“What is the Alexander Technique?” Those of us who are familiar with this work know how difficult that question is. In one sense, the answer is simple enough: the Alexander Technique is a way of learning to move and do things with less tension. We have all seen the many videos and books that depict the Alexander Technique as a form of movement awareness that addresses the problem of misuse in action.
Yet this form of movement training - and this way of representing this work- falls far short of what F.M. Alexander (1869-1955) discovered and fails to address the real meaning and significance of his work.
In this course, we will examine the principles of Alexander’s work, not simply as a way of facilitating movement but as a new principle in how we function, how we learn, and how to be aware in living.
Alexander's great and under-acknowledged discovery was how his system worked as a coordinated whole and only understanding this process solved his vocal problems. This took him far beyond the problem of moving more efficiently and reducing tension; it opened up new insights into how his body worked, about the unconscious and instinctive nature of motor activity, and about how to “think in activity”. When Alexander was finally able to prevent his habitual misuse in vocalization, he had achieved a kind of mastery comparable to that of a highly-accomplished martial artist, who is able to perform with a level of skill far beyond that of the normal person.
To aquire such skills, we must do more than grasp the basic 'Alexander principles' but be able to analyze our own use, to direct as the basis for bringing about a coordinated state, and to apply this process of “thinking in activity” to our activities. This requires a completely new attitude and knowledge. Knowing how to do this, as Alexander said, represents more than a form of awareness in action but a new principle in human action and reaction - a new stage in function and behavior.
This knowledge - which is the real purpose of Alexander’s work - is much more than a technique for facilitating movement but represents a new discipline in the awareness and control of action.
Join me on this course and in this exciting adventure towards heightened awareness, more freedom and effectivity in thinking, moving and being.
New York City, 2019.