What is Alexander Technique?

What is Alexander Technique?

Alexander Technique is a century old form of mind/body coordination training used to help develop poise and to encourage our natural sense of balance and conscious awareness. Through a series of lessons the student learns to move with less muscular effort and with greater ease and mindfulness. It also teaches the person to learn to observe and stop habitual reaction patterns that often get in the way of our own natural coordination. A skilled teacher, over time, uses both a gentle and relaxed touch coupled with clear verbal instructions to guide students towards moving with more natural spontaneity and less effort, resulting in an overall sense of well being. Through this conscious guidance the student gradually begins to feel lighter and more comfortable in their bodies.

As young children we use our bodies with great ease and comfort and learn to move with a natural sense of balance and freedom. Over time, however, these healthy natural movements become corrupted through the accumulation of stress and unconscious patterns of tension. Along with emulating the poor physical habits of others, we tend to emerge into adulthood with bodies worn down by misuse and poor posture. So many of us, throughout the course of our lives, will experience pain, discomfort and injury, but often these injuries are a result, not of our activities themselves, but the manner in which we perform them. The Alexander Technique is a means to using your body more efficiently so we are not injuring ourselves in our daily lives. It is a way of becoming re-acquainted with that healthy body that we lost in childhood.

While not directly a therapeutic method, over the course of a series of lessons the technique often has many healthful bi-products. Among them: the resolution of many kinds of back and neck problems as well as a useful approach for dealing with chronic pain and repetitive strain injuries. With its emphasis on becoming more “awake” in one’s life and body, it is a helpful tool for learning and improving at many sports and skills such as golf, tennis, baseball, dancing, martial arts, acting or playing a musical instrument. Alexander technique is taught at many University level Drama departments and musical conservatories throughout the world including Juilliard and the Royal Academy of Dramatic arts among others.

Because Alexander work deals with such fundamental aspects of human movement and thought, its practical applications and uses are as diverse as the people who study it. Many actors and musicians have benefited from the way it helps distill excess body tension , allowing the performer to achieve greater heights of virtuosity and spontaneity. In addition, improving the capacity of the breath and the ability of the voice to project.


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