Ever since I was young I've
been fascinated by posture.
From reading about “regal bearing” in fantasy books to learning to play the violin I knew it was important. I would force my body into positions that I thought of as “good posture” only to slide gradually back into a slump. As I began playing music seriously and more often, I developed a neck pain that went from occasional irritation to a constant problem. I finally found the Alexander Technique and learned how to have the balanced, sustainable bearing I always wanted. I became passionate about helping others find where they are holding tension in their bodies. After 3 years earning my AmSAT certification at The Alexander Educational Center in Berkeley, I began teaching others how to Find Balance and Feel Better.
WHAT IS THE ALEXANDER TECHNIQUE?
Have you ever
been told to stand up
straight and stop slouching?
This commonplace advice actually makes you put more unnecessary tension into your body, leading to pain and stiffness. I teach you how to perform daily activities like working at a computer, playing an instrument, public speaking, or simply standing up straight with good posture efficiently and without pain. You will learn how to develop your mind-body awareness leading to better performance, pain relief, natural balanced posture, and a more connected experience with your body and life.
Posture should feel good, be individualized for you, and be balanced in a way that makes you feel better and want to maintain it
A properly functioning body leads to a clearer, more effective mind
Being aware of how you are using your body and being purposeful instead of habitual allows you to let go of tension and pain
HOW DO I BOOK AN APPOINTMENT?
To book an appointment select a time from the calendar on the left.
On Saturdays and Sundays I teach in my office in San Francisco. On weekdays I teach in my house in Oakland or travel to your preferred location for a small fee based on travel time. If you can’t find a time that works for you on the calendar please contact me.
SOME FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What happens at a lesson?
Through verbal direction and guidance with my hands I help you realize the unconscious tension present in your body. I use basic activities like sitting in a chair or your favorite hobby to show you a more efficient way of moving. Then we move to table work where you can let go of tension more easily and I use light manipulation and guidance to help you have a new experience of your body.
How many lessons do I need?
The number of lessons it takes to internalize the work is individual. Most people take weekly lessons until they feel that they can stay conscious of their bodies in action and know how to release pain on their own.
How do I practice the Alexander Technique?
The fundamental principle behind the technique is recognizing and changing habits. How do you change a habit? By doing something different. Normally if we experience a problem we immediately attempt to fix it whether it’s an internal pain or an external confrontation. The way you practice the Alexander Technique is by noticing when habit occurs, adding a pause in between stimulus and reaction, and deciding consciously what you want to do instead of reacting automatically.
Where did the Technique come from?
F. M. Alexander was born in 1869 in Tasmania. He was an actor, but he developed pain and hoarseness when speaking that was interfering with his work. After trying the obvious options from doctors which did not relieve the problem he decided that it must be something he was doing while speaking that was hurting him. He stood in front of a mirror and watched himself when he was about to speak. He noticed that he pulled his head back and tightened his throat when speaking. Easy, he decided not to. However habit is not so simply overcome! Even after deciding not to, when he began to speak he still followed his normal habit of tension. Through many years of work he eventually was able to change his habit and decided to help others overcome the force of habit that set them wrong. So his technique was born.
Why haven’t I heard of the Technique?
You may not have, but many musicians and actors have. It's taught at conservatories to help peak performers reach the full extent of their abilities and overcome pain. It is widely respected and practiced in this field, but is less recognized in the general public where it helps people with back and neck pain, tendonitis, managing chronic pain, and being able to do the hobbies they love without continuous injury. My specific passion is helping people have a deeper, more full experience of life and their body and its interconnection with the world around them.
Alexander Technique Teacher
”Steve is one of the most intuitive people I know. His work reflects his unique view of life and understanding of and empathy with other people. I highly recommend him and know you will benefit from his teaching as I have.”
author of Grace Under Pressure: a Masterclass in Public Speaking and founder of the San Francisco Voice Center
“As an actress (my former career) and now as a public speaking coach, I have worked with many Alexander Technique teachers. I highly recommend Steve to anyone looking to improve posture, co-ordination, heal repetitive stress or reduce tension. Steve is an intelligent, thoughtful and skilled teacher.”
Cellist and teacher
“I greatly admire the work of Steve Bollhoefer and I think he is an outstanding practitioner of the Alexander Technique. I am fortunate to call him my colleague, mentor and collaborator and have benefited tremendously from his work.”