The Alexander Technique is a practical approach to working with postural movement habits. F.M. Alexander (1869-1955) conducted a rigorous process of inquiry and experimentation to understand what interferes with optimal human function. He recognized the integration of the physical, psychological and emotional dimensions of the whole person. The effect of stress or strain is neither just mental nor just physical. It impacts every aspect of being. How can one determine which habits are helpful and which are counterproductive?
In an Alexander Technique lesson, a student learns skills in self-observation, reasoning, decision making, post-activity reflection and assessment. The Alexander Technique teacher uses hands on contact with the student to give feedback and guidance in fundamental movement patterns. Playful exploration is an opportunity to question the unexamined assumptions and expectations that one lugs around and struggles with over a lifetime. The Alexander Technique provides a way for a student to work constructively with change at a self directed pace.
The Alexander Technique is not a treatment or a set of exercises. A lesson involves thinking and movement as a principled process is learned in general activities such as sitting or standing, walking, floor work or table work. Using a musical instrument or doing other specialized activities can also be part of a lesson. The student will be clothed at all times and therefore should wear comfortable clothing suitable for movement.
Benefits that students experience are wide ranging, but fall broadly into areas affected indirectly by changes in the nervous system and muscular coordination such as improvements in uprightness, freedom and ease in movement, overuse symptoms, pain caused by misallocated tension from postural misuse, anxiety, balance, coordination, presence, awareness, and increased capacity for decision making and agency.