About the Alexander Technique
Twenty-first century life is very stressful: ask anyone from a schoolchild undergoing SATs to a businessman to a grandmother struggling with modern life. We spend our time reacting to stimuli: the alarm clock, the note in the diary, the beeping of the mobile and our bodies fall into patterns of response. Over time, these patterns snap into position before we have had time to consider if they are really useful to us. Some patterns are not useful. They are putting unnecessary stresses on the body and after a day of such snap-reactions we are tense, tired and irritable.
The Alexander Technique teaches us to become aware of the patterns our bodies are falling into. It gives us the choice to decide whether or not our pattern is useful to us or if it is inefficiently using far too much effort.
There is no trick or quick fix in the Alexander Technique, but a growing awareness that by giving ourselves time, thought and attention, we can attain greater balance and co-ordination thereby enabling us to meet anything that life happens to throw at us in a more considered way.
History of the Alexander Technique
Frederick Matthias Alexander was a Tasmanian actor (born 1869) who suffered from disabling vocal problems. Medical advice brought no respite, so he decided it must be something which he was doing to himself whilst acting which was causing the problem. He observed himself acutely and discovered that his habitual speaking attitudes were compromising his voice. The discovery of his Technique to prevent his bad speech habits led to improvement not only in his voice, but to general health and well-being. He devised ways of teaching his Technique to others and in 1904 came to work in Britain. Many eminent people sought his help including George Bernard Shaw, Aldous Huxley and Joseph Rowntree. He has left the world a legacy of generations of teachers trained in his Technique as expounded in his four books.