Tanya

Tanya Shoop Profile ImageI love teaching the Alexander Technique. It has fascinated me over the past 20 years and I enjoy working with people to help them see how they can feel better. I’m calm and my practice room reflects this by facing onto the beautiful Brockwell Park.

I have worked with a great range of people – all ages and all types of backgrounds. My Alexander teaching is very practical. From the first lesson, I want people to have things to observe and try out. I believe it’s never too late to improve.

A friend and local yoga teacher, Chris Holt, and I have developed a style called ‘Hands On Yoga’ which is an amalgamation of the Alexander Technique and Yoga and we run various workshops and retreats.

 

Yoga posture

I work closely with my Alexander colleagues at HITE. We commissioned, edited and published a book on the Alexander Technique: Connected Perspectives. This has received international acclaim and has become a core text in many Alexander Technique training schools.

Connected Perspectives book cover

We also go into offices to carry out workstation assessments. Rather than the usual tick-box form that standard organisations offer, we like to provide a more specialised postural service. Here we give a presentation, carry out the desk assessment with our informed postural awareness, carry out some hands on Alexander work to improve posture standing and sitting and take before and after photos.

Tanya Shoop giving specialist postural guidance to someone at laptop

 

Another collaboration is with a group of local practitioners called NESTLondon. We all specialise in pregnancy, birth and post-natal care. We meet monthly to share our experience and ideas and want to offer a rounded and holistic approach to parents and parents-to-be.

photo in park of NEST London team- practitioners specialising in pregnancy

 

I originally started Alexander Technique lessons for back pain. I’d tried loads of treatments and the Alexander Technique was the one that worked.  But it’s been much more than that. My posture has improved immensely, I’m calmer and more confident than I’d ever been before and I can even sing better!

I was really lucky to do my teacher training with Walter and Dilys Carrington. They’d trained with FM Alexander himself in the 1930s and worked with him until he died in 1955. It was a fabulous place to learn, full of laughter. I later gave anatomy lectures to Alexander Technique students at their training school.

Walter Carrington, Alexander Technique teacher

 

It’s a far cry from my office background, working in the NHS and Law Society, but those beginnings mean I’m familiar with the stresses and pressures of a different kind of working life. I love making things, particularly knitting and sewing. I’m in a local Stitch ‘N Bitch Group and a quilting group. I’m an avid reader, have been in a book group for about 20 years. I often have at least four books on the go. I’ve lived in Brixton, South London for a long time and love the community atmosphere there.

Knitting - wool and needles

I really like jokes, especially puns – and I’d love to remember more than one joke at a time!

 

Testimonials

As a musician I have found the Alexander Technique to be an invaluable tool and Tanya to be an excellent teacher – thoughtful, empathetic and unfailingly supportive in helping me to connect with my inner and outer goals.
Charlotte Way, Pianist

Tanya is a very good Alexander Technique teacher. She is patient and perceptive and I have always left her feeling lighter and much more confident and happy about life.
Linda, Drama Teacher

I just wanted to send a quick email to say thank you for the sessions you did with Clara. She seems to be getting on very well so far, not complaining about back pains at all – even though secondary school is quite a full on with homework and activities.
Elena, mother of an 11 year old who had been having back pain

I had experienced Alexander Technique a few years before & decided in the second half of my pregnancy to start coming to Tanya. I was doing ante-natal yoga too – I wanted a healthy, comfortable pregnancy & labour. I found each session with Tanya very relaxed & so rejuvenating. I was surprised how comfortable I found my pregnancy & was waiting for the ‘waddle’ that never came. Even when I was overdue my back still felt strong & Alexander, I feel, helped my body adapt to pregnancy very well. Tanya helped prepare me for labour too & I was lucky enough to have a quick, natural water-birth – the bit before on dry land was particularly helped by the tools I’d learnt from Alexander & yoga.
Rebecca, Actress

You’ve helped me believe that the Alexander Technique can help me more than I thought.  Not only was the pain relieved but I felt more energetic than I’ve felt for ages walking back up the hill (and then did a tour of the park).
A., Teacher

I re-embarked on Alexander Technique lessons to help me deal with tension in my right shoulder. I was also aware, from some sessions a number of years ago and having heard about Alexander Technique during a talk by Charles Harris FBHS, that there might be other benefits, particularly to my riding. Riding for me is a hobby although with a sometime competitive edge! Having largely banished the shoulder tension, Tanya has helped me make real improvement to my riding.I am more able to sit in balance with my horses (each with very different movement), maintain a soft but active contact and remain soft through my back and pelvis to absorb the movement whilst not collapsing through my waist. As any rider will know, this doesn’t happen all the time and not always all together, but when it does it’s possible to understand what’s meant by harmony between horse and rider. It’s magical and what we all strive for.
Jane, with horses Frank and Conor

I was just talking about you to a colleague and wanted to let you know how much I think you helped me!
I think I only had about 6 sessions with you, maybe 4 years ago (?…. time flies by so quickly!) but after doing those sessions with you I noticed a significant reduction in the headaches and sinus pain I used to get almost daily, but more importantly the TMJ I had had for years resolved itself. I had been referred to the hospital outpatients and been given exercises for TMJ but these never worked so I was delighted!
Helen, PA in Structured Trade & Commodity Finance

I just wanted to say thank you for the Alexander Technique sessions – you’re an excellent teacher and what I’ve picked up from the lessons has already helped me a great deal.
Andrea, Publications Assistant

The Alexander Technique lessons with Tanya have been fantastic. I would recommend the Alexander Technique to anyone who works in an office.
Katrina, Banking Co-ordinator

Tanya’s Alexander sessions have contributed to considerable positive life changes for me. I have had a rushed busy working life running my own business. The Alexander Technique has enabled me to slow down throughout the day before and during any activities. As a result of Tanya’s Alexander Technique classes, I am taking more care and attention with my body and enjoying greater relaxation. I am also feeling happier. Recently I helped my partner move house. At the end of a day of moving furniture and lifting boxes , I felt relaxed, happy and realised I had used so many Alexander Technique tools to make that happen.
Andry, Business Coach

Just to let you know that that the Alexander Technique [lesson] really helped me relax and I got the top job!
Text from a pupil after a job interview

Due to moving house I only had 4 Alexander Technique lessons with Tanya, but even in those 4 lessons I learnt a great deal about how my body works and about my posture. Tanya really personalised the lessons for me, taking in account my profession and everyday challenges such as lifting and carrying heavy bags with photographic equipment or keeping my balance and not straining my neck while using my “monster” 70-200mm lens. As a result, I am now more aware of my posture when I’m photographing or when I’m at my desk for hours on end. I don’t slouch as much and I have less back pains. I’d recommend Tanya to everyone in a heartbeat!
Antonina, Photographer

I’ve been having Alexander Technique lessons due to having neck and back pain. I have found Tanya’s patience, support and guidance has been a great help to me. I would recommend Tanya as an excellent teacher to anyone thinking of having Alexander Technique lessons.
Rick, Social Worker

Tanya Shoop Profile Image

Thanks to Each of You – Tanya

I have slept though the night since Sunday and I am feeling so much better. Thank you so much for your advice. I am feeling so much more upbeat and able to cope now. I really can’t thank you enough.
Lisa, broken leg with full cast and prior neck injury who had been unable to sleep properly for 2 weeks and was exhausted

My life had become rather hectic. I had been imposing a punishing schedule on myself and realised that my body wouldn’t thank me for this relentless mix of keyboard work and sport in the future unless I changed some of my habits. Working with Tanya, I learned how to use my body and, indeed, live my life in a much more balanced and controlled way. The Alexander Technique was immensely helpful during pregnancy and labour and is invaluable to me as the mother of a one-year-old. The old habits haven’t gone completely but I think being aware of them is important, as I am able to stop when I find myself slipping back into my old ways of doing things.
Gill, Subtitler

Amongst other things , the Alexander Technique has really helped me to calm my over-active right hand, improving the contact and leading to calmer softer transitions.
Eva, horse-rider

I had suffered from chronic back and knee pain since I was a teenager, due to a lot of cross country running at school during a period when I was growing tall which caused certain parts of me to become ‘off kilter’. I had tried other treatments, but these seemed to be exactly that: I was a passive recipient of treatment rather than an active agent in my own well being. When I moved to London I found Tanya, delightfully located on the edge of Brockwell Park. I liked the idea of carving out this space where I would walk through the park to get there and focus on myself for that time – an easy thing to neglect in the bustle of a city. After my first visit to Tanya, my general energy levels had sky rocketed, and I felt better than I had in a long time. There was no turning back and I could sense just how much it helped me in many aspects of my life – not just my pain and posture. What I like most about the technique is that it develops an awareness about yourself, and you can take steps yourself to correct bad habits. The classes themselves are just starting points, or rather “ongoing points”, as through repetition the right way to sit, walk, stand, lie, climb, look, become habit. I cannot recommend Alexander Technique highly enough and strongly believe that if everyone did some of it themselves from pre-teenagerhood (when generally our bodies are still as they should be) many of the ills – medical and societal – we face today would be dramatically reduced. Tanya is a caring, friendly and empathetic teacher who retains a professional distance, but takes time to get to know the whole you – if that is what you want – so that the teaching given takes into account your individual lifestyle. Try it out…you’ll soon be converted!
Sarah, Film Maker

I’ve been learning the Alexander Technique with Tanya for a year – and it is not an exaggeration to say that it has completely changed my life. I’m happier, calmer, and feel like I have a totally new relationship with my body. Never before have I enjoyed just existing as much as I do now – just standing or sitting is now a pleasurable, relaxing experience. I used to suffer from extreme pain in my left shoulder, but over the past year, this has improved so much. I have tried many different things over the past decade to help with this shoulder pain – physiotherapy, yoga, pilates, osteopathy, massage, cranial osteopathy, strength-training, acupuncture – but nothing seems to have got to the root of the problem in the way that I believe the Alexander Technique has. I can now enjoy playing my guitar or walking – both activities that used to really bring on the shoulder pain – without exacerbating the condition. And I now don’t rely on painkillers to get me through an attack on the rare occasions that I now do get pain. I thoroughly recommend the Alexander Technique to anybody who experiences physical pain, or has in some way a troubled relationship with their body.
Rosie, Singer and Guitarist

Thanks for the lesson. I feel like a new man – very revitalising.
Text from new pupil after a first lesson

My tiredness levels have reduced by being able to move more efficiently.
Peter, Project Manger

Five months ago, I suffered from back and neck pain and was taking very strong prescription painkillers to manage the RSI (repetitive strain injury) in my hands, all brought on by my 8-10 hours in front of a computer. My GP suggested I give up my job. Luckily, a friend introduced me to Tanya. Within weeks everything stopped aching so much. Five months down the line, I am now completely off the painkillers and no longer get any pain in my back and neck. All this seemingly with no real effort. I can’t recommend the Alexander Technique highly enough. It has completely changed my life and enabled me to keep doing a job I love.
Sophie, Policy Advisor