This is going to be my last post, for now, in my series of blog interviews with students of the Alexander Technique. This week I had the pleasure of interviewing Louise Edington. Louise and I got to know each other a couple of years ago, being introduced initially through her Alexander Technique teacher, and found we had much in common – among other things we’re both from the same area of the UK, but live in the US (Louise is from Derby, I am from Sheffield), we are both parents of teens, and we both identify ourselves as natural introverts. Louise and I have never met in person, though we have spoken on the phone a few times, and connect with each other mainly online. I was very interested in interviewing Louise about her experiences with the Technique, as she received most of her instruction in quite an nontraditional way.
Me: Thanks so much for doing this interview, Louise. To start off, I’d love you to tell my readers a bit about yourself – your background and your work.
Louise: My background is very varied. I am highly mutable in astrological terms, which means I love variety and change. This shows up in how many jobs and homes I have had. I have been an entrepreneur since my youngest daughter was born (though if I really look back I always had entrepreneurial tendencies). Since moving to the USA I discovered the coaching world – four years ago – and discovered that I am a very good coach. I have worked as a certified and licensed coach for 4 years in a couple of capacities until a BIG light bulb moment almost a year ago. I have been an astrologer as a hobby for over 20 years and I suddenly realized I could combine my loves. I am now an Astro Coach and I help to guide women through major transitions. I use a client’s unique Cosmic Blueprint to guide them through so they take the fast lane to wholeness.
Me: Yes, you’ve certainly been through some big changes since we became friends! You were coaching social media when we first met, and the coaching you gave me in that area was indeed excellent. In fact I’ve been building on the skills you taught me ever since – including writing this blog!
So, how did you first hear about the Alexander Technique?
Louise: I had heard about the Alexander Technique many years ago back in the UK but didn’t know a lot about it. I thought it was just for posture. I now know very differently.
Me: When was your first experience with the Alexander Technique? Can you tell us about it?
Louise: My first real experience of it was just over two years ago at an event in LA. I used to be extremely shy in front of groups (speaking, standing, walking – you name it). Something guided me to volunteer to get up with the Alexander Technique Instructor and have her minutely adjust me after a scary duck walk across the room in front of the group. The release I felt was palpable and it brought me to tears and I was able to walk across the room more comfortably immediately. I hired her immediately.
Me: So I guess that was what made you decide to continue?
Louise: I knew that if I felt that much release after a couple of minutes that this could help me with my fear of being in front of groups.
Me: I believe most of your Alexander Technique coaching was through Skype. That’s quite unusual, and I’m really interested to hear more about it. Can you tell us about your experiences and how that worked for you. What was a typical session like?
Louise: Of course! My instructor and I would position our computers so we had a clear view of each other and she was very adept at talking me through small changes in my use. I guess she also brought some other techniques in such as visualization but the majority of my sessions were pure AT. She would watch me walk and do my Constructive Rest and describe how I needed to gently adjust. She also used props such as her skeleton and her own body to show me. This worked for me as I trusted her and I could not find an instructor locally. I live in a semi-rural area.
Me: It sounds like it worked very well for you. Who was your teacher, and are you still studying the Technique?
Louise: My teacher is/was called Sharon Jakubecy and I no longer study it formally.
Me: Are you able to keep the skills of the Alexander Technique going by yourself (that’s the whole point in my opinion), and if so can you give us any examples of how?
Louise: I do have DVDs and books and use the techniques all the time. I use Constructive Rest most of all and have even been known to lie down in a hotel lobby before going on a stage. Sharon also taught me about my breath, how to sit in better positions etc. It helps to be connected with many AT instructors through Facebook as I get little reminders all the time. Mainly from you 🙂
Me: Glad to be of service!!
What specific benefits have you gained from studying the Alexander Technique, including how it helps you in your work and life in general (if it has)?
Louise: The main thing for me is that I have been able to overcome my fear of being in front of groups. I really do not feel that fear any more as I know I have the tools to stand and speak strongly and comfortably. I am also able to recharge really quickly using constructive rest and I know my posture is better which will help prevent other issues.
Me: That’s great! Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
Louise: I think Alexander Technique is difficult to understand unless you experience it as you really aren’t “doing” anything – other than remembering to breathe. It’s more about undoing the incorrect use that has built up over the years. I would, and do, however, recommend it for all kinds of problems and ailments. I am a complete convert.
Me: Yes, in lots of ways the Alexander Technique is a process of subtraction – getting rid of all those habits and tensions that don’t serve us well.
Thanks so much for doing the interview, Louise. It was really interesting hearing more about your lessons and how you have benefited.
Louise loves to make new connections. You can find out more about her, and connect with her in a variety of places online:
If you don’t have any Alexander Technique teachers in your area, you, like Louise, may be interested in distance learning options. Click here for a listing of Alexander Technique teachers who offer coaching via Skype.
And if you have any questions for me or Louise, please let us know. You can leave your comment in the space below – we’d love to hear from you!