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About the Alexander Technique

The Alexander Technique is a gentle, effective way to return to moving naturally. It teaches you how to release chronic postural habits involving excessive tensing and shortening, learning instead, how to allow lengthening and physical ease to continue under the many circumstances of our daily lives. It restores postural reflexes to work effectively in maintaining our good coordination and enhancing our performance. It is an excellent method of resolving pain and performance issues arising from poor use of the body.

Fredrick Matthias Alexander (1869-1955) was an Australian actor who developed the educational process that is today called the Alexander Technique. In the 1890s, Alexander began to progressively lose his voice during his performances as a Shakespearean orator. Over time, he found himself becoming increasingly hoarse and even losing his voice. As his career depended on his ability to project, this was a grave problem. He sought advice from vocal coaches, doctors, and specialists to no avail and finally attempted to resolve the problems himself. After much thorough medical examination it was clear that nothing pathological was at fault with his mechanism, and Alexander felt that his physical habits were to blame for the problem. He arranged mirrors so that he could observe his actions in detail as he performed. As he did this, he discovered his physical use of his body was not as he perceived it, and the resolutions to his tensions and misuses were not what he expected.

He discovered several key things, which remain the cornerstone of the way the technique is taught today. One, that simply holding oneself in what one thinks is a new and better postural position is not effective. Two, that the interactive relationship between the head and the spine, which he termed the Primary Control, had a significant effect on the whole of the body and the organization of any movement. Three, that it was necessary to say “no”, or what he termed “inhibit", our old habitual response before implementing any action and much, much more.

The detail of his discoveries are documented in his third and most popular publication, The Use of the Self, published in 1932. After making his discoveries he was able to resolve his vocal problems, strengthen his performance as an actor, and found that his overall health had improved. Alexander continued to develop his theories throughout his life and wrote several other books while instructing many students. Some of the most notable of these were: George Bernard Shaw, Aldous Huxley and John Dewey.

There are now many books written on the subject of the Alexander Technique, as well as its application to various activities, such as running, skiing, acting, horse riding and breathing.

Who is it for?

Anyone interested in

-Moving better

-Resolving back pain

-Feeling less contracted

-Preventing headaches

-Facing vocal issues

-Improving breathing

-Developing co-ordination

-Awareness practices

-Being calmer

-Building confidence

-Preparing for childbirth

-Relaxing chronic tension

-Reducing joint pressure

-Improving athletic ability

-Tuning artistic performance

-And more!

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