Learning the Alexander Technique: the "what" and the "how".
What is it?
The Alexander Technique is a method of becoming more aware of the mental and physical processes that are involved in supporting ourselves against the force of gravity, both in terms of:
How does one learn it?
The most effective way to learn is, as John Cleese once put it, "...get an Alexander teacher to show it to you", which he or she does by using their hands in a very gentle, non-manipulative way in conjunction with verbal instructions in order to give you the experience of holding yourself and moving in a more expansive, less tense way.
Group classes are helpful for people who are interested in the ideas and how to apply them, but not so helpful for people carrying a lot of tension or who are in pain; they need one-to-one help to unravel their tensions and reeducate their nervous systems.
“I find the Alexander Technique very helpful in my work. Things happen without you trying. They get to be light and relaxed. You must get an Alexander teacher to show it to you.”
“The Alexander Technique really works.”
“The Alexander Technique gives us all things we have been looking for in a system of physical education: relief from strain due to maladjustment, and constant improvement in physical and mental health. We cannot ask for more from any system; nor, if we seriously desire to alter human beings in a desirable direction, can we ask any less.”