The Alexander Technique is a way of helping yourself to move and live more freely.
It develops an individual’s embodied awareness and helps people maintain more harmony and balance in their mind, body and emotions. It helps change unhelpful habits.
The Alexander Technique has become known as ‘good posture for bad backs’, and it has been proven to significantly help back, and other, pain, long term by improving overall postural tone.
Developing subtle mind-body connections however offers many other benefits- you don’t need to have pain to benefit from learning it!
Benefits include a feeling of ease, lightness and calm. Pupils also report improved breathing, better digestion and improved flexibility.
Principles of the Alexander Technique
whole, not parts
“Is my shoulder pain related to how I use my hands, or my attitude to something?”
The Alexander Technique aims to improve how well we function as a whole, not to cure or treat any specific ailment. We are integrated beings with thoughts, bodies and emotions, and everything is connected.
faulty sensory awareness
“How can I learn to move differently if I don't know what 'good' feels like?”
Our awareness of our bodies depends on how they are habitually used. What feels normal and right may only do so because it is how we usually are. How can we improve our proprioception?
“If I slowed down, or did something differently, what would I discover?”
Sometimes we have to get things done. How? Instead of always aiming for the ‘end’, or goal, the Alexander Technique stresses the importance of paying attention to the process along the way.
“How alert am I to my choices in each moment, and how much freedom do I have in my responses? My phone is ringing – am I tensing? Do I want to answer it?”
We can develop some conscious choice in how we react to stimuli around us.
experience, not theory
It is hard to describe the taste of chocolate in words to someone who has never tasted it; it is the same with the Alexander Technique.
“Allow your body to work as nature wishes”
F. M. Alexander
“Once you are quiet things begin to happen”
Who was Alexander?
The Alexander Technique was developed by an actor called F.M. Alexander in the 1890s. Alexander suffered from recurrent vocal and respiratory problems during his performances, and many doctors could offer no cure other than ‘rest’. He realised that the cause of his problems were his own habits, especially the tendency to hold unnecessary tension in his body and ‘fight’ gravity.
Alexander taught himself, through awareness, thought and action, to prevent these tensions. He discovered an improvement in his posture, breathing and general wellbeing, as well as state of mind. He used his hands to teach what he had learnt and trained teachers across the world.