“The Alexander Technique teacher uses their hands to lengthen your spine; they coax you into moving lightly and easily; this induces a sense of calm and well being; the teacher accompanies these wonderful experiences with careful verbal directions!”
Back in 1982, when I qualified as an Alexander Technique teacher, there was nothing I hated more than being asked “What is the Alexander Technique?”. Especially at a party or other social event. But I’d launch into my enthusiastic little rant regardless (see above). The hapless questioner would look longingly across the room for more mainstream company.
It’s much easier nowadays. People are more likely to have heard about the Alexander Technique. If they haven’t they are more likely to be open minded or curious than they were in 1982.
Nowadays when someone asks “What is the Alexander Technique?” I’m more likely to respond with something general like “People find it really useful for dealing with bad backs, stiff necks and assorted stresses and strains.” or “Actors and singers find that it frees their voice and reduces stage fright.”
Mostly this leads toquestions like “Have you worked with anyone famous?” At which point I look knowing and smug and reply “Oh I couldn’t possibly say. Confidentiality and all that!”
If the questioner is genuinely curious and asks “OK but how, specifically , does Alexander Technique help bad backs; free the voice; reduce stress?” I will then probably give them a potted history of F.M. Alexander and his discoveries.
So that’s exactly what I’ll do in my next posting. If you’d like to find out a bit more about what an Alexander Technique lesson looks like click the link below. Happy reading!