What is it?
The Alexander Technique is a method of examining the relationship of the body and mind; the processes and interactions of the body/mind we use to initiate action. Through different exercises and activities, both mental and physical, we shed light on the unconscious movement and thought patterns we create. Some patterns serve us well, and others interfere with the proper integration of volition and movement.
Thus, the Alexander Technique is not about learning how to “do things correctly”, but how to stop ourselves from creating obstacles that make us react unconsciously. The technique creates a space where we can more consciously choose our actions and reactions. Having more mental and physical control can enhance any activity, and for this reason people from many walks of life take lessons: professional musicians, athletes, and individuals seeking to prevent a loss of range of movement or people looking to increase comfort during the routines of daily living
During a series of lessons, a student learns how to avoid unnecessary, habituated patterns through the touch and verbal cues of the teacher so that a more coordinated self can emerge. This new coordination brings with it an energetic efficiency that the student can access in all activities of daily living, both physical and mental, from washing dishes to supervising a difficult meeting.
The Alexander Technique is not only about posture and ease of movement, it is a method to cultivate a heightened awareness of coordination that brings with it an ability to change for real. To change/rewire your mind.
As the founder F.M. Alexander said, It is “The most mental activity you will ever do.”
Who is it for? The Alexander Technique is for anyone with A BODY AND A MIND and an interest in thinking and moving with more clarity and accuracy.
I encourage students to think of it as learning to play a musical instrument or speak a new language. Each of these processes takes time and requires diligent practice, but once you’ve absorbed the skills and made them a part of you, the benefits will last long after you stop taking lessons. For the musician, the instrument becomes second nature, an extra appendage maybe, and for the Alexander student, mind and body no longer act as two, they act as one. One entity to be a more insightful and more useful human in the world.
If you enjoy this kind of challenge and find self-examination valuable, then the Alexander Technique is for you.
The Alexander Technique does not conflict with anything. It is a constructive, conscious manner of cooperating with our true design.
Find out more in the AmSTAT frequently asked questions section of their website.