A footballer’s wife, a fish, a nonagenarian and Fred!
What do Victoria Beckham, John Cleese, Hugh Jackman, and Elisabeth Walker have in common? You may not recognise Elisabeth Walker’s name as readily as the others, but they really are all linked by an intriguing fact! Obviously not their age as Elisabeth was in her late 90’s when she died. Could it be something as simple as their fame? Ah, but was Elisabeth famous? Yes, she appeared on BBC Radio 4 and many times on YouTube but fame is not the link! I can help you out…
- Victoria Beckham used it for walking with ease in high heels and avoiding a “hunchback look”
- John Cleese did a striptease using it (in A Fish called Wanda) and says it’s about things happening without trying
- Hugh Jackman tells us he uses it to experience incredibly good posture and relaxation, (in fact he thought it was so great he employed a teacher of this to travel with him)
Guessed it? They have all learned the Alexander Technique! Ah, yes but where does Elisabeth fit in? This petite lady was the most lively and intelligent woman you could imagine and taught & practiced the Alexander Technique for 70+ years! The Alexander Technique restores the natural poise that people enjoyed as young children by improving body alignment and teaching a more effective and effortless way to move. Elisabeth was a perfect example of this.
People with rounded shoulders and poor posture look older than they actually are. Indeed this was what Victoria Beckham wanted to avoid. Instead she chose to learn The Alexander Technique and gain graceful poise, much more fluid movement and increased confidence. She knew that this would contribute to making her look and feel younger which is so important to her profession.
The Alexander Technique also helps to improve your general health and prevent a range of ailments including backache, stress and tiredness, by releasing tension and by restoring balance. It is recommended by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Evidence (NICE) as the only therapy to help in the treatment of people with Parkinson’s, by easing day-to-day movements and decreasing the speed at which symptoms worsen.
Elisabeth working with pupil
Elisabeth attributed her youthfulness and poise to learning The Alexander Technique (and how to teach it) from Frederick M. Alexander, an Australian actor. Alexander developed the technique (in the late 19th Century) to cure a problem he had whilst speaking but discovered that this needed the involvement of both the way he thought and moved. The technique takes a number of sessions to learn but has many benefits, including improving posture and therefore looking and feeling younger. I had the privilege of meeting Elisabeth and having lessons from her as part of my Alexander Technique teacher training and was saddened to hear she had died around the time I was writing this article. I will never forget her zest for life and the technique. I will also never forget all the things I learned from her during those sessions and how wonderful I felt after lessons from her!
You too can benefit from the Alexander technique! Contact me or give me a call, 01759 307282 to make an appointment.
Jane Clappison, Certified Alexander Technique teacher based in Pocklington, East Yorkshire.
Tel:- 01759 307282