What is Shaw Method?
Shaw Method applies the principles of Alexander Technique to swimming. Alexander Technique will teach you to use your body and mind without strain. Put simply, this is what Shaw Method also seeks to achieve, in the water.
Shaw Method teaches greater body awareness, strengthens the relationship between mind and body, promotes freedom of movement, and helps to prevent strain and injury.
Shaw Method is appropriate for you, whatever your ability. It is especially beneficial for: confidence building, the learning of new strokes, improving performance, enhancing the enjoyment of water, and if you are suffering or recovering from neck and back pain.
You can learn Shaw Method with a series of private lessons or as part of a weekly group class. We also offer day and half-day workshops focusing on a particular stroke, and swimming holidays.
What’s the difference between Shaw Method and other methods of teaching swimming?
Shaw Method is swimming, but not as you know it. Our teachers do not stand on the poolside and bawl instructions at you. Nor do they wield a large pole or encourage reliance on any kind of buoyancy aid.
Our teachers work in the water where they are able to provide clear demonstrations, communicate easily, and offer you guidance and support. You will be encouraged to explore your relationship with water and to discover your own natural buoyancy. Most of our lessons are conducted in warm, shallow pools where you will be comfortable and in your depth.
As part of an Art of Swimming lesson you will get detailed feedback and have the option to be filmed, an invaluable aid to your growing awareness in the water.
We offer dry land practices too, which may seem a little strange at first: swimming out of the water?! But you will find these sessions are an invaluable aid in underpinning new patterns of movement.
Shaw Method is the only method of swimming based on the Alexander Technique. The emphasis in our approach is on the quality of the experience. This contrasts with traditional methods where the focus is on distance and speed.
Our teachers are continuously trained and assessed in Shaw Method and in working with adults and children (traditional swimming teaching focuses almost exclusively on children ’s lessons).
You can choose to have private lessons or learn in a small group class.
What is the history of Shaw Method?
Shaw Method can trace its origins to 1987 when two Alexander Technique trainees started to explore the experience of swimming from a new perspective. Steven Shaw, a former competitive swimmer, and Limor Shaw, a professional basketball player, experimented with applying Alexander Technique principles to swimming.
Steven and Limor completed their Alexander Technique training in 1990 and continued to develop their approach to swimming. They found that the greater body awareness fostered by Shaw Method increased the benefits of swimming and enabled their pupils to transform their relationship with the water.
In 1996 Steven wrote his first book, Art of Swimming, with Armand D’Angour and two years later produced the first Art of Swimming film. The demand for lessons in the Shaw Method was so strong that in 1998 Steven began training other swimming teachers to work with him. He set up Art of Swimming in 1994.
Today, Steven is based in the UK, and teaches Shaw Method around the world. Limor teaches Shaw Method in Israel.