Alexander Technique Centre Ireland Newsletter, September 2013

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Welcome to the September 2013 edition of the newsletter. We hope you enjoy it! A special welcome if you are new to the Alexander Technique mailing list. You will be sent an e-newsletter about 3-4 times a year.

The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.  — Albert Einstein

Featured in this issue:

New Book for Back Pain Sufferers by Richard Brennan

Cover of Back in Balance by Richard Brennan

Back in Balance: Use the Alexander Technique to Combat Neck, Shoulder and Back Pain

This practical life-changing book offers simple awareness exercises to alleviate neck and back pain and suggests effective ways to avoid suffering by making small lifestyle changes.

Back pain has now reached epidemic proportions with millions of people across the globe experiencing severe muscular pain – in fact, over 4 million people input 'lower back pain' into Google every month. Many are suffering unnecessarily, as the root cause of their pain stems primarily from poor postural habits while performing everyday actions. But help is at hand with Back in Balance, an easy-to-understand practical book designed to help readers discover the cause of their own individual back problem and offer them an effective and lasting solution to their suffering. This essential guide draws on many of the principles of the Alexander Technique, a practical way of releasing muscular tension throughout the body.

  • Easy-to-read text complemented by fact panels, tips and quick-reference summaries
  • Illustrated with explanatory photographs
  • Essential reading for back-pain sufferers, doctors, physiotherapists and those involved with complementary therapies

Helping you to discover how your posture and movements may be having a detrimental effect on your health, this guide offers simple but effective ways of reducing muscular tension and stress on the bones and joints – and making your life pain free.

Published by Watkins Publishing. Available in all good bookshops or you can order here:

5 New Alexander Teachers Graduate from the Training Course

New Alexander technique teachers from Ireland, summer 2013

Congratulations to Sue Taylor, Kathy Diviney, Brian Cleary, Tomas Hardiman, and Peter Barker who recently graduated from the Alexander Technique Training course in Galway. We wish them the very best of luck in their new Career. The graduation took place at the 11th century Aughnanure Castle near Oughterard and celebrations took place at Brigit's Garden in Rosscahill and later at the West restaurant at the Twelve Hotel. The evening rounded off with a music session in Barna. The music, laughter and dance lasted into the small hours of the next day.

The 10th International Alexander Technique Congress 2015 to be held in Ireland

International Alexander Technique Congress 2015 in Ireland

After the great success of the Alexander Convention in March it has just been decided that the International Congress of the Alexander Technique will be held in the University of Limerick from the 9th to 15th August 2015. The International Congresses are a forum for workshops and presentations which bring teachers together to exchange work, knowledge, and experiences of the Technique. They have been running every few years since 1986. We are hoping to attract over 600 Alexander teachers, students and those who are interested in the Technique. Some of the most experienced teachers from all over the world will be giving lectures and practical workshops. It will be the first time the congress will be held in Ireland. Please see for further information, and if you register your interest there you'll be kept informed.

School Chairs Campaign News

Find out about our School Chairs Campaign

Nearly all schools in Ireland use backward sloping chairs and flat desks of fixed height - a major cause of back problems schoolchildren and also years later in adults - yet the Department of Education has been turning a blind eye to the problem since 1998. The existing standard for school chairs is that the part you sit on may range in slope between -5° (5° backward) and +5° (5° forward).

Recently the European Standards Commission were in the process of introducing a new draft standard (Draft document: prEN1729 1 2012, bottom of page 13, enquiries to CEN) stipulating that the base of all school chairs would be able to slope backwards by as much as 10 degrees. This would have been a disaster for children's backs. Fortunately this decision was overturned at a recent meeting in Copenhagen (10th and 11th July 2013), after contributions from two delegates from Ireland (Richard Brennan together with Simon Dennehy of After this meeting, the original limit of -5 degrees was reinstated and an additional 2° was added to the allowable forward tilt, so the range is now -5° to +7°. While a -5 degrees of backward tilt may be suitable for double-sloped chairs, it is definitely not good when the angle is uniform. This proposed policy reversal is a step in the right direction, but the campaign continues.

Many thanks to STAT and ISATT for helping with travelling expenses.

This campaign really needs your support! Please sign the petition here: Thank you!

Training Course News

Informal group at Alexander Technique Training Centre, Galway, Ireland

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 September, and one place at Christmas. You can apply for either term anytime.

Visiting the Training Course

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.


Autumn term 2013

Start and end of term: Tuesday 17th September – Thursday 5th December
Mid-term break: 28th October - 3rd November
Visiting teachers: Anne Battye (UK), 8th - 11th October and Trish Hemingway (UK), 3rd - 5th December

Course hours: Tues 2.30–6.30pm, Weds 9.30am–4pm, Thurs 9.30am–1.30pm, Fri 9.30–11am
Please note: Visiting teacher weeks hours are 10am – 4pm.

For full details please visit:

Open Week at the Training College in Galway, November 12th - 15th (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 a group session 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

NEW one-year postgraduate diploma course starting September 2013 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

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.

Lavistown House, Centre for Creative Living, Lavistown, Co Kilkenny
14th September 2013
The Alexander Technique - One Day Introductory Workshop

The Three Towers, Slieve Aughty Centre, Kylebrack West, Loughrea, Co Galway
6th October 2013
One Day Introduction to the Alexander Technique at Horse Riding Centre

Emmaus Centre, Lissenhall, Swords, Co Dublin
12th - 13th October 2013
Change Your Posture, Change Your Life - Residential Weekend Workshop

National University of Ireland, Newcastle, Galway
16th + 30th November 2013
Change Your Posture, Change Your Life - Two Day Workshop

| Tel: + 353 (0)91 555800 | Email:
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