A Simple Guide To The Alexander Technique




1. The Alexander technique is a series of instructions that help people improve their posture, release the tension in the body and calm their nerves, if the technique is practiced enough.

 

2. The 'Alexander' in the technique stands for Frederick Matthias Alexander, an Australian who formulated this technique.

 

3. The Alexander technique's goal is to get people to move fluidly, without any tension, using 'correct' form s of breathing, posture, body orientation and posture.

 

4. The big idea in the Alexander technique is to properly positioning our head and spine, undoing all the incorrect posture habits of the past.

 

5. Use of Alexander technique: A lot disciplines where body movement/posture is very important, people often use the Alexander training to improve their body fluidity - sports such as horse riding, and in the arts field (acting, dancing, music etc).

 

6. People suffering from chronic pain, severe muscle strains etc sometimes use the Alexander technique to find out sources of the muscle tension and then release it using proper breathing, posture and visualizations.

 

7. Practitioners of the Alexander technique assert that the technique is a 'principle of movement'. They say the technique doesn't say what the correct posture is like. All the technique does, they say, is to suggest that we all should stop interfering with our body's natural functioning, and then we would stand straighter and better.

 

8. Three Easy Tests: Alexander believed that modern lifestyle has played havoc with our body movements, and proposed three very easy tests that will show what we are missing by not being alert and sensitive to our movements.

 

- Move your head without your shoulders.

- Open your mouth without tilting your head back.

- Turn out your toes without first shifting your heels.

 

9. While doing each of these movements, be alert to your movement, especially to the unnecessary movement involved - for example, Alexander didn't believe that we should get up from a chair by putting hands on our knees and pushing upwards.

 

10 Breathing better: Take your time to breathe. Breathe using your nose, not your mouth. Alexander said it helps to release any tightness in the throat.

 

11. Beware of wasteful emotions that limit your abilities: Take for example, anger. Alexander said anger tenses our muscles in the neck, jaw, shoulders etc. When we are able to detect these signals, we can then just ease our head upward, allowing our body to follow after it.

 

12. It all starts with the head: Alexander taught that easing our head upward and allowing our body to follow up after it, is the basis of natural body movement (and thus posture too). By easing our head upward (e.g. when getting up from chair, walking etc), we will find our body light and the movement easy.

 

13. Knee-bending: It is the most efficient way of approaching any activity in which you are standing and must lean over to work.

 

This is the basic of the Alexander technique. There are lot of exercises for different things, but it all starts with keeping our head easy and shoulder untight.

 

Thank you for reading.
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