Good Housekeeping Magazine
February 2009
‘I’ve changed the way I feel about myself’
It wasn’t until Sara Waller, 33, took up the Alexander Technique that she really started to feel in tune with her body. ‘I wouldn’t say I hated my body, but it felt like an alien being – something I wasn’t in control of,’ says Sara. ‘I was aware I had bad posture – with a 32F chest, all you could see was my top, not the relatively slim waist underneath it.’ Bouts of back pain prompted Sara to find an Alexander Technique teacher, but she found that the lessons have helped with far more than her back pain.
‘Looking back, I realise that before doing the Alexander Technique I was unhappy in myself and expressed that through my body’ says Sara. ‘As a teenager I hated the way I looked and those feelings lasted a long time. I’ve always been academic – that was my strength – but I remember feeling that although I would never look good, I might attract a boyfriend because of my academic abilities.
The Alexander Technique is not about ‘fixing’ bits that are wrong, but about getting back to basics and using your body in the way nature intended. It’s been a mental process as much as a physical one. You go through layers of understanding and tackle insecurities. I think for many people the focus on their fat stomach or flabby thighs is an expression of the way they feel about themselves.
Its been the most amazing journey for me. After I started doing the Alexander Technique, people asked if I’d lost weight, although I hadn’t. I’ve found it easier to do more exercise because I’m more in tune with that way my body functions and I understand and appreciate how it fits together. The way I carry myself means that I’ve grown an inch and my whole stance is more relaxed and open. It shows I feel confident in myself and my body. I’ve recently got married but I don’t think that relationship could have worked if I hadn’t gone through this process. I see my Alexander teacher, Veronica Peck, once a week and its a key part of my lifestyle: it helps me get back in touch with myself.’