Syed travels from Fallowfield to Wilmslow for his Alexander Technique lessons:
I’ve suffered from what I’d describe as a chronic condition of bad posture virtually all my life. It has made life increasingly intolerable and has become a constant drag affecting and consuming all areas of my everyday life. If got to the point where I became ultimately defined by my condition, physically, emotionally and psychologically. I felt like I was held hostage by my own body with no possibility of ransom. In my predicament I could either succumb to my would be kidnappers (bodysnatchers!) or foolishly in my case try to escape and break out of this physical prison! Now in my early 20s having made it on the outside like a wounded animal in an unfamiliar territory, armed with what little resources I had at my disposal. I decided to emancipate my body by freeing my mind. I researched various solutions to resolve the conundrum in my body. I dabbled with spinal surgery due to what appeared to be a kink in my spine which I thought at the time was the main culprit. However the thought of going under the knife didn’t exactly fill me with delight, Not one of my finest moments, nor an inspired choice. I then stumbled across a clinic in Harley Street where attempts were made rehabilitate my spine by a method known as “manipulation”!, talk about refined! Suffice to say my spine did not bend into conformity. My first attempts to break free feeling thousands of pounds lighter had failed miserably with my back firmly against the wall. I was back to square one. After months of admitting defeat I cut a lonely figure in the wilderness. I decided to put myself though the ringer a second time with a renewed sense of hope more than anything else. I changed my blinkered conventional approach and opted for an alternative solution. This was my first encounter with the world of the Alexander technique. I was introduced to the self proclaimed back magician Philip Pawley. Those associated with this school of thought will remember him with fondness due to his untimely demise almost a year ago. As with anything I was sceptical at first and didn’t know what to expect. The mantra of the technique flies in the face of every convention in society as we know it. The idea of not doing or not trying is squarely at odds juxtaposed against the idea of achieving tangible results. A year worth of lessons later I began to truly appreciate the simplicity and beauty of the paradox known as the Alexander technique. I started to see small changes in my posture from lesson after lesson, which, imperceptible to the naked eye, were huge strides for me and the feeling of optimism started to carry me further down this rabbit hole. After Philips sudden death feelings of ambivalence dominated my minds skyline. Philip was a remarkable individual, extremely intelligent and experienced teacher who gave me the confidence to continue down this unfamiliar winding road. Having got a taste for the technique I finally found what I would describe as the holy grail, the elixir of youth if you will, and I wasn’t going to let it slip through my fingers. I decided to get my body back by getting back on the Alexander saddle. Step in Mr James Crow. Despite the work with Philip I had fundamental issues with my posture, inhabited by many a bad habit. This is where my progress accelerated dramatically and started to really see a marked improvement in my posture and general awareness of myself. There is a perfectly good reason for this as James in my view takes Alexander to new heights for me. James looks at Alexander from a different perspective allowing you to truly let your body detach from the complexity of your mind and therefore letting your body truly be free in its natural state. James uses a no nonsense approach when teaching Alexander, free of any jargon or complex terminology which is easy to digest and apply. He derives this approach from the founding father himself and administers its practical application accordingly. Think of it as old school rules with a 21st century twist! I have been taking lessons from James for almost a year and can safely say the methods he uses to teach Alexander are extremely effective and have an holistic effect on the mind, body and your emotional well-being. I can’t thank him enough for the new plateau he has taken me too on which I stand more confidently, with poise and most of all greater posture. I am in a happier place now than at any stage whilst dealing with this condition and in the position of taking my body back so I can truly define it and not be defined by it. With the greatest of respect to Philip, James has taken me to the nth degree of Alexander. I can now see the light at the end of this long tunnel in my life thanks to James who I believe has given me the final pieces of my posture puzzle. I am still continuing my lessons with James and understand that it is a continual learning curve of progression and I am trending onwards and upwards on that curve exponentially to the point where I will stand on the plateau of the promised land! Not quite salvation but not far from it. Now that for me would be truly a redeeming feature when I have attained the semblance of perfection in its raw form and I become the heir apparent to what is rightfully mine, the temple that is my body. In summary, you probably were thinking when this would ever end and that is still the case for me with James! I would recommend James as an ideal Alexander teacher for anybody dealing with bad posture as he makes the whole experience simple, personal and practical and moreover interesting and fun. When you finish his lessons you [eave with a spring in your step and apply what you have learnt in your everyday life. You then suffer from withdrawal symptoms and want to go back for more! Only kidding! James is down to earth and personable, bursting with positivity with the power to inspire. All in all he is a consummate professional. I don’t think I would be where I am now without him and I don’t think you will find a teacher like him given the perception of the average Alexander teacher. Oh and by the way he is one of the more affordable teachers not that he is cheap, but moreover cheerful with a wealth of experience to share with you. That said I hope this serves if anything to become acquainted with this technique and with James as a teacher prepare to be truly inspired!