F.M. Alexander taught his technique to individuals in private lessons. He was a believer in the uniqueness of the individual and the need for personal attention. Today most teachers carry on that tradition.
Although group work is available as a way of introducing the technique to the public, anyone interested in significant change in his or her conditions should plan on a course of private lessons, the number depending on the needs of the individual. A course of about forty lessons provides a solid foundation for most people.
During a lesson the teacher uses verbal instruction in conjunction with manual guidance to help the pupil become aware of those habits which interfere with natural poise.
In addition, the teacher brings about, with his or her hands and with the intelligent cooperation of the pupil, a condition of improved coordination, which is then employed in executing some simple activities, such as walking, standing up, lifting, typing, speaking etc. In this way, the pupil acquires a direct experience of moving better, whereas before, because of unfamiliarity, this would have been difficult to discover by trial and error.
A lesson really begins when the pupil leaves the teacher, because that is when he or she has the opportunity to prevent a return to the old ways of doing things.
Of course for a few lucky individuals, (Alexander estimated about one out of a thousand people), the old way of doing things is of a rather high standard. For example: