All posts by Hilary

Alexander Technique ,Vision and our other senses

Do you ever notice your eyes ? Probably only if they are achey , feel dry or maybe if your vision is blurry.

Do you expect to have 20/20 clear vision all of the time ? If you just stop and think about it this is unreasonable. If you have an illness, are very tired or stressed why should you have 20/20 clear vision. Your eyes are part of your body. You cannot expect to have clear vision all of the time.

Start noticing what you are seeing. Your eyes want you to consciously see what you are looking at not think about something else. look at the photo of the roses really notice each leaf and the petals of each flower. It is very easy not to look at the details of what you are looking at. At the same time be aware of your body, your feet on the ground and your surroundings.

Blurry vision happens when the eye muscles are stressed and when this happens people get their eyes tested and they get some glasses. Your eyes then rely on the glasses and the following year you will probably have to have stronger glasses.

Would you like to change this and work towards weaker glasses or even get rid of glasses? To start with only wear your glasses when you really need them. Notice if you have the habit of putting them on every morning without even thinking do I need to wear them. Obviously only do this in a safe place and not when driving. Notice if there is a change in your vision. It may be blurry to start with but this may change over time.

It is also important to use all of our senses seeing, hearing, touch, taste and smell. It is helpful to be aware of all of them. No one sense is more important than another. When you go for a walk be aware of your body moving, feel your feet on the ground and expand awareness all around you. Also feel the wind on your face, see the leaves on the trees, hear the birds sing and smell the flowers.In the Alexander Technique we call this the means whereby being fully present being aware of our body, our senses and our surroundings.

Workshop for the Woodwind MUSICIANS of the Teesside Orchestra and the Silverwood Band

I taught another workshop with a lovely group of people from the Teesside Symphony Orchestra and the Silverwood Band. They played the flute , clarinet, oboe , bassoon and saxophone . We explored the Alexander Technique and how it helps you play in an easier way with less tension and helps you connect to the audience and reduce stage fright.

How well do you move? Learn how to move with ease and less effort at a 6 Alexander technique Course

The way you move affects your body and how well it functions. It can cause back, neck and joint pain, muscle tension and stiffness as well as breathing problems and anxiety.

Come along to a 6 WEEK ALEXANDER TECHNIQUE COURSE with Hilary Cook  to help you become aware of your habits which are interfering with the natural easy way you moved as a child. Learn to be poised and move in an effortless way.

We will explore the Alexander Technique in a fun practical experiential way looking at the Principles of the Technique and Living Anatomy.

To be held at
Skeeby Jubilee Village Hall Richmond Road, Skeeby
Richmond North Yorkshire DL10 5DY
starting Monday 16th September 2.30 pm – 4 pm. Cost £75 payable at time of booking

Suitable for everyone from beginners and as a refresher for people with some experience of the Alexander Technique

Please bring a mat and a few paperback books and wear loose clothing, preferably trousers.

Please contact Hilary to book your place. Mob. 07941526662

Walking and the Alexander technique

How do you walk? Do you ever think about it? It’s quite a balancing act . We all start to walk at about 1- 1 1/2 years old usually with the odd fall along the way. It is very helpful to notice how you walk start being aware of what you do.

So this is what to do :-

Stop Inhibit and Direct.

Expand awareness around you, feel your feet on the ground. Think up your body.

Notice which leg you usually start with – and try starting with the other one.

Fall into a walk – lead with the top of your forehead.

Swing your arms as if you are power walking.

Twist the upper part of your body not your pelvis

Think of the diagonal connection – your left arm and your right leg go forward at the same time. If you swing your arms faster your legs automatically move faster!

Look ahead, not down on the ground.

Use your peripheral vision and think behind you.

When you turn, move the head first look at something ahead like a curious child and allow your body to follow head leads body follows.

Use your senses feel the wind on your face smell the flowers and hear the rustle of the leaves.

Enjoy walking and moving your body.

1/2 day workshop with 3 Army bands

I taught the Alexander Technique to 21 soldiers who are members of 3 Army bands. Namely The Band of the Royal Armoured Corps, The Band of the Corps of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers and the Reme Band. The Alexander Technique is taught worldwide in Music Colleges e.g Royal School of Music to help avoid creating pain when playing, improve technique and quality o f playing, having more stage presence and connecting with the audience, gain more control of breathing, and help performance nerves.

The first part of the workshop was looking at the Principles of the Technique in a experiential , practical fun way including Inhibition and Direction, Primary Control and Expanded Awareness

Playing with Kosh balls being aware of your body and maybe deciding not to catch. Making eye contact as you throw and catch.

Everyone lay in semi supine and found it very beneficial as it helped them relax and ease any back ache.

Semi supine .

We then looked at how people stand or sit when playing their instruments which included a bass trombone, trombones, bugles, trumpets, saxophones, clarinets, electric guitars, tuber, and a flute .

Playing a bugle

Comments about the workshop:-

Great workshop . Lots to think about and do. Thank you.

I feel relaxed. Have a greater understanding of how my body works.

It was helpful to be conscious of how I move standing and sitting. I found it beneficial having corrections to my posture whilst standing holding my instrument.

My 6 week Skeeby Village hall Courses

I have taught three 6 week Alexander Technique courses in Skeeby Village Hall since November 2018 with a lovely group of people.

What do I teach in a course. To start with we look at the Principles of the technique in a very practical and experiential way. How aware are you when you move your body ? We walk and use our senses expanding awareness around us. We stand and see how gravity goes through you. What happens when you stand and sit?

I have studied the Eyebody Method and the Bates Method for Natural Vision so I bring eyework into my courses. We went outside and did sunning in the sunshine and palming then we did some drawing being aware of our eyes. How you use your eyes affects your body and your posture.

We did semi supine most weeks which helps you look after your spine and discs, de-stresses you, relieves backache and more.

Another week we looked at spirals. Groups of muscles which connect through our bodies as we move. We have groups of muscles which connect opposite limbs as well as around the torso.

Another week we crawled which helps backache and is fun !

Why not come along to my next course which is a Day Course at Old Sleningford Farm near Ripon on Saturday 18th May or 3-7 th June I my Residential Alexander Technique and Walking Course in Grasmere. My next Skeeby Course will be in September.

To book please contact Hilary mob.


Did you know that the Alexander technique can help you during pregancy, childbirth and looking after a new baby?

As you get bigger the centre of gravity goes through your body differently pulling you forward and it can result in low back ache, breathlessness and tiredness.

The Alexander Technique helps you cope with the weight of the growing baby , backache, breathlessness and tiredness. You also learn movements and positions to help and ease natural labour. It also helps your body recover quicker after the birth. Be more balanced by standing with one foot in front of the other .

Being aware how to sit is important as you will probably be sitting more than you usually do. Are you aware of your sitting bones and how your spine is aligned?

Here you can see her upper back is too far back so there is some holding, effort and tension in her body.

It is good to keep exercising as long as you can. Going to a gym and sitting on a bench press using weights is a good way to exercise. A gentle swim or walk in the swimming pool would also be beneficial.

You can see here that she is sitting on her sitting bones and her spine is in line. There is no tension in this sitting position she is poised.

If you are pregnant give Hilary a ring mob. 07941526662 to book a lesson to help you with your pregnancy.


Residential Alexander Technique and Walking Course in The Lake District 2019

Monday 3rd June – Friday 7th June  2019

to be held at

The Glenthorne Guest House and Conference Centre Easedale Road Grasmere Cumbria LA22 9QH


Come along and join Hilary in the stunning scenery of the Lake District  to explore the Alexander Technique and Walking. The course starts at 5.30 pm on Monday 3rd June and finishes at 12.30 pm on Friday  7th  June.

We will look at our skeleton through anatomy and movement discovering a more accurate map of ourselves. In addition we will look at the Principles of the Alexander Technique in a practical, fun and experiential way helping you improve your posture, de-stress, ease back ache as well as moving with less effort and tension. The course will run in the lovely  spacious Conference Centre as well as in the garden , weather permitting.

We will also apply the Alexander Technique when we go for gentle walks in the beautiful garden and countryside around Grasmere.

Hilary will be offering one to one sessions on Tuesday 4th June and Wednesday 5th June in the  afternoon at an additional cost.

There will be free time to enjoy the area and just relax and unwind. Glenthorne is just a few minute’s walk from Grasmere village.

This course is suitable for beginners and as a refresher for students of the Alexander Technique as well as Alexander teachers and trainees.

Bring a mat to lie on, a few thin paperback books, walking boots, waterproof jacket and trousers and a rucksack. If you have any walking poles bring them along too and learn how to use them using the Alexander Technique.


All Alexander Technique sessions with Hilary Cook MSTAT a fully qualified, experienced, insured and CRB checked Alexander Teacher teacher.

Four night’s accommodation in twin rooms with full board including tea and freshly made cakes. There is always a vegetarian option available and special dietary needs can usually be catered for but please advise at time of booking.

Most rooms are ensuite. There are a few non-ensuite rooms available at a discount of £5 per night.

12 places available

Cost £440

For further information  about the course please contact Hilary

tel.01748 824160


To book a place

please go to


tel.015394 35389

A £40 deposit is payable at the time of booking and the balance is due when you are on the course.


Alexander Technique and Running

Did you know that you can use the Alexander Technique when you run? It will help you move with ease , improve your performance and prevent injury.

Steph Cook Personal Trainer and Rollerski Instructor  taking part in an Ultra Marathon in Berkshire running with ease and poise completing 50.6 km in 5 hours and 50 minutes in 30 degrees. She has had regular   Alexander Technique  lessons and uses it whilst running leading with her head.  She has had no injuries having completed another Ultra Marathon, 6  Marathons and runs regularly.

When you run you really have to move your arms to help your legs move and remember do not hold anything in your hands it will interfere with your use. ( The way you move ).

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