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What is the Alexander Technique?

FM Alexander TeachingThe Alexander Technique is a 100 year-old method of mind-body education that, when applied, changes the way we think and move. It utilises a combination of hands-on guidance and practical information that re-activates the natural coordination inherent in all of us. When we learn to stop doing the habits that interfere with our innate ease we can then make conscious choices about how we want to move through life.

Applicable to any activity, the Alexander Technique is principle-based work that is easily learned over a course of lessons. It can be beneficial for anyone but has long been an essential tool for performers: musicians, dancers, actors, television presenters, athletes. The Alexander Technique is for anyone who wants to function at their absolute best in whatever circumstances arise.

The Alexander Technique is not therapy or exercises. It is an educational method concerned primarily with how we do things – the qualities with which we engage in all our activities. That said, many people find learning the Alexander Technique to be therapeutic. Using the Alexander principles enables us to become more responsive and less reactive. The process of applying the Alexander principles to life can create a new efficiency which enriches every activity – from working at a computer to working out at the gym, playing music, taking a walk or washing dishes.

“I must admit that when I began my investigation, I, in common with most people, conceived of ‘body’ and ‘mind’ as separate parts of the same organism, and consequently believed that human ills, difficulties and shortcomings could be classified as either ‘mental’ or ‘physical’ and dealt with on specifically ‘mental’ or specifically ‘physical’ lines. My practical experiences, however, led me to abandon this point of view and readers of my books will be aware the technique described in them is based on the opposite conception, namely, that it is impossible to separate ‘mental’ and ‘physical’ processes in any form of human activity.”

– F.M. Alexander The Use of the Self