About the Alexander Technique

The Alexander Technique is a system of movement re-education that is geared to learning to do whatever we do with the greatest ease and with the least amount of tension and effort possible. Fundamental to an Alexander approach is the idea that we all have an innate neuro-muscular organization that would allow us to move with great efficiency and poise. Unfortunately, the conditions of human life-especially in industrialized and now highly technological societies-tend to lead us away from this innate organization. As a result, our way of using our psycho-physical instrument to do any task tends to involve extraneous effort and tension.

The Alexander Technique uses a two-pronged approach to allow students to begin to remedy this situation: increasing studentsí awareness of their present movement habits and providing students with a kinesthetic experience and knowledge of how their psycho-physical instruments are in fact designed to work. The inefficiencies, tensions, and extraneous efforts with which the student sets about doing any task are largely-or even wholly-involuntary and unconscious. Increasing studentsí awareness of how they go about doing something is therefore central to an Alexander approach. Students learn to recognize the moment when they engage in a habitual, inefficient way of completing an intended action. They learn to "pause" in this moment of recognition, to rethink their approach to the intended action in order to allow it to be freer, easier and more naturally coordinated, and only then to proceed with the action. In Alexander terms, this comprises the dual processes of "inhibition" and "direction."

Created: March 10, 2002 -- April 07, 2002
© 2002 Kathleen Baum lafkath@aol.com
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