Individualized, high-quality instruction in Alexander Technique, Yoga, Pilates, Posture and Performance
Lessons given online and in-person in West Hartford, CT and NYC.
What is the Alexander Technique?
The Alexander Technique generates greater ease, flow, and connection through the whole body and has been practiced for over 100 years. Often sought out by musicians, dancers, singers, actors, and people with back pain, the technique is truly for EVERYbody wanting more ease of movement, less tension, and dynamic, healthy posture. Learning "AT" can bring unexpected benefits for mind, body, and self-understanding.
I often describe AT as an antidote for modern life and all its stressors. Typical, everyday situations like sitting long hours at a computer screen, driving, using cell phones/tablets, having too much to do in too little time, and juggling various pressures at work, school, and home all contribute to patterns of compression in the body. The Alexander Technique offers an approach to establishing your center, with connections to the ground and the space around you, while contributing to greater receptivity, less reactivity, easeful breathing, and clearer perceptions/thinking.
Quotes about AT:
The Alexander Technique gives us all things we have been looking for in a system of physical education: relief from strain due to maladjustment, and constant improvement in physical and mental health. We cannot ask for more from any system; nor, if we seriously desire to alter human beings in a desirable direction, can we ask for any less.
--Aldous Huxley, Writer and Philosopher
Change involves carrying out an activity against the habit of life.
--F.M. Alexander, Originator of the Alexander Technique
(Educational Philosopher, John Dewey) said that he had been taken by (the Alexander Technique) first because it provided a demonstration of the unity of mind and body.
--Frank Pierce Jones, Professor and Researcher of the Alexander Technique
97% of people with back pain could benefit by learning the Alexander Technique - it is only a very small minority of back pain sufferers that require medical intervention such as surgery.
--Jack Stern, Spinal Neurosurgeon
It is my opinion that every singer and performer should enroll in a course of Alexander lessons. I have personally profited by doing so.
--Barbara Bonney, Classical Singer
I find The Alexander Technique very helpful in my work. Things happen without you trying. They get to be light and relaxed. You must get an Alexander teacher to show it to you.
--John Cleese, Actor
The Alexander Technique works... I recommend it enthusiastically to anyone who has neck pains or back pain.
--Roald Dahl, Writer
Lessons in the Alexander technique offer an individualised approach designed to develop lifelong skills for self care that help people recognise, understand, and avoid poor habits affecting postural tone and neuromuscular coordination. Lessons involve continuous personalised assessment of the individual patterns of habitual musculoskeletal use when stationary and in movement; paying particular attention to release of unwanted head, neck, and spinal muscle tension, guided by verbal instruction and hand contact, allowing decompression of the spine; help and feed- back from hand contact and verbal instruction to improve musculoskeletal use when stationary and in movement; and spending time between lessons practising and applying the technique (also see appendix on bmj.com).
--British Medical Journal study, Paul Little, et al, BMJ 2008;337
GET TO KNOW VANESSA
Vanessa Justice, m.AmSAT, is a nationally certified teacher of the Alexander Technique, a choreographer/director, and a teacher of mindful yoga. She started exploring and training in somatic practices in 1992, completed Hatha Yoga training in 1998, and completed Pilates certification in 2003. She was a professional dancer, choreographer, and Pilates/Yoga/AT practitioner in New York City before moving to West Hartford, CT in 2021. All of her movement teaching and coaching is informed by the Alexander Technique, Laban-Bartenieff, mindfulness, and a sound understanding of anatomy. Vanessa loves to witness profound changes in her students and enjoys guiding them toward easeful movement and freer breathing, with less and less tension, stiffness and discomfort. The Alexander Technique played an important role in Vanessa’s healing process following a serious injury, and she deeply values its capacity to promote well-being.
Supported by a Watson Fellowship, she spent a year studying movement practices in Taiwan, Indonesia, India, Austria, and The Netherlands. She has been a guest artist/teacher at institutes and universities here and abroad, and spent a decade as Adjunct Professor in the Dance Department at Long Island University, Brooklyn. Vanessa brings both breadth and depth to her teaching of the AT, and can assist students with its application to the performing arts, yoga, and pilates.
As a choreographer, she researches embodiment, relational creativity, and the dynamic processes of perception. For more information about her choreography, see vanessajusticedance.org.
5 Star Review on Google:
I am a 70 year old male with an extensive background in martial arts. I just retired from a high pressure career on Wall Street and moved to the Hartford area. At the suggestion of my nephew, who is an actor, I started Alexander Technique (AT) training with Vanessa. The results have been spectacular. By letting go of layer upon layer of unnecessary conditioned tension, I am finding a level of balance and wellbeing that transcends even my experiences in martial arts. I view this as a life altering experience. Vanessa’s sensitivity to AT nuance and her depth of knowledge of movement is truly world class. I highly recommend her."