Overview of the Alexander Technique
the many different activities of our lives. During the first couple of years
of life we used ourselves beautifully. This photograph (from Michael Gelb's
excellent introductory book Body Learning) is a nice illustration of the
natural integrity of the head, neck and back that we had as young children.
As we continue through life most of us acquire a variety of habits of misuse:
habits of tension that interfere with the good use with which we started. Some
of these habits originate in the unconscious imitation of the posture, carriage
and movement of others around us. Others involve unnecessary tension
associated with the response to the many forms of stimuli encountered daily:
tensing the neck and back when rushing, tightening arms and shoulders while
driving or working at the computer, etc.
Poor posture and pain in the neck, back and shoulders often result from the
cumulative effect of these habitual patterns and a lack of awareness of how
we're using ourselves as we're going about our lives.
Lessons in the Alexander Technique provide the means to restore the good use
with which we began our lives. During a lesson the teacher instructs the pupil,
both verbally and with gentle hands-on guidance, to learn how to perform such daily
activities as standing, sitting, bending and walking with greater and greater ease,
balance and poise. With each lesson the pupil's awareness grows along with
the ability to unlearn existing habits of tension and prevent the formation of new ones.
Less is more
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