Hello my friends,
One of my just-beginning students felt the need to understand what will happen during lessons in the Alexander Technique, in order to fully be engaged in doing the work. Good point! He requested a “how-to” book and I offered two suggestions.
He looked online and wrote back that there were positive reviews of one book, however there was one negative review and he was concerned. What was the problem? Someone – it happened to be a chiropractor – couldn’t understand how to do the process, after reading F.M. Alexander’s own description.
I tell you, it is a thorny issue, because the problem is part of the answer.
The reason that it is so difficult to learn this method from a book is that we can’t feel correctly, what we are doing with our bodies. If that doesn’t make sense, try thinking of it this way. If we could feel what we’re doing that’s connected with our bad posture, we’d fix it. Therefore, the logical conclusion is that our inner sense of our bodies isn’t giving us a true picture.
That’s what this method is all about. Alexander Technique trues up this inner sense so you feel what you are doing in the right way and self-correct. It is a skill that you acquire and can use for the rest of your life.
My (hopefully new student) wanted to understand this process, so I sent him a simple explanation of how it works.
The theory is that as the head, neck and back come into balance and alignment, overall functioning improves. The teacher observes and then works to help you become aware of your movement and posture. You will learn a specific way of thinking in the body together with hands-on guidance by the teacher to prevent the wrongdoing. As you practice this method, you re-pattern your postural patterns both sitting, walking and just as you stand there. Ultimately, you learn to do this for yourself. The process itself is simple. Applying it is the tricky part. That’s where the teacher comes in.
This may not make sense if you’ve never felt an Alexander teacher’s hands guiding your movement very gently, while you suddenly feel like you’re walking on air, effortlessly sitting, standing, or running, for that matter.
Reading a book is good!
Hands-on work with a teacher is even better. If you’re in the Bay Area, come see me for a lesson and find out!