By changing your posture you can look, move, and even breathe better, according to proponents of this century-old technique popular with entertainers. Developed by an actor who lost his voice due to improper posture, the A... more »lexander Technique involves a series of subtle changes in stance and movement that, once learned, are to be incorporated into everyday life. Actor William Hurt introduces viewers to the video and demonstrates the positions and movements. Hurt must truly believe in this method because not only does he allow himself to be an on-screen guinea pig for 74 minutes, but the reclusive actor has also made rare television appearances promoting the video. However much he appears to believe in the technique, though, the Oscar winner displays uncharacteristic awkwardness in introducing and quizzing his teacher, Jane Kosminsky. A former dancer, Kosminsky is well versed in the history and method of the technique as she moves Hurt through head placement, chair work, "the Monkey" (a lifting position), walking, and finally a 22-minute self lesson. At the tape's end Kosminsky warns that a personal teacher may be needed to truly learn the technique, and offers a contact number and Web site information. --Kimberly Heinrichs« less
Fantastic but please go for lessons with a teacher as well.
jon | UK | 11/17/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"My library of Alexander related books pretty much includes everything in print including all FM Alexander's original books and I have been a student for a number of years yet this really stands out.Perhaps its the advantage of the medium (video vs book) or perhaps Jane is just a particularly skilled educator. I think it is perhaps a mixture of the two as I do have other videos which I havent found anywhere near as useful as this.I think Jane has gone as far as possible to explain the technique without actually being there in the room with you and being your teacher.Many videos bypass this potentially difficult area and avoid the "how" bit and are really just introductions giving you enough detail to decide whether you want to contact a teacher - this is perfectly understandable given the nature of the subject but Jane has taken a risk here I think she has managed to achieve the very difficult balance between reaching a wide audience and the responsibility of an educator.I cant recommend this enough.I would add...I feel this DVD is absolutely fantastic !!! If I could give 6 stars I would .I can see why one reviewer said this DVD is worth many books - I am not saying I would give up my entire library of books for this one DVD, but it comes quite close !!Jane's video is the nearest thing I have seen to something which could either reduce the number of lessons you require or perhaps help someone who has had lessons but has lapsed. Even if your teacher is fantastic I would still say Jane may have something for you here in this video.I believe a total beginer should still seek 1-1 lessons ( at least 10 and preferably 30 or more ). If you live at the North Pole or something then perhaps you should proceed alone with the help of this DVD (be careful to really listen) but for anyone else I would say that an attempt at "self teach" even with this DVD is an unwise choice unless you really dont have an alternative. It took FM Alexander 9 years to work this all out for himself - a teacher can help you make the journey in weeks."
Beautiful & Excellent
jon | 01/20/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am a computer person who is about to get disabled due to overworked muscles and bad postures. I tried accupuncture, medication, massage...etc. whatever I could think of, to ease the pain but nothing delievered satisfactory results. This DVD along with "Chi Self Massage" surpassed the all my expectations. The first time I tried the technique I instantly felt the difference and actually felt so much lighter in my neck area. I understand that this is not a quick fix and the technique should be treated and incorporated into your life more like a habbit. You should PRACTISE the theory and technique all the time. But I can guarantee you that you will love to remember what this DVD is teaching, because you feel great. I see myself walking better, sitting better and feeling better. It makes me feel more elegant and graceful too. Also I found myself thinking more positively when I carry my body in the right way. When I have my own kids, I will teach them this technique from early age, so that they can have better postures as a way of life. Thank you."
Subtle, and especially helpful if you've already had lessons
Fred F | CA USA | 12/08/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I watched the Kosminsky portion of the DVD before my first lessons with a live teacher. Although I found that the DVD provides some helpful introductory material, I was also confused by some of Kosminsky's instructions. For example, to let the shoulders "float" over the ribcage, as she instructed, I wasn't quite sure what to do. However, I re-watched the DVD after a few lessons with a live teacher (whom I selected after trying two different teachers) and found that the DVD instructions made much more sense and provided some helpful reinforcement. In fact, I was a bit sorry I had seen the DVD before attending the first live lesson, as I went into that live lesson with an expectation that might have made the teacher's job and mine a bit more difficult, especially as the work is very subtle. My suggestion, therefore, is that you may find this DVD most helpful AFTER you have taken at least a few lessons, or perhaps as a resource if you do not have access to a qualified teacher. At the end of their portion of the DVD, both Kosminsky and Hurt stress the importance of seeing a live teacher and, even with my own limited experience, the importance of this is clear to me as well.
Update: More than two years after my review above, and after a number of additional lessons, I have come to believe even more strongly that it is critically important to see a live teacher if you can possibly do so. If you attempt to learn the technique from the DVD first and then find a good teacher later, I think you will be surprised (as I was) at how even your first experience with the teacher differs from what you learned (or thought you learned) via the DVD. I suggest you consider the DVD as purely optional or supplemental material, relying on it primarily as a way of reinforcing or reviewing what you learn via a live teacher. In this respect, take a look also at some of the available Alexander books. (Ask your teacher for recommendations.)"
Simply the best intro to the Alexander Technique!
Fred F | 03/27/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As an actor and singer, I've had several dozen Alexander Technique lessons over the years, and I learned more from this video than from all the lessons combined! I think a book is the poorest place to start, because you don't get any demonstration the way you do here.The Alexander Technique is a way of life: to profit from it, you must add awareness of how you use your body to your daily routine. This is what an Alexander teacher will try to teach you in series of lessons. This video, however, makes it EASY to do so because of Jane Kosminsky's incredible explanations and the demonstrations.As anyone who has had Alexander lessons knows, you may come into a lesson feeling like you were just run over by a truck, and emerge from the lesson feeling weightless, floating instead of walking. A great way to feel, but oh, how elusive!! One difficulty I had as a student was how to get that "just out of an Alexander lesson" feeling without having to go to a lesson. I think this video will help someone accomplish that, particularly with the "self lesson," which no Alexander teacher ever showed me.I too would love to see a sequel to this video! It deserves way more than the 5 stars I'm giving it!!"
Fred F | 05/15/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This video is a terrific introduction to the Alexander Technique. I found it helped me understand my body's anatomy in a way that I never had before, and the manner in which they show you how to move and think about how you are moving was a real revelation for me. The Technique has improved my once rounded-shoulder posture enormously, and I find I have much less trouble with back pain. Since I bought the video I have had some private Alexander Technique instruction, but I find that I still refer back to the video as a sort-of "refresher course"--in particular the self lesson demonstrated, which is very useful."