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
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: At SThree, we like to be differe...

Guru Careers: Graduate Account Executive / Digital Account Executive

£20k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Graduate Digital Account Exec ...

SThree: Graduate Recruitment Resourcer

£20000 - £22500 per annum + OTE £30K: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: At SThree, we like to be differe...

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk