Philippa Castell

About Me

 

I've been in practice in Swansea since 1991, helping people of all ages and abilities learn how to move through life with more ease and awareness.

I began studying the Alexander Technique in 1984. I had been practicing yoga for many years and was  starting to train as a yoga teacher when I first came across the Alexander Technique while on a yoga residential. Alexander lessons had such a profound effect on my approach to yoga, and on my life in general, that I postponed my yoga studies in order to train as an Alexander teacher.

Since completing the 3 year Alexander teacher training course in 1990 I've been running a successful teaching practice in Swansea. In the mid '90's I did further yoga teacher training, through which my interest in the Feldenkrais Method was rekindled during a study of work of Thomas Hanna, who trained with Dr. Feldenkrais.  I'd read Feldenkrais's classic book 'Awareness Through Movement' during my Alexander Training, and was intrigued by his ideas and the parallels with Alexander's work, but had no opportunity to go to classes. When I went for Feldenkrais lessons with Scott Clark in London my experiences were so revelatory and interesting that I knew I wanted to go more deeply into the method. This led me to enroll on the 2011-2015 London Feldenkrais practitioner training course. 

 My interest in movement and the mind/body connection is also supported by many years of meditation practice and inquiry. A wide range of other interests includes Argentinian tango, and I enjoy bringing my movement teaching skills to contribute to the teaching of a tango class in Swansea.  I am a member of S.T.A.T and The Feldenkrais Guild UK.


About My Training

 

I am one of only a small number of practitioners worldwide who are qualified in both the Alexander Technique and the Feldenkrais Method®. These two trainings entail a total of 2,400 hours of class time over 7 years, with at least another 800 hours studying and practicing outside class. I also completed a massage therapy training in 1999 to deepen my understanding of anatomy.

My Alexander training was in Devon (1987-1990) where I studied with a wide range of teachers from diverse training backgrounds. This made for a rich learning environment which helped me appreciate the many approaches to teaching F.M. Alexander's discoveries.  After graduating I had regular ongoing individual lessons in London with many of the first generation teachers who trained with Alexander, all of whom were in their 80's at the time. Learning from them, and other senior teachers, has had a continuing influence on my work.

My Feldenkrais training took place in London (2011-2015) with Elisabeth Beringer and Scott Clark, and a rich mix of other highly experienced practitioners. Most of the trainers I studied with over the 4 years trained with Moshe Feldenkrais in U.S.A and Israel in the 1980's. I am committed to ongoing study and learning from senior practitioners and colleagues.

 


About my Work

 

With over 27 years in practice I have experience in working with a wide range of people, some seeking help because of severe pain, others wishing to improve posture and general well-being. I've also taught many people already highly skilled in movement, such as dancers, musicians, athletes, people practicing yoga and martial arts, to help them further refine existing abilities. 

Experience outside of my private practice in Swansea includes;

  •  Alexander Technique teaching in the music department at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff for over 15 years, working weekly with a wide range of instrumentalists and singers as they went through their degree courses.
  • Delivering Alexander courses for drama students at Swansea Metropolitan University and Gower College over several years
  • Workshops and presentations to groups including Back Care, Mind, Swansea University G.P. training, Abertawe Young Musician’s Festival, European Piano Teacher’s Association, in-house corporate classes, and groups of people practicing yoga and meditation.
  • Close involvement over 7 years with Westminster Alexander Centre, assisting in the organisation and teaching of annual residential courses in Spain and the U.K. and was a
  • Regular visiting teacher on the Westminster Teacher Training course until 2014.

I've taught Feldenkrais Awareness through Movement classes in Swansea and Cowbridge since 2013, and currently offer 4 classes a week in Swansea, with an additional monthly Saturday class. Classes in my home teaching space are limited to 8 participants ensuring individual attention is possible when needed.


 
Feldenkrais Method logo
 

About the Feldenkrais Guild

The Feldenkrais Guild U.K. is the professional organisation of practitioners and teachers of the Feldenkrais Method® in the U.K. Members are graduates of internationally recognised training programmes, which take place over a 4 year period and consist of a minimum of 800 hours class time. Members are fully insured, and are accountable to the Guild's Code of Ethics.   The Guild also promotes awareness of the Method and the continuing education of practitioners.

 

 
Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique logo
 

About S.T.A.T.

The Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique (S.T.A.T.) is the largest professional S.T.A.T.’s aim is to ensure the highest standards of teacher training and professional practice. Teaching members of S.T.A.T. are qualified after completing a three-year 1,600 hour training course. Members adhere to the Society’s published Code of Professional Conduct and Competence, and are covered by professional indemnity insurance.

 


Philippa creates a wonderful atmosphere in her classes - fun, yet also very calm and precise, always encouraging us to explore, to be more present and move more efficiently
Philippa’s way of teaching is wonderfully calm and totally free from any pressure, so the experience of having lessons is relaxing, thought-provoking and very helpful.