Control should be in process,— F.M. Alexander
Our typical activities such as standing, walking, sitting and lying down habitually compel us to expend unnecessary energy. Alexander lessons teach us to inhibit this extra energy for maximum ease-of-use. Rather than be compelled by habit, we learn to choose. Through regular lessons, we unlearn this interference and get out of our own way.
Alexander recognized the disparity between the various goals to which we apply ourselves and the means-whereby we attempt to achieve those goals; and then developed a practical way to minimize this disparity. In attempting to project his voice in theatrical work, Alexander habitually pulled his head back and down, which caused strain on his vocal cords and hoarseness -- the opposite of his intention. By teaching himself to inhibit this habit -- not through muscular action, but by sticking to a decision not to do it in the first place -- he avoided this problem. "Change," Alexander said, "involves carrying out an activity against the habit of life."
Alexander Technique is often improperly referred to as bodywork. From Alexander's point of view, "mental" and "physical" activities are both psychophysical. That is, the use of my body will affect my thinking just as surely as my thinking will affect the use of my body. By inhibiting interference, coordination is restored, allowing for our full potential to be explored across a wide range of activities, be they "physical" or "mental".
Alexander Technique is for anyone of any age. My students include: computer programmers, actors, martial artists, expectant mothers, opera singers, dancers, massage therapists, senior citizens, cellists, violinists, professors, and yoga teachers.
I teach individual lessons and group classes in Emeryville, California. From 2000 through 2004 I taught at the University of Texas-Austin. Clients include the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, Silliman University (Philippines), Voluntary Service Overseas, Longhorn Music Camp (for harp). I completed my AT training in New York City and also hold a B.A. in Philosophy from Yale University.
copyright 2006 - 2011, John Meyer, nondoing.org