Alexander Technique Centre Ireland Newsletter, January 2018

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Happy New Year

Woodland scene in winter

Welcome to the January 2018 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.

Life is no 'brief candle' for me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.
  — George Bernard Shaw

Featured in this issue:

How to Breathe Book Launches

How to Breathe book by Richard Brennan 2017

The new book How to Breathe was published last September in English, but it has already been published in nine other languages since then: Croatian, French, Spanish, Latvian, Estonian, Cyprian, Italian, Japanese and German. It was the first time any Alexander Technique book was published in Croatia or Cyprus. There were two book launches to celebrate the release of the book: one in the National University Ireland in Galway (NUIG), and the other in the Public Library, Split, Croatia. We would like to warmly thank John Cox who organised the Irish event and Andreja Tokic and Aranka Fortwaengler who organized the Croatian launch and TV interview.

How to Breathe book launch, Richard Brennan, Croatia, 2017

How to Breathe shows you how to relearn your natural rhythm of breathing which can in turn beneficially alter the way you think, feel and act. This book is filled with practical breathing techniques that you can use at home. By applying consciousness to the act of breathing you can become aware of harmful breathing habits which interfere with your breathing, and this will help you avoid them. As we breathe more than 2000 times a day it is important that we breathe as efficiently and effectively as possible.

The book is available at all good bookshops, from Amazon, and from (signed copies available).

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Alexander Technique Holiday in Spain,
24th - 31st March 2018

A view of the mountains from Cortijo Romero, near Orgiva, Spain
Cortijo Romero is a breathtakingly beautiful alternative holiday centre like no other; in a magnificent Andalucian mountain setting; delightful accommodation and delicious healthy food. There's a superb range of holistic personal development courses and retreats, with outstanding facilitators: yoga, tai chi, dance, massage and more - all in 'one of the most inspiring and uplifting areas in the world'.
  — National Geographic magazine
Swimming pool at Cortijo Romero centre, Spain

Learning the Alexander Technique in the wonderful holistic centre of Cortijo Romero is a magical experience and has all the ingredients you need to relax, unwind and rejuvenate. Many people feel that they learn the Alexander Technique far more easily here as they say they can let go of muscular tension far more quickly due to the centre's peaceful location and atmosphere.

Cortijo Romero is situated in the wonderful La Alpujarra mountains, in an unspoiled National Park in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada in Granada province, deep in the south of Spain. It sits at 1300 feet in a fertile valley, within an 800-year old olive grove, surrounded by magnificent mountain views. (Not only in daytime: watching the stars over the mountains at midnight from the roof is a magical experience!)

The bedrooms are simply but comfortably furnished in local style, all with bath or shower, and central heating in winter. Most are singles or twins, with a few doubles. And there is a private swimming pool in the centre of complex which is available to use at all times. All the food is vegetarian, including eggs and dairy produce, using as much local and organic produce as possible. It's a diet suited to the environment - delicious, varied, nourishing and much appreciated by the guests.

Dining outside at Cortijo Romero centre, Spain

The price of the holiday is £710 and includes all course tuition, accommodation and all meals. For special diets like vegan, dairy-free and wheat-free as well as some medically prescribed ones, there is a small extra charge of £17 per week, booked before you travel. You only have to place your £100 deposit to book this.

The Alexander teachers will be Richard Brennan and Glenna Batson. For further information please visit

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Alexander Technique Holiday in Croatia, 19th - 26th May 2018

A view of a Croatian sunset over the sea

Come and join us for a week long Alexander workshop in beautiful Croatia. We have reserved rooms at the beautiful Stacija hotel, Kaštel Lukšić, Split, which is right on the Adriatic Sea and only 10 minutes from Split airport.

View of Croatia

The week is a balanced mixture of an Alexander course and a relaxing holiday with like-minded people. The workshop will run from 10.00am to 1.00pm each day (from Sunday to Friday), leaving you free for the rest of the day to swim, relax or explore the surrounding area. Wednesday is a free day to explore Split or visit one of the many nearby islands. The cost of the workshop is €275 and is booked separately from the hotel. The cost of the hotel starts at €60 per room per night including breakfast. To book the hotel either full board/half board/B&B please visit

View of Croatian harbour town

The Alexander teachers will be Richard Brennan, Aranka Fortwängler and Andreja Tokic.

Aranka Fortwängler became acquainted with the Alexander Technique in 1974 while studying music in Freiburg, Germany. She has been an Alexander teacher for over 35 years and has been the director of the Alexander Technique Teacher Training course in Freiburg since 1989. She was a founding member of the German society of the Alexander Technique teachers (ATVD), and was lecturing for many years at the Music Academy of Karlsruhe. She travels all over the Europe leading Alexander Technique workshops, many in Croatia - her country of birth.

Andreja Tokic is a teacher of the Alexander Technique, physiotherapist, occupational therapist and hypotherapist. She lives and works in Split. For 10 years she is has been involved in the work with Alexander Technique and qualified as a teacher of Alexander Technique in Freiburg, Germany with Aranka Fortwängler. In her private practice close to Split she works with children and adults with neurological issues. Her vison is to build an international center of the Alexander Technique in Croatia where the AT teacher training would be integrated in the work with the children and adults with neurological problems.

To book the Alexander workshop or for more information please contact Richard Brennan or Aranka Fortwaengler To book the hotel please contact:

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Three day workshop with Anthony Kingsley (UK), 20th - 22nd February 2018

Mind and Body Unity

Anthony Kingsley, Alexander Technique Teacher

After training with Shmuel Nelkin in Israel, Anthony was invited to teach at the Barlow's Alexander Institute in 1987.

He has been training Alexander teachers since 1989 and in 2004, he opened the Alexander Teacher Training School in central London.

Anthony is also a qualified psychotherapist and has a powerful mind-body approach to the Alexander Technique. He is particularly passionate about the potential of the work for emotional healing.

Anthony's other lifetime interests include universal philosophy and Manchester United but not necessarily in that order.

He has been privileged to have learned from Patrick Macdonald, Bill and Marjory Barlow, Miss Goldie and Walter Carrington.

His main Teachers today are his students and pupils and of course his 2 children, Harry (5) and Zac (3) who keep his feet firmly on the ground, and ensure he doesn't take himself too seriously!

During his workshop he will share some of his ideas about giving directions and how we can give directions in a way that supports a natural and spontaneous way of being? He will explain how to give directions without trying and what part of the self gives directions.

He will also share his relational approach to teaching and how a teacher can evoke and promote helpful responses from the pupil and how can to avoid activating the fear reflex?

Course Details

Dates: Tuesday 20th – Thursday 22nd February 2018
Times: Tuesday 10 am – Thursday 4pm
Venue: The Alexander Training College, Moycullen, Co. Galway
Cost: €200 for three days or €75 for one day
Suitable for: Anyone with previous Alexander Technique experience.
To Book: Please contact Richard Brennan on 091 555800 or email

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Performer's Workshop with Vivien Mackie (Scotland), 6th - 9th March 2018

Improve Your Performance

Vivien Mackie, Alexander Technique

Vivien is an Alexander teacher and world-renowned cellist who had the rare good fortune to study extensively with the famous cellist and teacher-extraordinary Pablo Casals. The exciting parallels between his teaching and that of F.M. Alexander led her to train with Walter Carrington from 1970 to 1973.

Later on, singing lessons with Angela Caine, and collaboration with her in workshops, opened up a whole new field of discovery.

She draws on her learning from these three remarkable teachers in her work today, and on what she learned from the three year Alexander Training Course she ran in Australia whose students were all musicians.

Course Details

Dates: Tuesday 6th – Thursday 9th March 2018
Times: 10am until 4pm each day
Venue: The Alexander Training College, Moycullen, Co. Galway
Cost: €200 for three days or €75 for one day
Suitable for: Everyone welcome; singers and musicians without or without Alexander Technique experience encouraged to attend.
To Book: Please contact Richard Brennan on 091 555800 or email

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Training Course News

Celebrating Twenty Years

Champagne bottle

It will be exactly 20 years ago in September that the training course started here in Galway. In 1998 there were only 3 or 4 teachers in the whole of Ireland; today there are over 50. So far there have been 44 graduates from the training course helping a wide variety of people to become heathier or to perform better. There will be special anniversary events later on in the year and this will be outlined in the next newsletter.

New Teachers Graduate from the training course

New graduates Grace Park and Richard Kinsella, Alexander Technique Centre Galway, 2017

Congratulations to Grace Park and Richard Kinsella who graduated as Alexander Teachers on the 29th November.

Grace will go back to Korea to teach, and Richard will be setting up in Dublin.

We wish them the best of luck with their new careers. They will both make wonderful teachers and we hope that they will visit us soon.


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

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

Open Week in Galway, 23rd - 26th January 2018 (free*)

Alexander Technique Centre, Ireland, open session

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 see for more information about the training.

Early booking advised as there are limited places for this week. To book a place please call 091 555800 or email

Visiting the Training Course

Informal group at Alexander Technique Training Centre, Galway, Ireland

Although the Training Course is primarily 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, by arrangement, to improve their own understanding of the Technique. It is an ideal environment for those who enjoy learning the technique in a group. You will receive individual sessions as well as join in group sessions on various subjects including standing, walking, sitting and breathing. You can pay by the day or the week.

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

One year Postgraduate Diploma Course starting in September 2018 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 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.

Cost: €995 per term.

Please contact Richard for full details 091 555800 or email

Term Dates 2018

Spring Term 2018

Start and end of term: Tuesday 9th January – Thursday 22nd March
Mid-term break: 27th February - 2nd March

Visiting teachers:
Anthony Kingsley 20th - 22nd February
Vivien Mackie 6th - 9th March

Summar Term 2018

Start and end of term: Tuesday 17th April – Thursday 21st June
Mid-term break: 20 - 27th May

Autumn Term 2018

Start and end of term: Tuesday 18th September – Thursday 6th December
Mid-term break: 28th October - 3rd November

Course hours: Tues 2.30–6.30pm, Weds 9.30am–4pm, Thurs 9.30am–1.30pm, Fri 9–12 noon
NB Hours may change on weeks that visiting teacher is present.

For full details please visit:

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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.

For booking information and further details about the short courses below, please visit our short courses page. Please note that you are also welcome to visit the college for intermediate training. For courses run by other qualified teachers, see also the ISATT course page.

Emmaus Centre, Lissenhall, Swords, Co Dublin
17th - 18th February 2018
Change Your Posture, Change Your Life: Residential Weekend Workshop
€195 (non residential €145)

Cortijo Romero, Orgiva, Granada, Spain
24th - 31st March 2018
Change Your Posture, Change Your Life: Residential week-long workshop in a beautiful holiday centre in southern Spain

Esker Retreat Centre, Athenry, Co Galway
4th - 6th May 2018
Back In Balance: Residential Weekend Workshop
€165 (€110 non-residential)

Emmaus Centre, Lissenhall, Swords, Co Dublin
14th - 18th May 2018
Alexander Technique Immersion: Residential Five Day Course

Stacija hotel, Kaštel Lukšić, Split, Croatia
19th - 26th May 2018
Residential week-long workshop in a beautiful hotel right on the Adriatic Sea
€275 for the workshop plus cost of the hotel starting at €60 per room per night including breakfast

Emmaus Centre, Lissenhall, Swords, Co Dublin
6th - 7th October 2018
Back In Balance: Residential Weekend Workshop
€195 (non residential €145)

Esker Retreat Centre, Athenry, Co Galway
23rd - 25th November 2018
Back In Balance: Residential Weekend Workshop
€165 (€110 non-residential)

Rebro hotel, Kišpatićeva 12, Zagreb, Croatia
12th - 16th December 2018
An introduction to the Alexander Technique open to everyone
Non-Residential Five Day Course

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