I started my practice as an Alexander Technique practitioner 18 years ago and am currently working completely online.
Many individuals have struggled with the current situation of restricted lifestyles, working from home, stress and anxiety, much of which may be pandemic-related. This may have initiated or added to a variety of physical and emotional discomforts. These could be related to slumped posture, back or neck pain, shoulder stiffness, fidgeting and not being able to get comfortable, trouble with breathing or voice work. And our emotions also manifest themselves physically. For example, breathing shallowly, shoulder tightness, trouble with digestion, changes in posture.
I am also an ergonomic specialist and can look at workstation set ups. Working from home doesn’t have to be a compromise. We can look at how to adapt chairs and tables to enable a more comfortable posture. An ironing board can make a handy sit-stand desk.
Whatever the problems are, my approach is to provide a warm, welcoming and safe space to work through current issues, as well as more deeply established injuries or habits. I start with an initial assessment session, where I ask questions in order to get a clear picture of each unique situation, and to establish any medical issues that may be relevant. I help people work towards a sustainable sense of comfort and ease, physically and mentally. We all learn differently and I can adapt how I work for people to get the most out of each session.
I did my 3 year Alexander Teacher training with Walter and Dilys Carrington who had worked alongside FM Alexander himself for over 25 years. I also studied for 7 years with a colleague, Elizabeth Atkinson, who created a specialised course for Alexander Teachers, based on her work as a Counsellor to understand more of what is unsaid and learning how to listen to people at a much deeper level.
I co-commissioned and edited an Alexander Technique book of essays, Connected Perspectives.
I can help with
- poor posture
- back, neck, shoulder pain
- how to move with more ease – bending, walking, standing, running
- breathing issues
- using your voice in a more embodied way
- feeling more confident
- stress and anxiety
- ergonomic desk set up
- how to exercise safely
- ageing with positivity and confidence
As a musician I have found the Alexander Technique to be an invaluable tool and Tanya to be an excellent teacher – thoughtful, empathetic and unfailingly supportive in helping me to connect with my inner and outer goals.
Charlotte Way, Pianist
Tanya is a very good Alexander Technique teacher. She is patient and perceptive and I have always left her feeling lighter and much more confident and happy about life.
Linda, Drama Teacher
I just wanted to send a quick email to say thank you for the sessions you did with Clara. She seems to be getting on very well so far, not complaining about back pains at all – even though secondary school is quite a full on with homework and activities.
Elena, mother of an 11 year old who had been having back pain
I had experienced Alexander Technique a few years before & decided in the second half of my pregnancy to start coming to Tanya. I was doing ante-natal yoga too – I wanted a healthy, comfortable pregnancy & labour. I found each session with Tanya very relaxed & so rejuvenating. I was surprised how comfortable I found my pregnancy & was waiting for the ‘waddle’ that never came. Even when I was overdue my back still felt strong & Alexander, I feel, helped my body adapt to pregnancy very well. Tanya helped prepare me for labour too & I was lucky enough to have a quick, natural water-birth – the bit before on dry land was particularly helped by the tools I’d learnt from Alexander & yoga.
You’ve helped me believe that the Alexander Technique can help me more than I thought. Not only was the pain relieved but I felt more energetic than I’ve felt for ages walking back up the hill (and then did a tour of the park).
I re-embarked on Alexander Technique lessons to help me deal with tension in my right shoulder. I was also aware, from some sessions a number of years ago and having heard about Alexander Technique during a talk by Charles Harris FBHS, that there might be other benefits, particularly to my riding. Riding for me is a hobby although with a sometime competitive edge! Having largely banished the shoulder tension, Tanya has helped me make real improvement to my riding.I am more able to sit in balance with my horses (each with very different movement), maintain a soft but active contact and remain soft through my back and pelvis to absorb the movement whilst not collapsing through my waist. As any rider will know, this doesn’t happen all the time and not always all together, but when it does it’s possible to understand what’s meant by harmony between horse and rider. It’s magical and what we all strive for.
Jane, with horses Frank and Conor
I was just talking about you to a colleague and wanted to let you know how much I think you helped me!
I think I only had about 6 sessions with you, maybe 4 years ago (?…. time flies by so quickly!) but after doing those sessions with you I noticed a significant reduction in the headaches and sinus pain I used to get almost daily, but more importantly the TMJ I had had for years resolved itself. I had been referred to the hospital outpatients and been given exercises for TMJ but these never worked so I was delighted!
Helen, PA in Structured Trade & Commodity Finance
I just wanted to say thank you for the Alexander Technique sessions – you’re an excellent teacher and what I’ve picked up from the lessons has already helped me a great deal.
Andrea, Publications Assistant
The Alexander Technique lessons with Tanya have been fantastic. I would recommend the Alexander Technique to anyone who works in an office.
Katrina, Banking Co-ordinator
Tanya’s Alexander sessions have contributed to considerable positive life changes for me. I have had a rushed busy working life running my own business. The Alexander Technique has enabled me to slow down throughout the day before and during any activities. As a result of Tanya’s Alexander Technique classes, I am taking more care and attention with my body and enjoying greater relaxation. I am also feeling happier. Recently I helped my partner move house. At the end of a day of moving furniture and lifting boxes , I felt relaxed, happy and realised I had used so many Alexander Technique tools to make that happen.
Andry, Business Coach
Just to let you know that that the Alexander Technique [lesson] really helped me relax and I got the top job!
Text from a pupil after a job interview
Due to moving house I only had 4 Alexander Technique lessons with Tanya, but even in those 4 lessons I learnt a great deal about how my body works and about my posture. Tanya really personalised the lessons for me, taking in account my profession and everyday challenges such as lifting and carrying heavy bags with photographic equipment or keeping my balance and not straining my neck while using my “monster” 70-200mm lens. As a result, I am now more aware of my posture when I’m photographing or when I’m at my desk for hours on end. I don’t slouch as much and I have less back pains. I’d recommend Tanya to everyone in a heartbeat!
I’ve been having Alexander Technique lessons due to having neck and back pain. I have found Tanya’s patience, support and guidance has been a great help to me. I would recommend Tanya as an excellent teacher to anyone thinking of having Alexander Technique lessons.
Rick, Social Worker
I have slept though the night since Sunday and I am feeling so much better. Thank you so much for your advice. I am feeling so much more upbeat and able to cope now. I really can’t thank you enough.
Lisa, broken leg with full cast and prior neck injury who had been unable to sleep properly for 2 weeks and was exhausted
My life had become rather hectic. I had been imposing a punishing schedule on myself and realised that my body wouldn’t thank me for this relentless mix of keyboard work and sport in the future unless I changed some of my habits. Working with Tanya, I learned how to use my body and, indeed, live my life in a much more balanced and controlled way. The Alexander Technique was immensely helpful during pregnancy and labour and is invaluable to me as the mother of a one-year-old. The old habits haven’t gone completely but I think being aware of them is important, as I am able to stop when I find myself slipping back into my old ways of doing things.
Amongst other things , the Alexander Technique has really helped me to calm my over-active right hand, improving the contact and leading to calmer softer transitions.
I had suffered from chronic back and knee pain since I was a teenager, due to a lot of cross country running at school during a period when I was growing tall which caused certain parts of me to become ‘off kilter’. I had tried other treatments, but these seemed to be exactly that: I was a passive recipient of treatment rather than an active agent in my own well being. When I moved to London I found Tanya, delightfully located on the edge of Brockwell Park. I liked the idea of carving out this space where I would walk through the park to get there and focus on myself for that time – an easy thing to neglect in the bustle of a city. After my first visit to Tanya, my general energy levels had sky rocketed, and I felt better than I had in a long time. There was no turning back and I could sense just how much it helped me in many aspects of my life – not just my pain and posture. What I like most about the technique is that it develops an awareness about yourself, and you can take steps yourself to correct bad habits. The classes themselves are just starting points, or rather “ongoing points”, as through repetition the right way to sit, walk, stand, lie, climb, look, become habit. I cannot recommend Alexander Technique highly enough and strongly believe that if everyone did some of it themselves from pre-teenagerhood (when generally our bodies are still as they should be) many of the ills – medical and societal – we face today would be dramatically reduced. Tanya is a caring, friendly and empathetic teacher who retains a professional distance, but takes time to get to know the whole you – if that is what you want – so that the teaching given takes into account your individual lifestyle. Try it out…you’ll soon be converted!
Sarah, Film Maker
I’ve been learning the Alexander Technique with Tanya for a year – and it is not an exaggeration to say that it has completely changed my life. I’m happier, calmer, and feel like I have a totally new relationship with my body. Never before have I enjoyed just existing as much as I do now – just standing or sitting is now a pleasurable, relaxing experience. I used to suffer from extreme pain in my left shoulder, but over the past year, this has improved so much. I have tried many different things over the past decade to help with this shoulder pain – physiotherapy, yoga, pilates, osteopathy, massage, cranial osteopathy, strength-training, acupuncture – but nothing seems to have got to the root of the problem in the way that I believe the Alexander Technique has. I can now enjoy playing my guitar or walking – both activities that used to really bring on the shoulder pain – without exacerbating the condition. And I now don’t rely on painkillers to get me through an attack on the rare occasions that I now do get pain. I thoroughly recommend the Alexander Technique to anybody who experiences physical pain, or has in some way a troubled relationship with their body.
Rosie, Singer and Guitarist
Thanks for the lesson. I feel like a new man – very revitalising.
Text from new pupil after a first lesson
My tiredness levels have reduced by being able to move more efficiently.
Peter, Project Manger
Five months ago, I suffered from back and neck pain and was taking very strong prescription painkillers to manage the RSI (repetitive strain injury) in my hands, all brought on by my 8-10 hours in front of a computer. My GP suggested I give up my job. Luckily, a friend introduced me to Tanya. Within weeks everything stopped aching so much. Five months down the line, I am now completely off the painkillers and no longer get any pain in my back and neck. All this seemingly with no real effort. I can’t recommend the Alexander Technique highly enough. It has completely changed my life and enabled me to keep doing a job I love.
Sophie, Policy Advisor