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West Coast of Scotland -Holiday / Alexander Lesson Exchange

Claire Rennie (first published in Statnews, February 2007).



Over the last year or so, following an Announcement in Statnews, a number of teachers have taken up the offer of a one-week holiday on Jill and Tim Bowis’ farm in the West Coast of Scotland, in exchange for Alexander lessons whilst there. In addition, a growing group of local pupils has got to know about the visits and is very pleased to have lessons, for payment. In all, there have been nine weeks of lessons; return visits and more trips are planned. The balance between holiday and teaching is very much dependent on the visiting teachers. There is no resident Alexander teacher in the Oban area, so anyone wanting to take lessons needs to travel a long way to find one.


It has been a wonderful experience for the pupils, who have appreciated visiting teachers from different countries, each with their individual and personal approach. They are looking for more visiting teachers to come throughout 2007 and so if you are thinking about giving it a go, read on … The following quotes from pupils and teachers speak for themselves.

Kintaline Farm


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Jacob Sheep at Kintaline Farm


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"It’s great to be able to have Alexander lessons here, and what lovely teachers we have had! Thanks to them all and to  Jill who has arranged it. Long may it continue." Midge


"Gosh, what do you say about the Alexander Technique and its teachers? I have done yoga/t’ai chi-like things before but this was quite different. I realise it takes years to master, but even after a couple of sessions I feel I have learnt some valuable strategies that will help stave off potential problems caused by hours of typing!" Liz


"I learned how to deal with the problems in my shoulders to the extent that they are no longer problems. I have taken lessons every time Jill has had a teacher staying. It has been interesting learning with the different teachers and gradually progressing to a stage where I am applying the Technique consciously to more of what I do on a daily basis." Sheila




"From an Alexander point of view it offered several different experiences. Some people had worked with a few different teachers; some were having a first lesson with me; some people had lessons every day. I had been slightly concerned about this last group as I had never worked every day with the same person. I wondered how to make the lessons ‘interesting’! However, once I inhibited these anxieties, I realised that the Technique was going to be all I would need. The view from my teaching room was just gorgeous: lovely plants, fields and the sea in the distance -just the thing to keep the eyes lively! We were looked after exceptionally well -wonderful food and the occasional wee dram. What more could we ask?" Pat Brown


OK, it rained on and off, but the scenery is still stunning, and Oban is a great town to wander round in your free time. I stayed four days; next time I am going for longer!" Erica Donnison


"My strongest memories are working on the table and looking up and seeing the loch and hills through the window, and expanding in mind and body as a result." Rosamund


"I took the opportunity of flying to Edinburgh first, to visit friends, and from there it was a stunningly beautiful train journey direct to Oban. I also arranged to visit Iona for a night, as it is nearby. A form, sent earlier by e-mail, enabled Jill to set up a skeleton teaching timetable and also ensured she knew my likes and dislikes foodwise." Toni


I have visited Kintaline Farm in November, January, April and late June to teach -a wonderful break from London and a great privilege and pleasure to teach such enthusiastic people. Jill and Tim Bowis, the dogs and cats are truly hospitable and welcome all newcomers with open arms!" Claire 


(You can visit the Kintaline Farm web-site at: www.kintaline.co.uk Ed.)


© Claire Rennie 2007




  The Charity for the F Matthias Alexander Technique: Company limited by guarantee and registered in England and Wales No. 3153329, Registered Charity, No.1053863