German Village Gazette

Alexander technique

Instructor says class teaches economy of motion

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Amy "Beaker" Prince works on the neck of Jo-Anne Harris in the Meeting Haus in German Village Feb. 6. Prince is one of a handful of local certified teachers of the Alexander technique which is a form of movement re-education that helps reduce stress.
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Even as an instructor of the Alexander technique, Amy "Beaker" Prince has a hard time putting it into words.

She'd rather show people how to do it.

Prince is one of a handful of certified teachers of the technique, a form of movement re-education, in central Ohio.

Right now, she teaches a class, along with yoga, each Tuesday in the Schiller Recreation Center.

Founded by Australian actor Frederick Matthias Alexander in the 1890s, the method is largely associated with actors, dancers and musicians, those who need economy of motion and better understanding of their movements.

Prince, 42, said virtually anyone can benefit from the application.

"It's really useful for just anyone who wants to move more easily," she said.

In essence, people unconsciously learn how to move poorly, from getting out of a chair to standing around at the water cooler.

Those unnatural movements put different levels of stress on the body and, therefore, the mind.

Prince, who said she earned the nickname "Beaker" as a biology major at Cornell University, said she recently became a certified teacher after studying the technique for 10 years, six as an apprentice.

Meanwhile, Prince also is a yoga instructor who also teaches classes at Schiller and the Meeting Haus.

Although, the two are entirely different, she said.

"It's not position-oriented," she said of the Alexander technique.

"Teachers use their hands and words to show direction, location and organization of movement."

Prince said she is midway through her current session at Schiller, but is willing to accept students on a limited basis for about $9 a class. Those who want to contact her can visit her website, yogadirections.com.

Likewise, she is willing to accept students in her yoga classes both at Schiller and the Meeting Haus, where she teaches every Thursday.

She said she is certified at the 500-hour level and teaches mostly at Ohio State University, where she earned her master's degree in somatic arts.

"I'm interested in helping people just get back into their bodies, with a sense of how that affects the mind," she said.

"I actually came through yoga for the body-mind connection."

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