About the Alexander Technique
Frederick Matthias Alexander, (January 1869 - October 1955), was an Australian actor who developed the educational process that is today called the Alexander Technique – a form of education that is applied to recognize and overcome reactive, habitual limitations in movement and thinking.
“… we had only to ‘come to full stop, and return to conscious simple living,
believing in the unity of all things” ~ F.M. Alexander
What can people expect from taking lessons in the Alexander Technique?
People come for many different reasons. Some come because they hurt and are looking for relief. Some people come because they want to become more proficient playing a sport or an instrument. Some want to have more stage presence while acting.
Verbal and sensitive hands-on guidance
To feel supported towards desired changes in patterns of movement and perception
To learn and experience the indivisible nature of mind and body
To learn skills to reduce physical, emotional, and mental tension and fatigue, whether carried over from the past or over concerns for the future
To have ‘experiential learning’ to develop understanding
To experience a new inner pacing and a new tempo
Improvements are noted in:
Coordination – Eyesight – Listening ability – High blood Pressure – Posture – Voice resonance – Breathing – Depth of sleep – Overall cheerfulness – Mental Alertness – Resilience against outside pressures – Skill in playing a musical instrument.
People can expect to:
Feel light as a feather…solid as a root! Feel how good it feels to stand taller and feel lighter – experience connection – feel grounded – get liberated – Awaken – and experience a new and refreshing sense of ‘relationship’ with yourself, others and the natural world around you!
Olympic level athletes have similarly used the Technique to improve their performance as have leading golfers and business people. Medical studies have shown the Technique to be as effective in lowering blood pressure as the normally prescribed beta-blocking drugs. Other studies have shown significant improvement in respiratory function.
The common factor in all these aspects of life is that how we are using ourselves – the way we do things – affects the results we get. The Alexander Technique is a means of improving that use. It has been called a “pre-technique” which people can apply to furthering their own special skills and activities.. It is also essentially a preventative technique with which we can learn to improve and maintain our health.
“The conscious mind must be quickened.” ~ F.M. Alexander
The individual is the focus of the Alexander Technique. We are all unique, with different bodies, different experiences and different problems. We go about the process of change in different ways and at different rates. For these reasons what happens in a lesson depends very much on the needs of the student at the time. But basically you will learn an attitude of not trying to gain your ends at any cost and at the same time how to prevent your present harmful habits that cause unnecessary stress and restrict your capabilities.
Obviously, since what you are changing are patterns built up over many years, a permanent change will not be brought about overnight. However, the person who learns to stop and take time, to think constructively about how he/she uses him/herself in everyday life will find that this simple procedure can have far reaching results.
Although the Alexander Technique has therapeutic value, the effects are not brought about by treatment or manipulation. Your own learning process will bring about an increased awareness of the freedom to change. Further information about the Alexander Technique is best gained from a teacher near you as your changing experiences through lessons are the only real way to understand what is possible. (ATI)