Beret Arcaya has been my Alexander Technique teacher for almost two years, and I eagerly endorse her teaching. She combines patience, empathy, integrity, insight, humor, compassion, and intelligence with a wisdom that comes from experience as she embodies the rigorous honest standard of self-examination that she teaches. Her lifelong passion for vocal excellence, informed both by Garcia’s method and by her training with top first-generation Alexander teachers, makes Beret perhaps the most authentic teacher of the Technique alive today, in the sense that she is able to use the full range of behaviors that led Alexander to his great discoveries, including of course sight and touch, but also the uniquely human faculty of voice as a deep manifestation of what makes us individuals. This complete set of tools was critical to Alexander’s own story as he makes clear in his books, but has been all but forgotten in the passage of time and in our end-gaining culture of fragmented systems of “healing” (including, sadly, much of what is now practiced under FM’s name). I consider myself eminently fortunate to have the opportunity to learn from Beret’s genius and to experience her deeply caring humanity.Robert S.
Five years ago I was physically and emotionally stooped. My neck and shoulders hurt terribly, the tingling in my fingers was constant, and my elbow and wrist hurt after long periods of walking, standing or sitting. I approached the suggestion of Alexander lessons with caution and skepticism. But Beret Arcaya quickly won me over with her remarkably articulate explanation of how and why the Alexander approach would help me, if I was willing and able to change. We have been a remarkably effective team—I am tempted to say a life-saving team. Beret taught me how my life-long physical actions and my emotional reactions produced pain, and taught me the awareness and techniques to counteract and prevent the pain. Five years ago I thought I was doomed to a restricted, handicapped life. Today, at age 72, I work full-time in a high-stress profession, travel extensively, walk vigorously to and from work—three miles a day—and shoot baskets on the week-end.Ernest B.
As a personal trainer with over 18 years of experience on the upper east side in NYC, I grew increasingly disenchanted with the whole modern ‘gym’ experience. Sensing that the methods that I had been taught and that were accepted as healthy were increasingly harmful to my clients, I began to search for a safer, saner way to work out. The Alexander Technique was just that way. And with Beret’s laser-like ability to get to the essence of the myriad problems that I have faced with my clients, she has helped me transform their workouts to the point where they achieve strength and fitness, but, more importantly transform the overall usage of their bodies. Where workouts were once repetitions of sets and reps with all the new wrinkles thrown in, they become mindful exercises bringing increasing levels of awareness to each trainee’s patterns of use, always focusing on the freedom of the head and neck, and lengthening of the spine. This gives them wonderful balance in their everyday life as well. My clients strength, flexibility, and ease of use have increased beyond what I and they could ever have imagined thanks to Beret’s patient and insightful work with me.John M.
Studying the Alexander technique has profoundly changed me in every way. As an artist and performer it has given me a physical awareness and facility that was previously not attainable but the work is much deeper than that. It has also given me an internal emotional and psychological stability that has allowed me to face challenges, be more myself and to truly integrate all the parts of my life.Alyson P.