March 10 2011
For longer than I care to remember – let’s just say it’s more than a decade – I have been one of Noël Kingsley’s most regular and devoted clients. In that time Kingsley (pictured), who is one of London’s foremost practitioners of the Alexander Technique, with a client list that includes some very well-known names indeed, has not only improved my posture and mitigated the effects of spending most of my day slouched in front of my iMac, but helped to sort out various muscle-related maladies including whiplash and a torn knee ligament (sustained in my only foray onto the ski slopes).
The technique, which was originally developed to help actors better project their voice and presence on stage, relies on subtle exercises to realign the body and make it function more efficiently. What I love most about AT is that after a 40-minute session, I seem to glide effortlessly through the day, ticking off all the things on my “to-do” list that I’ve been putting off for ages.
I am no longer based in London and cannot get to see Kingsley as often as I used to, but his just-launched book, Free Yourself From Back Pain: A Guide to the Alexander Technique (Kyle Cathie, £14.99), is, I’ve discovered, the perfect aide-mémoire to the basic principles of the technique and the simple exercises that you can do at home to recreate its benefits.
And on that note, I’m off to lie on the floor for five minutes with my knees bent and an 8cm stack of books under my head…