Michael Ashcroft

Michael Ashcroft

Public speaking with the Alexander Technique

Let’s talk about one of the most tangible benefits I’ve seen from applying my Alexander Technique skills: dramatically improved public speaking ability. I used to be absolutely terrified of public speaking or of ‘performing’ in any way. I would get huge stage fright, feel intensely uncomfortable, visibly shake and would avoid it as best I could. In late

What problems does Alexander Technique solve?

Urgh. Have you ever seen the purported benefits of meditation? It always looks like someone's trying to sell you snake oil. Find inner peace, be happier, improve your digestion, live longer, sleep better and clear up your psoriasis and irritable bowl syndrome, all from sitting on a cushion! The benefits of Alexander Technique can seem a bit like that. I

The importance (and terror) of the first lesson

During my teacher training (at the South Bank Alexander Technique Centre, operated by Peter Nobes) we would have a guest teacher every month. This has been intensely valuable, because it means that all of us trainees have had access to a multiplicity of approaches and ways of thinking about the Alexander Technique. It was very common for someone in the

Learning to say no: experiments in inhibition

Consent lies at the heart of Alexander Technique. I mean two things by this. One person giving permission to participate in some activity. This kind of consent is vital not just when teaching Alexander Technique, but in all domains of life. The experience of giving consent to respond to stimuli. This is how someone who practices Alexander Technique would work

Learning to pause

Let's run an experiment. In a minute I'm going to ask you to choose an object that you can pick up. This is very important: you’ll need it for the experiment to work. … … Before we go on though: raise your hand if you've already identified that object. I said "in a minute" – I even bolded it! – but notice how