The Alexander Technique
The Alexander Technique is a practical discipline based on the unity of
body and mind: what goes on in your mind affects your body and what
goes on in your body affects your mind. Therefore, by altering your
thinking through observation, inhibition and direction, you can change
your habitual way of moving, of experiencing your physical being, and
of relating to the world around you.
Because the Technique is difficult to describe in words, sometimes it is easier to define it in terms of what it is NOT, as the following paragraph indicates.
The Alexander Technique is not what is commonly thought of as:
- bodywork, although when you get bodywork and are practicing the
Alexander Technique, the bodywork has longer lasting results
- exercise, but your exercise will have greater benefit and less likelihood
of injury if you are practicing the Alexander Technique
- a form like yoga or one of the martial arts, but these forms have
greater effect when practicing the Alexander Technique
- a relaxation technique, although once you let go of excess tension,
you may feel the result as relaxation
- a posture study, yet by practicing the Alexander Technique, your posture will improve.
Yet as the paragraph shows, the Technique complements these and all
your activities. Indeed, applying the principles of the Alexander Technique changes
your psycho-physical being at a very deep level, and thus can affect all that
you do, from the simplest daily activity, such as brushing your teeth, to sitting, standing, and walking, to the most complex of performance and athletic activities.
A session with an Alexander teacher is called a lesson, not a treatment,
because you are an active participant in the process and learn gradually to help yourself toward a
It is a form of re-education, since most of us were born with the capacity for freedom and ease of movement, and exhibited these qualities until about the age of two, when socialization and other factors intervened.
Using gentle, non-manipulative, non-invasive touch and verbal instruction, an Alexander
teacher guides you into greater awareness of how your body is designed to function and how you might be interfering with that design. You are then given the choice to change your habitual patterns to ones that are healthier and more efficient.
The teacherís touch communicates the way she
is attending to her own body/mind, and this direct linkage makes the learning quicker than using
" Experience moving freely, sensing deeply, thinking clearly in ways you never thought possible as you learn to undo old habits of thought and movement, release excess tension, and find relief from musculoskeletal pain. "
As a young actor and reciter, Alexander developed hoarseness when performing. As he sought a solution to this problem, he made an important and innovative discovery about the unity of mind and body at a time when neuroscience was just beginning to explore that possibility. When he moved from Australia to London in 1904, he began teaching his work to a much wider clientele. Among his students were George Bernard Shaw, John Dewey, and Aldous Huxley.
See Frequently Asked Questions, FAQs, for further information.
More detailed and comprehensive information about the Technique and its application can be found at the following websites:
If you are not within easy driving distance of Nashville, Tennessee, you may find a teacher in your geographical area listed at the following websites:
" Sally worked with me to help correct postural challenges that resulted from an injury. She used
a combination of hands-on therapies and the results were fantastic. The techniques she taught
included elongating and releasing muscles. I highly recommend Sally for anyone seeking to
help one's body move and rest in its natural state. "
ó Sarah S.