A change of technique

The Alexander method was the answer to one man's job search. By Kim Thomas

In 1983, Julian Fuller was at a crossroads in his life. Two years earlier, he had taken a sabbatical from the printing business he'd successfully built up in Australia, and, while he was away, his business had run into problems. Up to that point, Mr Fuller hadn't had a strong sense of vocation. His first plan, when he left school, was to become a metallurgist, but he soon lost interest. He took on a variety of temporary jobs while spending each summer travelling, and in 1973, his travels took him to Australia, where he decided to stay. In 1977 he started his own printing business on "virtually no capital" and built it up from scratch. Within four years it had an annual turnover of A$450,000.

But after a series of crises, including having to sell what remained of his business, and illness, Mr Fuller started to become interested in the Alexander Technique. He'd heard about it on a radio programme by one of the authorities on the technique, Wilfred Barlow, and it had struck a chord.

Back in Britain, Mr Fuller started taking Alexander classes intensively. It was already having a profound effect on his life. "It was for me the most powerful and obvious way of finding health and well-being. I found myself becoming stronger physically and clearer in my mind." The idea of teaching the technique began to take hold. "Anybody who could have these marvellous effects on me had something that I really wanted to have myself." In 1985 he returned to Australia and enrolled on a training course.

The training was lengthy: 1600 hours over three years. People tend to assume that it's simply a way of improving posture, says Mr Fuller. In fact, it's a way of adjusting the way you use your body in daily life so that you improve your physical and mental well-being. Mr Fuller says it is "a way of learning to go about your daily activities without causing yourself the tensions and stresses that modern life tends to bring about."

Alexander teachers work with students on a one-to-one basis, helping them to get rid of ingrained bad habits, and training them to sit, stand and walk all over again, and it's popular among actors and singers.

Mr Fuller now teaches at London's Bloomsbury Alexander Centre, where he has found an increasing demand for his skills, particularly among stressed office workers. "People feel a lot better in themselves after starting the technique. They feel healthier, stronger, less likely to get tense and irritable."

Mr Fuller has no regrets about his decision, though he warns that "Alexander teachers will only ever make a living." But there are plenty of other rewards. "There are Alexander teachers in their eighties and nineties who have tremendous enthusiasm because they're still discovering new things," he says. "You're talking about the use of yourself - it's not something that you ever want to stop investigating."

If you are interested in learning how to become an Alexander teacher, the Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique will be able to provide you with a list of courses.

Suggested Topics
New Articles
tvDownton Abbey Christmas special
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
News
peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
Arts and Entertainment
Left to right: Stanley Tucci, Sophie Grabol and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvSo Sky Atlantic arrived in Iceland to film their new and supposedly snow-bound series 'Fortitude'...
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Kellie Bright as Linda Carter and Danny Dyer as Mick Carter

EastEnders Christmas specials are known for their shouty, over-the-top soap drama but tonight the show has done itself proud thanks to Danny Dyer.

Arts and Entertainment
Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald in the Doctor Who Christmas special
tvForget the rumours that Clara Oswald would be quitting the Tardis
Arts and Entertainment
Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi showing a small mascot shaped like a vagina
art
News
The Queen delivers her Christmas message
newsTwitter reacts to Her Majesty's Christmas Message
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Life and Style
fashion
Sport
sport
Arts and Entertainment
Call The Midwife: Miranda Hart as Chummy
tvCall the Midwife Christmas Special
Sport
Laura Trott and Jason Kenny are preparing for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow
sport
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Bruce Forsyth with Tess Daly in the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special
tvLouis Smith wins with 'Jingle Bells' quickstep on Strictly Come Dancing's Christmas Special
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Latest stories from i100
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

Ashdown Group: 1st Line IT Support - Surrey - £24,000

£20000 - £24000 per annum + training: Ashdown Group: Graduate IT Support Helpd...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Audit Assistant

£19000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Audit Graduate Opportunities ar...

Guru Careers: Graduate Marketing Analyst / Online Marketing Exec (SEO / PPC)

£18 - 24k (DOE): Guru Careers: A Graduate Marketing Analyst / Online Marketing...

FDM Group: Business and Technical IT Consultants – London, Manchester, Glasgow

21,000-24,000: FDM Group: Kick-start your career and join FDM’s award-winning ...

Day In a Page

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there