Watch this excellent video with Alexander Technique Teacher Chris Mincer, created by Roads to Bliss
- The Alexander Technique is basic: laying the groundwork for movements and activities in the sense that principles precede exercises.
- The Alexander Technique is physical: directly addressing the muscular, skeletal and fascial systems.
- The Alexander Technique is mental: differentiating between a stimulus and our reactions to that stimulus.
Not only has the Alexander Technique been used for over a century by professionals in the performing arts, it has been found to be a valuable tool for all people to understand their body in a deeper way and learn to move more mindfully and with better posture. The actor F.M. Alexander discovered the principles of the technique on his journey to heal his persistent voice problems. Using mirrors to observe himself as he spoke he noticed that severe neck muscle tension was harming his voice. One of his discoveries was that the relationship of the head, neck and back are of primary importance to restore innate functioning in the whole body.
We are usually unaware of the physical habits we have unconsciously acquired over a lifetime of learning, imitation and adaptation to stress or injury. Our increased muscular tension can be compared to driving a car with the emergency brakes on. The way we use ourselves can contribute to headaches, shoulder tension, difficulties sleeping, back pain and many other problems. We tend to treat these as isolated symptoms and not as a part of our whole functioning. The Alexander Technique is a gentle method to increase body awareness and change unwanted physical and mental habits.
The Ancients said that the animals are taught through their organs; let me add to this, so are men, but they have the advantage of teaching their organs in return.
Johann Wolfgang Goethe