What is the Alexander Technique?
The Alexander Technique is the name given to the work and discoveries of Frederick Mathias Alexander (1869-1955).
Alexander’s work offers us skills we can learn that can bring many significant improvements in health, wellbeing, performance and general functioning.
People of all ages have benefitted from learning how to apply the simple principles of Alexander’s work, and the Technique is now taught around the world by qualified Alexander Technique teachers.
Some of the benefits people experience from learning the Alexander Technique:
increased freedom and ease of movement
• relief from stiffness, pain and excess tension
improved co-ordination and balance
help with rehabilitation after injury, illness or operations
better awareness of how you use yourself in your activities
finding more ease at work
discovering more confidence
Learning the Alexander Technique
After discussing your reasons for coming to the lesson you will learn about some of the basic principles of the Alexander Technique.
As the lesson continues you will apply some of these principles in practical ways in simple activities like sitting standing and walking, and the teacher will help you to become more aware of how little effort is required to use your body effectively.
At the end of the introductory lesson you will have been given an idea of what lessons would involve for you, and you can then decide if you would like to continue with further lessons.
In further lessons you will learn more about how you can apply the Alexander Technique yourself in order to bring more freedom and ease to all that you do.
Group Lessons and Workshops
Group workshops are a fun, practical and effective way of learning Alexander's work; students are invited into group discussion as they reflect on their own lessons with the teacher, and also observe and share other people's lessons.
Who was F.M. Alexander?
F.M.Alexander was a reciter and actor, who, at the beginning of a successful career, found himself struggling with hoarseness and eventually loss of voice while performing. He sought help from doctors and voice coaches, but no one was able to find the cause of his problem.
As his problem did not seem to be a medical one, and only troubled him during his performances, he concluded that his loss of voice must be caused by something he was doing to himself whilst performing.
Determined to find a cure for his problem, he began a long process of self-examination and experimentation, which led to some amazing discoveries. These discoveries enabled him to develop processes which he could use to stop the unconscious and habitual patterns of thinking and movement that had been causing his problem.
He began to share his discoveries with those experiencing similar difficulties, and quickly realised that his Technique was applicable to many other conditions which had previously had no cure.
In 1904 he left Melbourne and moved to London, where he soon established a successful practice, and worked with many well known figures of the time. These included John Dewey, George Bernard Shaw and Aldous Huxley.
Alexander started his first teacher training course in 1930, continuing this work until his death. His work was carried on by his students, and today is taught around the world.
During his lifetime F.M. Alexander wrote four books illustrating and explaining his work:
Man’s Supreme Inheritance (1910)
Constructive Conscious Control of the Individual (1923)
The Use of the Self (1932)
The Universal Constant in Living (1941)
For more information about the Alexander Technique:
The Interactive Teaching Method Association www.itmalexandertechnique.org
The Complete Guide to the Alexander Technique www.alexandertechnique.com
The Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique www.alexandertechnique.co.uk
“The Alexander Technique doesn’t teach you to do something new. It teaches you how to bring more practical intelligence into what you were already doing; how to illuminate stereotype responses; how to deal with habit and change. It leaves you free to choose your own goal but gives you a better use of yourself while you work toward it.” Dr Frank Pierce Jones
"You translate everything, whether physical or mental or spiritual, into muscular tension” F.M Alexander