Friday, August 28, 2009
The Alexander Technique is a method of self-discovery which is communicated from a teacher who values the discoveries that he/she has personally made, to an interested open-minded pupil who desires to improve his/her own self-knowledge.
The experience involved in the transaction was described by Alexander (1869-1955) in a short book, “The Use of the Self” (1932) in which he recounts his personal story of problems faced and solutions discovered.
The Alexander Principle has been defined as: “Use Affects Functioning” but in his early voyage of self-discovery, Alexander described his solution as “Constructive Conscious Control of the Individual” (1923). His final book “The Universal Constant in Living” (1941) begins with the statement:
“Few of us hitherto have given consideration to the question of the extent to which we are individually responsible for the ills that our flesh is heir to, this, because we have not come to a realization of the faulty and often harmful manner in which we use ourselves in our daily activities…..”
A teacher’s job is to bring the “individually responsible” pupil to the recognition of his/her faulty manner of use and help him/her to improve it. In Alexander’s frequently spoken words: ”Stop what is wrong and the right thing will do itself”.
Recognizing those habits which constitute our daily activities and discarding those which are impeding the successful use of ourselves is the beginning of a genuine “Conscious Control”. Whether the daily activities are those of a domestic, bureaucratic, athletic, or artistic nature the Alexander Technique has been shown to be helpful in developing skills necessary in all human activities.
Students from many disciplines and varying levels of achievement, including the highest, have written grateful accounts of their lessons and the result of their continuing self-study.
The only way to discover how the Alexander Technique can influence your own choice of life-style, is to contact a qualified teacher of the technique and find out for yourself if you wish him/her to be a source of guidance and encouragement.