Before I came to Regina, I felt disconnected from my body, but I didn’t know what to do about it. I tried some exercises and stretching, but there was something missing. I started doing aikido, with some vague ideas about learning to move in a different, more coordinated and less forceful way. I searched and found that Regina had aikido experience and contacted her, with the aim of helping me with improving my rolling. I am so pleased with the result of that search, which has provided so much more than meeting my original aim. I like to feel confident that my teacher knows their stuff and I am aware of how much time and money Regina puts in to attending workshops, to keep her skills up to date and open to new thinking. I feel that I can take my lessons with Regina, to wherever I want them to go. If I have trouble articulating how I am experiencing something in my body, Regina will persevere until we get to an explanation that I can work with. I am a very demanding student and ask a lot of questions and turn up with a list of observations, each week. Regina helps me to put these into some kind of context that I can understand. My aikido training partners are noticing how much my movement has improved and I can find so many applications for using Alexander Technique principles, in daily life. I feel that the Alexander Technique undersells itself, in general, as a practice that can provide an individual with a framework to think about how they use their body. You’ll make your own decision as to whether to try the Alexander Technique. If you do, you will be working with someone, in Regina, who I find to be switched-on, fun, committed and excellent!
Regina is patient, clear and good-spirited, a very good teacher. I began lessons after going to Student Central (ULU) in Bloomsbury to ask about physiotherapy and finding that there was also something called Alexander Technique available. I’d heard a little about it and thought I’d give it a go. I usually spend a lot of time sitting and writing on a laptop and I’d developed back, neck and arm pain — due, I’m sure, to poor posture and tension while sitting at the computer writing my PhD thesis. The severity of these problems abated significantly after beginning lessons; and, with time and further lessons, I’ve been able to make beneficial adjustments to the ways in which I habitually hold myself and move. What appeals to me about Alexander Technique is that there aren’t any complicated procedures to master. Nor is it about pressing or pumping or pulling yourself into fitness. Quite the opposite, it’s about doing less, about coming to use the body in ways that might at first feel strange but to which you become habituated and which (with patience) enable greater fluency and ease.
I hired Regina to work with my choir as an Alexander Technique teacher. I knew Regina before and was absolutely sure that her gentle way of working would be very effective in the task of improving their general use, which affects their singing too.
Everyone that took part in these private lessons was very happy with Regina’s work. I, for myself, could notice, ‘in loco’ – during rehearsals and services – how much more aware they were of their coordination and how much more open they were to my vocal suggestions. I noticed as well less effort, less ‘doing’ in their singing, which made room for a warmer and bigger choral sound.
D. Cerdeira (choir director)
Regina teaches how to reduce pain by unlocking unnecessary physical tensions built through everyday practices. It has helped me develop a much better understanding of how I continuously use my body. The focus on physical awareness rather than doing therapeutic exercises once a day or once a week is what I find specific about the Alexander Technique and the main take away for me compared to other approaches. It has helped me to get rid of back pain and stomach ache due to my working all day long in front of a computer.
What a fantastic workshop today! There were so many parallels, not just with Alexander Technique, but also with tango and swing dancing. I shall continue to work on waiting to react, responding with elastic, expansive, responsive openness, ‘riding the wave’ and showing respect to both myself and my partner! Thanks so much to Regina Stratil and Tim Soar for your inspiring teaching and breathtaking demonstration, and to all the participants for taking good care!
Loretta M. (‘Aikido and the Alexander Technique’ workshop)
“I never realized that my computer caused me to have bad posture. I always knew my phone was bad but it never occurred to me that my computer had negative effects on my back and neck. This now makes me more aware of my posture when I type assignments for class. I did not know what to expect at the beginning of the workshop, but I ended up learning a lot. During the workshop some of the movements felt very uncomfortable. After the workshop I felt that my body was more relaxed. I learned that the balance of your head is important to your spine health and overall health.”
“The Alexander Technique workshop was beneficial in that I became aware of my actions and how they could be hurting me. The workshop was a little bit strange, but only because it felt so bizarre to be lying on the ground during English class. … I was surprised to find out how heavy the human head is, and I will definitely keep that in mind the next time I am hunched over a laptop screen, cell phone, or book. I was excited to learn a few new techniques that might make my lower back and neck feel better.”
“I enjoyed this workshop. I have a lot of back problems and I feel like having someone walk me through a process to essentially lengthen my spine and align it helped a lot. I would love to pass this technique on to my friends and family, telling them to grab a couple of paperback books and place them underneath their heads, lay down on their back with their feet pointing forward and their knees bent to the ceiling. Then, breathe in and out and feel your body start to relax.”
“It really made me think about everything I do, from the way I sit to how I sleep at night. I had a really good day after class and felt more positive so I thought that was cool.”
“At the start of the workshop, the technique felt uncomfortable, just because I am not used to keeping my back very straight and my history of back problems makes it tiring to be in a certain position for too long. After a bit of time, during the session, I started to feel better about the technique and my back started to hurt less. This continued after the workshop as well. Though I have a history of scoliosis and back pain, after working on these things for so long, I didn’t realize that the use of my cell phone or other electronic devices made my posture worse. I would advise anyone to try the Alexander Technique and practice it at least once a day. This is important because cell phones and laptops have become a part of everyone’s daily life and the constant use of wrong posture can lead to further problems for many people.”
“It made me begin thinking of all the strain I put on my body daily.”
“The Alexander Technique workshop was something I’ve not ever experienced before, nor was it what I imagined it to be. It involved discussing various aspects of posture and how it affects the strain on your neck. We then practiced ways of sitting down with minimal stress on the spine as well as thought about how we hold our phones, books and tablets and how that affects our body. It may seem small now, but over time the effects could prove damaging to our bodies.”
“The workshop, Writing and The Body, was a very good session. Describing the workshop to someone from another class, friend, or family member, I would say that it was eye-opening.”
Feedback from students at the Rhetoric and Composition class at Florida State University, London