Alexander Technique Center


Alexander Technique Center in Wellness section of Washington Post
Alexander Technique Center featued in Washington Post Wellness section. Photo of lesson.

 

 

 

Who Learns the Alexander Technique?

People decide to learn the Alexander Technique for a variety of reasons. Students of all ages come from a wide range of backgrounds and occupations. Listed below are comments from people who have taken Alexander Technique lessons with Marian Goldberg.

Individual Experiences with the Alexander Technique

“Marian Goldberg grasps my head gently but firmly…Ever so slowly, almost imperceptibly, she helps me rise from a chair…until Iím standing. That one simple movement, which I probably do a dozen times or more every day, feels slightly different this time. Itís difficult to pinpoint exactly why, but it does. The reason, Goldberg explains, is that this time I more closely approximated the way nature intended for me to get up. I didnít shove off with my hands after hours of slumping over a computer. I didnít lean forward with my torso and drag my lower half out of the chair. With my head and neck leading the way, I gathered myself a little better and stood up a little more naturally, one body part following another, working together, a bit more in balance. Itís impossible to reduce the Alexander Technique…to one simple rise from a chair, but at its core is a strikingly simple, easily understood concept: What ails us is the result of bad habits weíve learned, from early in childhood, about how we use our bodies. And the best way to rid ourselves of pains in our back, neck and elsewhere is to consciously unlearn those habits.”

Lenny Bernstein, Washington Post Columnist;
Excerpt from Wellness Section feature article on the Alexander Technique Center in
The Washington Post

“Lessons with Marian have been life changing. Before starting lessons, I was unaware how much harder I was working than necessary to do everything from eating breakfast to playing the flute. Through her methodical and in-depth teaching of Alexander Technique, Marian is giving me freedom of motion and a deeper connection to my own body. It has transformed the way I play the flute and made me a better musician.

Aaron Goldman
Principal Flute
National Symphony Orchestra

“Marian and the Alexander Technique have done for me what a slew of physicians and other health care professionals could not. They have liberated my neck from a cage of stiffness and pain that compromised my daily activities and sucked the joy out of living. In the process of learning the technique I have gained greater poise, balance and—most important to me—freedom to move. Life is good again.

Ellen Carl, MPH, writer
Alexandria, Virginia

“I first came to the Alexander Technique Center of Washington looking for help in improving my posture. Years of yoga and Pilates increased my strength and flexibility, but did nothing for my posture. After only a few months of working with Marian, I have relearned more natural and efficient ways to sit, stand, and walk and have come a long way towards regaining the balance and alignment of my early childhood. Ailments resulting from a lifetime of misuse—headaches, painful neck, sciatica—have all but disappeared. I look and feel better than I have in years.

Pam Yavorksy, Pharmacist
Fairfax, Virginia

Alexander Technique teacher trainee before and after photos
Alexander Technique Center of Washington teacher training graduate, Deena Hyatt, at her second lesson in (left photo) and after completing Alexander Technique teacher training. (right photo).

“When I first came to Marian I could no longer use my right hand. After a few months of consistent lessons I was freed from the toils of chronic pain and soon became fully functional again.

After suffering from chronic pain for about three years from the neck down the right arm, I had seen dozens of doctors, healers, physical therapists, chiropractors, etc. but found no lasting solutions. I was at a loss and agreed to a surgery for “Thoracic Outlet Syndrome” where they removed my first rib to “create space.” The surgery didn't help and in fact created trauma and scar tissue. It was all such a mystery.

Within the first couple of weeks of Alexander lessons with Marian, I finally became kinaesthetically aware of what was causing the problem. In a way it was quite simple, indeed there was compression because muscles were shortened due to overuse, and indeed I did end up truly and holistically *creating space* through undoing these patterns of tension.

I had a pretty classic “stick your neck out there” pattern, and it's amazing now looking back at photos how obvious some of my bad habits were even at an early age. We just aren't taught to look at how we carry ourselves in that way and as computer life gets more and more demanding, it becomes harder and harder to change your stimulus/response patterns.

Learning the Alexander Technique has been profoundly invaluable; not only did it free me from chronic pain, it opened my world to a whole different way of being where I'm allowed to do everything more efficiently and with greater ease.

Marian is the cream-of-the-crop, salt-of-the-earth teacher. She embodies the Technique in a caring and patient manner, with a keen sense of when to challenge me to challenge myself. I have studied with many teachers and what I love about Marian is how truly earnest her intentions are; she genuinely cares about her student's improvement and is dedicated to her practice.”

Deena Hyatt, Alexander Technique teacher, vocalist/actor
Los Angeles, California

“Although I have been privileged to work with a number of distinguished Alexander Teachers over many years, I feel extremely lucky having found Marian here in Northern Virginia. I really enjoy her approach, which to me is at the same time down-to-earth and subtle and refined. Beyond the obvious benefits of the Technique in my daily life and music making, I have found our conversations about aspects of teaching both valuable and inspiring. I can't recommend Marian highly enough.”

Dr. Jan-Piet Knijff
Faculty, Middleburg Academy
Middleburg, VA

“I love to ice skate but problems with my left knee made the more difficult moves virtually impossible. I suspected it was an alignment problem but didn't have much hope (or know how) to solve it. Within several weeks of Alexander lessons with Marian, I could do a range of movements never before possible for me. My experience with Marian and the Technique has opened up a whole new range of motion and significantly improved my ice dancing.

Elaine Evans
Arlington, Virginia

An ignorant body can be a painful body. Marian Goldberg’s Alexander lessons solved my problems with an extremely painful back and neck, and numbness in my arm and leg. The increased strength and flexibility allow me to pursue my interests in comfort.

Recently, several women about my age, 90 or so, said, ‘Your back is so straight! How do you keep it so erect?’I said, ‘I don't try to do it. I was taught by my teacher of the Alexander Technique to leave my body alone so that it could function the way it was made to do.’

A few weeks ago, when my doctor stopped listening to my heart, he said, ‘Your back is so straight. How have you managed to keep your back so straight?’ I replied, ‘I was taught to let my back keep doing what it was meant to do and to stop interfering.’ I like to go to an Alexander Technique lesson every week, just to remind myself to stop interfering”

Sylvia K. Shugrue, Former President
National Science Teachers Association
Washington, D. C.

“The repetitive-motion strain I suffered as a professional pianist had put my career in jeopardy. Through Marian's expertise in the Alexander Technique, I've learned more efficient and natural ways to use myself. Not only can I maintain a full playing schedule, my entire technique has been transformed.

Laurie Vivona Bunn, Pianist
Falls Church, Virginia

“Sometimes, fortunately, instinct doesn’t serve us well. That was the case for years as I encountered recurring pain and stiffness in the left side of my neck. I used to knead and stretch my neck, take NSAIDs and hot showers, apply hot or cold packs—all in an attempt to reduce the discomfort. I rationalized it as job stress, believing it was just something I simply had to live with. Thinking back, I am really surprised that I didn’t permanently damage my neck. Then my life partner (we’re so hip) discovered the Alexander Technique and told me about this “new approach,” suggesting that I should try it too. I must admit that I was a bit skeptical when she first described the Technique. My first lesson with Marian was mostly an experiment, but to my delight that evening I was pain free. A few days later the pain returned, but the promise of those few days of relief returned me to another lesson. After several lessons I was still a bit bewildered as to why my neck felt so good for days afterward, each time seeming to feel better longer. I asked myself how something seemingly so subtle, almost indescribable, could be making such a difference. Slowly, week-by-week, I began to recognize and sense what I was doing with my body, mostly my neck and spine. Then one day… the epiphany. I was just driving. Suddenly it struck me how distorted I was and how my neck was beginning to feel the dreaded knot. A little shift to my neck, turn, lift… it was unbelievable. One of those moments you never forget. My neck has not hurt for many months, I’m told that my posture is better although it’s always been pretty good, and even though I no longer take a lesson every week I will continue to train in Alexander Technique always.”

Jim Wilson, Business Executive
Fairfax, Virginia

“Working with Marian in the Alexander Technique helped me to alleviate vocal technique problems that had not been solved by years of working with master voice teachers. I experienced a significant increase in natural support, ease in breathing, and ease of production.

Susan Dash, Voice Teacher/Singer
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

“My wife had gotten benefit from Marian's lessons and she suggested I try them out. As a registered nurse working for many years in an intensive care unit, my work involves a lot of bending, stooping, and lifting. I lift patients up in bed or transfer them from bed to chair and back. Marian has made a real difference in how I carry myself and how I do the physical aspect of my work. My posture is also a lot better and I am not as fatigued after a 12-hour shift as I used to be.

John L. Howell, RN
Arlington, Virginia

“I have been playing the violin for nearly thirty years. After only two months of lessons with Marian, I am finding an ease and comfort with my instrument I never though possible. I wish I had come twenty years ago!

Elizabeth Field, Violinist
Falls Church, Virginia

“As a rider, I struggled for years with a curved lower back, trying to understand what my trainer meant by ‘carrying myself’ to achieve the feeling of ‘independence.’

My lessons in the Alexander Technique worked through my body, not just my mind. My body started to reach for the point of balance and miraculously, my horses started moving like I never thought was possible. Suddenly I could sit the trot with ease; small circles and pirouettes are easy as my horse is soft and never against my hand. My legs are now loose, not gripping the horse to compensate for my unbalance… I finally understand now the feeling of true independence.

My lessons in the Alexander Technique with Marian have totally brought my dressage riding to a completely new level. My horses thank me every day with their alertness and love for the work.


Anne P. Ramires, Owner, VP Stables Virginia
Centreville, Virginia


The Alexander Technique Center

The Teacher

Marian Goldberg maintains a private Alexander Technique teaching practice in the Washington, D.C. area and is the Director of the Alexander Technique Center of Washington's Teacher-Training Program. Marian began studying the Alexander Technique in 1978. After working with a variety of interpretations of the Alexander Technique from 1978 to 1980, she went on to study with Joan and Alexander Murray at the Urbana Center for the Alexander Technique in 1980. Marian graduated from the Urbana Centerís intensive teacher-training program in 1983, fulfilling the three-year daily training standards established by F. Matthias Alexander, the creator of the Alexander Technique. In addition, Marian completed two years of advanced training at the Urbana Center. She has been teaching the Technique since 1983 and is certified by both the Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique (STAT), UK, and the American Society for the Alexander Technique (AmSAT). Marian has studied with teachers directly trained by F. Matthias Alexander: Walter Carrington, Peggy Williams, and Marjorie Barstow. She has taught classes and workshops in the Technique for colleges and universities and for a number of organizations, including the United States Marine Band, the Vocal Studies Program at George Mason University, and the University of Illinois. Her articles have appeared in several publications, including The Alternative Health Sourcebook and Natural Awakenings magazine. Marian has developed several web sites: “Alexander Technique: The Insiders’ Guide,” “John Dewey and the Alexander Technique” and “The Alexander Technique for Musicians.” She is the editor of Beginning from the Beginning: A Conversation with Joan and Alexander Murray. Marian has also been certified as a Feldenkrais® Practitioner and has trained in Cranio-Sacral Therapy.

Scheduling Lessons and More Information

To schedule a lesson with Marian Goldberg, and/or for more information, contact the Alexander Technique Center, info@alexandercenter.com or phone 703-821-2920. If you would like to have information sent to you by postal mail, please provide your name and address.

Lessons Location

The Alexander Technique Center is located in McLean (Fairfax County) in Northern Virginia, within ten minutes drive of Tysons Corner, the City of Falls Church, and Arlington in Northern Virginia, Chain Bridge (Washington, D.C.), and the Maryland suburbs (American Legion Bridge/495); 15 to 20 minutes from Key Bridge (Washington, D.C.), Potomac, Maryland, and Reston, Great Falls, Vienna, Oakton, and Annandale in Northern Virginia; and 20 to 30 minutes from Bethesda, Chevy Chase, and Rockville in Maryland, and Herndon, Burke, Springfield and the cities of Fairfax and Alexandria in Virginia.


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© 2000, 2006 Marian Goldberg


Alexander Technique: The Insiders’ Guide
Web site maintained by Marian Goldberg, MSTAT
Alexander Technique Center of Washington, D.C.
e-mail:
info@alexandercenter.com