Alexander Technique Centre Ireland Newsletter, January 2015

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Snowy woodland scene in evening light

Happy New Year, and welcome to the January 2015 edition of the newsletter. We hope you enjoy it! A special welcome if you are new to the Alexander Technique mailing list. We will not fill up your inbox as you will be only sent an e-newsletter about 3-4 times a year.

Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine and at last you create what you will.   — George Bernard Shaw

Featured in this issue:

Alexander Technique Congress 2015 News

Audience at Alexander Technique Congress

Come and join us at A.T. Congress 2015

To date, more than 600 people have registered for AT Congress 2015, and it looks like the next Congress may well be the biggest Alexander event so far in the history of the Technique. The international flavour is rich, with presenters, teachers and trainees coming from over 25 countries including: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, England, Holland, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Norway, Scotland, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan and the United States of America.

In reality, there are not many more months to go before the event takes place. For those planning to come, and who still have not registered, please be aware that at the present rate of registrations we will reach maximum capacity of the congress very soon. To avoid disappointment, we strongly advise you to register as soon as you can. We also warmly invite anyone with a strong interest in the Technique as well as partners and friends of teachers and trainees. Special workshops will be organised to make these people feel especially welcomed.

This congress will offer more than 134 different presentations to choose from, including workshops, plenary talks, continuous learning sessions and panel discussions with some of the most experienced Alexander Teachers in the world. We are especially looking forward to welcoming Rome Earle who completed a great deal of her training with F. Matthias Alexander himself. She'll have plenty of interesting stories to tell about the man himself. We also have just recently secured Stephen Shaw who will be joining us and offering a Continuous Learning workshop for those who wishing to learn inhibition and direction underwater! (Yes, there's a large Olympic size pool and sports arena on the University of Limerick campus!) Posted on the website are almost 90 different afternoon workshops ranging from daily or skilled activities, working with special populations, human movement science, business skills and the artful practice of Use.

Ninety percent of those registered are staying on site at the University of Limerick campus. This is a rare opportunity in which perhaps the largest Alexander community ever will be enjoying life and exchanging work in a village-like setting. Where else would you get a chance to have an Alexander lesson with someone from the other side of the world before breakfast!

Rooms will also be available where you can sing, play or listen to music, or watch a previous Congress workshop on screen. Special rooms are designated for hands-on exchange work, including special facilities for trainees to relax, talk and work together. There are many cafes on the campus which will be open for casual discussions and friendship reunions. And when you cannot take in any more knowledge or laughter, you can go for a peaceful walk by the River Shannon that gently flows through the middle of the campus, go and explore a castle or two, or go for a swim and sauna in the sports arena which you are welcome to use anytime. There is even a pub or two a short walk away!

Every evening there will be different entertainment including some of the best performers in Ireland. We aim to give the Congress 2015 participants the time of their lives because we feel that a balance of learning and fun is the best recipe for making the knowledge you learn at this congress live on into the future.

Discount for newsletter subscribers

There will be a special rate of €126 (£100) off for everyone on our mailing list who registers before April 1st, 2015. Just enter the discount code is AT101 when registering.

For full details of the programme please visit

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Special Offer: Free Alexander Technique MP3 with every book order

Up to May 1st 2015 we are giving away a free MP3 with every book you order (worth €6.90). The books include:

Back In Balance Change Your Posture, Change Your Life The Alexander Technique Workbook The Alexander Technique Manual Mind and Body Stress Relief with the Alexander Technique (eBook) The Alexander Technique: Natural Poise for Health (eBook)
  • Back In Balance
  • Change Your Posture, Change Your Life
  • The Alexander Technique Workbook - 2011 Edition
  • The Alexander Technique Manual
  • Mind & Body Stress Relief with the Alexander Technique (eBook)
  • The Alexander Technique - Natural Poise for Health (eBook)

To redeem this offer please go to, choose and order a book, then send an email to quoting your order number and a free mp3 will be sent to you by email.

This MP3 is the perfect accompaniment to any of the Alexander Technique books. It lasts for 40 minutes and talks you through a simple procedure that helps you let go of unwanted muscle tension. This will improve your breathing and posture, and in turn can prevent or relieve backache, neck-ache, headaches and stress. It is designed to be used over and over again, benefiting you each time it is played.

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3 day workshop with Margaret Edis, UK / Ireland, February 10th - 12th

Margaret Edis, Alexander Technique teacher

'Getting What You Think'

Over 40 years ago, as a 1st year student, I recall sitting in Walter Carrington's teaching room and hearing him say, 'That's it, now, that is really good isn't it?' I felt around, inside myself and realised that I could feel no great, dramatic 'happening' and replied, 'But, Walter, nothing's happening.' His reply changed my thinking in that moment when he said, 'That's right, NOTHING is happening, isn't that good.' It was the first time that I understood that quietness and ease was a real possibility and that by stopping all the trying I could begin to change - not just what I was doing but at a deeper level, who I really was.

As I began to teach I knew that being quiet was the best way for me. Non doing is not passive. It needs inhibition and sensitivity to the student's situation and their way of responding in the lesson. I believe that inhibition cannot be taught purely by words but only by the teacher's ability to create and hold a supportive space for the pupil and his/herself throughout the lesson. This course aims to explore that field in greater depth.

We shall begin of the workshop by observing ourselves in the teaching forum, without using hands, and then observing the pupil without crowding him/her and in particular noticing how breathing is central to integration. As we move on to making contact with the pupil we explore their need for appropriate space and contact which is individual to each one of us.

Marjorie Barlow said that it is a mark of good work if we notice that the pupil's breathing has improved WITHOUT our ever talking about it. We shall look at breathing in depth, learning what is meant by Alexander's aphorism 'There is no such thing as breathing as such.' In other words that breathing cannot be separated from the whole function of the person - physically, mentally and emotionally. We shall 'play with' the whispered Ah and look at each of the 'guiding orders' in depth - hopefully without losing the lightness and ease with which it was taught by F. M. Alexander in his Training Course.

Margaret Edis trained with Walter and Dilys Carrington and qualified in 1976. She then worked for three years in the Training Course run by Elizabeth Langford and Paul Collins and at that time began working on a regular basis with Peggy Williams - a relationship which continued for over 25 years until Peggy's death. In the 15 years which followed working with Paul and Elizabeth, Margaret returned to work with Walter and Dilys in their Training and went on to become Assistant, first to Robin Simmons and later to David Gorman.

Margaret's background in music was a major factor in her decision to train and soon after qualifying she established a private practice in which she taught many professional musicians. She taught regularly in the woodwind and brass department at The Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester (1988 - 1993) and thereafter at The Royal Academy of Music for 25 years where she had a close partnership with the department of oboe. She has also given courses in the other major English music colleges and still teaches each year at the Conservatoire in Bern, Switzerland. She also taught the Technique for a number of years to the younger musicians in the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain.

During 1986-1988 Margaret was Chair of STAT at a time when there was the huge growth in numbers of teachers. She now lives in County Mayo.

Course Details

Dates: Tuesday 10th - Thursday 12th February 2015
Times: Tues 2.30 pm – 6.30 pm | Wed 9.30am – 4.00pm | Thurs 9.30am – 1.30pm
Venue: The Alexander Training College, Moycullen, Co. Galway
Cost: €195 for 3 days or €75 for one day
Suitable for: Alexander teachers, trainees and anyone who has had 20 or more private Alexander lessons
To Book: Please contact Richard Brennan on 091 555800 or email

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Training Course News

New graduates from the Alexander Technique Training Centre, Galway, Ireland, December 2014

Two new Teachers Graduate from the training course

Big congratulations to Shane Kearney and Niamh Kinsella who graduated on the 3rd of December. Shane will be teaching in Galway and Niamh will be in Dublin.

It has been great to have them both of the course for three years. We sincerely wish them both lots of luck with their new careers! They will both make excellent teachers!


Ever thought of becoming an Alexander teacher? To find out more about this very rewarding career please go to

There is one place available on the Alexander Technique Training Course, starting in January, and two places are coming up in April. You can apply for either term anytime.

Visiting the Training Course

Informal group at Alexander Technique Training Centre, Galway, Ireland

Although primarily the Training Course is for those who wish to train to become Alexander Technique teachers, we do welcome those who wish to visit for a day, a week or even a whole term to improve their own understanding of the Technique. Anyone who is thinking of training to be a teacher is welcome to visit during the Open Week or any other week by arrangement.

For further information see or contact the Centre on 091 555800.


Spring Term 2015

Start and end of term: Tuesday 6th September – Thursday 19th March
Mid-term break: 17th - 23rd February

Summer Term 2015

Start and end of term: Tuesday 21st April – Thursday 19th June
Mid-term break: 18th - 22nd May

Autumn Term 2015

Start and end of term: Tuesday 15th September – Thursday 3rd December
Mid-term break: 26th - 30th October

Course hours: Tues 2.30–6.30pm, Weds 9.30am–4pm, Thurs 9.30am–1.30pm, Fri 9–11am

For full details please visit:

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Open Week at the Training College in Galway, February 3rd - 5th (free)

Informal group at Alexander Technique Training Centre, Galway, Ireland

If you have ever considered doing further training in the Alexander Technique, either for you own personal interest, or with a view to becoming a teacher of the Alexander Technique, then you may be interested in the Open Week at the college. During this week people can come to the college for a day or a week and join in on the sessions.

This week is completely free to those who have never been to the college before, and half price (€95) to those who have visited before.

It is open to all those who have already had some lessons or who have been to an introductory workshop.

Please Note: The training course is also open to those who enjoy learning the technique in a group. You are welcome to join the training course for a week that suits you. You will receive an individual session as well as join in group sessions on various subjects including standing, walking, sitting and breathing.

Please see for more information about the training. To book a place please call 091 555800 or email

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One-year Postgraduate Diploma Course in Galway

Anyone who has completed a 3 year Alexander Technique teacher training course is welcome to apply. The course will include one hands-on lesson each day for yourself; working hands-on with people who have had little or no experience of the technique; how to start and sustain a successful practice teaching the Alexander Technique; and many other related topics such as neuroscience and how to read MRI reports.

Anyone may join for any amount of time, but those who complete the one year course will receive a postgraduate diploma from the Alexander Technique Centre.

Please contact Richard for full details 091 555800 or email

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Short Courses with Richard Brennan

Richard Brennan, director of Alexander Technique Centre, Galway, Ireland

Forthcoming Introductory and Intermediate short courses led by Richard Brennan are given below. Please note that you are also welcome to visit the college for intermediate training.

For booking information and further details, please visit our short courses page.

Emmaus Centre, Lissenhall, Swords, Co Dublin
21st - 22nd February 2015
Change Your Posture, Change Your Life Workshop

Esker Retreat Centre, Athenry, Co Galway
27th February - 1st March 2015
Back In Balance: Residential Weekend Workshop
€165 (€90 non-residential)

Emmaus Centre, Lissenhall, Swords, Co Dublin
25th - 29th May 2015
Alexander Technique Immersion: Residential Five Day Course

Esker Retreat Centre, Athenry, Co Galway
23rd - 25th October 2015
Back In Balance: Residential Weekend Workshop
€165 (€90 non-residential)

Emmaus Centre, Lissenhall, Swords, Co Dublin
14th - 15th November 2015
Back In Balance Workshop

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