As children, we all have a natural ease and lightness of movement, but over time, we slowly lose this wonderful poise. Hours of computer and cell phone use, repetitive work habits, and sedentary tasks can cause people to develop poor habits of movement and posture conditions. Over time, these habits are often the real, underlying cause of chronic pain, stress, and tension. The Alexander Technique, which has been in use for over a century, is a practical method for learning to restore this natural coordination, balance, and posture.
The Alexander Technique, taught in classes or private lessons, helps develop more body awareness and movement skill, thus improving chronic pain, and promoting general health and wellbeing. This body work technique uses gentle hands-on guidance and verbal instruction from the teacher and requires no special clothing. Using tools as simple as a chair and a mirror, the Alexander teacher can help people fine-tune the most simple acts of standing, sitting, bending over, walking, and other movement skills. Then that knowledge can be applied to any activity: guitar playing, dancing, sitting at a computer, shoveling snow, lifting heavy objects, yoga, sitting meditation, etc.
The Alexander teacher helps you become more aware of habits of movement and tension that interfere with natural postural reflexes. In the process, you will learn to stop bad, destructive habits and instead, promote a more natural use of your body. The Alexander teacher can take you very far in your lessons, but over time, people learn to achieve these results on their own.
People who learn and practice Alexander skills usually have a dramatic experience of lightness, relaxation, and effortlessness. Because it promotes more natural use of the body, the technique is particularly effective in managing musculoskeletal pain such as back and neck pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, etc. The improved balance and coordination can also heighten performance in work and any skillful activity. In fact, the Alexander Technique is used by celebrities such as Paul McCartney, Sting, John Cleese, and many others to improve their performances and prevent injury.
It sounds so simple, but the depth of the work usually amazes people who are learning it for the first time. Our body awareness is diminished over time and we become less self-sensitive. We also become accustomed to our bad habits and are unaware of how badly we utilize our body. It can be a very liberating experience to feel yourself unravel from these bodily distortions.
At the core of the technique is enhanced mind/body awareness, consciousness, and mindfulness. Many Alexander students feel a surge of energy, more confidence in their abilities, and improved focus and concentration. All this contributes to a more free, natural, and energetic approach to life.