn, it is the first house on the right, so you can pull to the side of the road immediately. Please park on the street directly in front of the house.
What should I wear to an Alexander lesson?
You can generally wear whatever you have on for the day. However, please do not wear skirts or dresses so that you can move freely while sitting, standing, and lying down.
If you want to work on how you breathe during cardiovascular exercise or try out that yoga pose you find challenging, feel free to dress in exercise clothes.
How long is an Alexander lesson or consultation?
The first three Alexander lessons in an introductory package are 1 hour each. After that, lessons are 45 minutes each. Free consultations are 30 minutes.
How many lessons will I need?
A few lessons can make you aware of some chronic tensions and poor postural habits, as well as give you some control over your most persistent bad habits, like tightening your lower back too much when you try to sit up straight.
Ten lessons can help you understand how to react to your daily activities in a way that is better for your body, so you can sit with less effort and walk with an ease you didn’t realize you was missing.
Thirty lessons lets you do activity in a whole new way, so you can practice yoga, music, speaking, working out, dancing, meditating, riding horses, or running – whatever you do – without tension and pain. You can improve your skill and fitness more than you imagined was possible.
What if I have to cancel or change a lesson or want to let you know I am running late?
The best way to reach me is by text message: (512) 537-5369. Please put my number in your phone, so you can contact me when you need to. I am also reachable by email or phone call but may not see messages as quickly or respond as promptly.
What are the risks of doing Alexander lessons?
Because Alexander teachers use a very light touch and guide you through movements you do every day, there are no risks greater than those posed by daily life. There is, however, often a little discomfort – of the emotional variety – when you make changes in how you think and move.
Change isn’t easy. That’s why we usually stick with what we know. I will be asking you to stop your habits – the things that make you feel normal, make you feel like yourself. You may be overjoyed to get rid of your slumping posture. And the achiness associated with it. But it might be more of a leap of faith when I ask you to quiet the part of yourself that works so hard to get everything right, that’s geared up and ready for anything.
Often, when we get rid of habits that are interfering with our life, it feels wrong – like what we are doing and experiencing couldn’t possibly be enough. But we are enough – without the baggage all our habits bring. And the biggest risk of all is that you will feel so amazing, focused, and productive that you will wonder how you ever let yourself be any other way.
If I have chronic pain, can I do Alexander lessons?
Yes, you can take Alexander lessons when you are experiencing chronic pain. I am happy to modify activities to avoid motions that could exacerbate the pain. For example, I can use a high stool for sitting to avoid large range of motion in an injured knee.
If I have an injury, can I do Alexander lessons?
Yes, you can take Alexander lessons when you have a recent injury. I can modify activities to avoid re-injury.
If you are planning to start Alexander lessons as part of your recovery from an acute injury, like whiplash from a car accident, I recommend focusing on approaches to reduce pain and inflammation, like acupuncture and some physical therapy immediately after the injury. Then, you can add Alexander lessons as the second phase of treatment to ensure that your movement patterns and posture will not perpetuate the injury or pain.
If my mobility is limited or I have a medical reason to avoid certain activities, can I do Alexander lessons?
Yes, I shape the activities we do in a lesson to meet each student’s needs. We can spend little time in standing or sitting if that is an issue. If you are unable to lie on your back, as is advised during pregnancy, we can work in other positions and activities.
What activities can I work on in a lesson?
We can work on any activity. Here are activities I would be happy to work on with you:
- Playing a musical instrument, singing, speaking, or breathing…
- Dancing, yoga, meditation posture, or Tai Chi…
- Strength/functional-training or physical therapy exercises…
- Cardiovascular activities like walking, running, cycling, or swimming…
- Golf, tennis, soccer, baseball, softball, badminton, table tennis, or other sports…
- Horseback riding, hiking, canoeing, or paddle-boarding…
- Everyday tasks like lifting grocery bags, cooking, or getting out of a car…
- Using a computer or cell phone.
Should I bring my instrument/golf club/exercise instructions sheets to my lesson?
If it is easy to carry, you are welcome to bring it, but it is not necessary. Often, we start working on an activity by doing some small aspect of it that may not require any gear.
Do I need to have an activity to work on?
No. In every lesson, we will spend most of the time working on making better choices in basic movements, like sitting, standing, and walking. The process allows us to change habits in a way that we can bring changes into other things that we do, regardless of whether we work on them in the lesson.
Do you really give homework?
Yes, but there’s no need to panic; it’s nothing like the 9th grade geometry homework my step-son has to do.
Like any advanced skill, it takes practice. I send emails after every lesson reminding you of what we worked on that day and giving suggestions of what you can do during the week to practice.
You can also log into your student account to review what you worked on in prior lessons.
I’d like to do some reading, what books do you recommend?
I have two favorite introductory books:
Body Learning: An Introduction to the Alexander Technique by Michael J. Gelb
The Alexander Technique: A Skill for Life by Pedro de Alcantara
But you won’t have to buy one of them if you take advantage of an introductory package of three lessons, which includes a copy of one of these books.
How do I learn more about the Alexander Technique?
You can learn more about the Alexander Technique here:
Are there pets at your home office?
Yes, we have a small, non-shedding, hypo-allergenic havanese-bichon dog that may greet you at the door. His name is Djangeaux (pronounced Jango), which is a tribute to our love of Django Reinhart’s gypsy jazz guitar playing, with an -eaux as a reminder of my husband’s Cajun roots. Djangeaux is sweet and appreciates being allowed a quick smell to say hello before he goes to a different room to monitor other activity on our quiet street.
What is your cancellation policy?
If you cannot make a lesson time, please text me as soon as possible and include some windows of time when you could reschedule within the week or schedule the following week.
For infrequent cancellations or if a lesson is rescheduled within the week, I do not charge a cancellation fee. If you cancel more than one lesson in a month with less than 24 hours’ notice, I request that you pay for the lessons missed after the first one.
How do I pay?
I accept cash, checks, credit cards, and transfers using the PayPal, Venmo or Cash apps. I can send an invoice to be paid online. If you would like a payment receipt emailed to you, please ask.
Do you accept insurance or payment using a health savings account?
I do accept payment from health savings accounts. Alexander Technique lessons are not covered by health insurance. It is possible they would be covered by car insurance if you are seeking lessons to assist in recovery from musculoskeletal injuries due to a car accident or by worker’s compensation insurance if you are recovering from work-related neck or back pain.
I would be happy to provide receipts that include all necessary codes and information for health savings account and car or worker’s compensation insurance claims.