If you study and practice the Alexander Technique, it will change your life for the better. This is a statement I can make with complete confidence and zero doubt. I can say this to absolutely everyone, no matter their condition or circumstances. There is no one who can't benefit from the principles and the process created by F. M. Alexander and developed over the past century by those who have followed his path.
There is not much else about which I can make such a claim. Insight meditation perhaps, and MBSR, but these are essentially the same approach using different activities. The universal application of the AT is possible because the "problem" it addresses is also universal, shared by all humans living in a contemporary culture and world.
I was reminded of the basics of the AT in two ways recently. One is an interview with Michael Gelb, author of the first (and in many ways the best) book I ever read on Alexander, Body Learning. I like that it appeared in Forbes, not unusual given Michael's work in the corporate sector, but still not necessarily the first place I'd look for a discussion on body-mind awareness.
The second is a super helpful resource, based on the first chapter of F.M. Alexander's book, Use of the Self. Like nearly everybody, I find Alexander's writing to be tough going. He wrote in a style that seems to want to obscure information rather than clarify it, yet his thinking is so sophisticated, clear, and ahead of its time that the effort is generally worth it. Use of the Self was meant to be accessible to the general public, but even that is a stretch for most. Neville Shortt, who teaches AT in Glasgow, has kindly created a flowchart synopsis of F.M. Alexander's description of how he discovered the essence of human psychophysical functioning, and his brilliant method for freeing himself from harmful, deadening habit.
Neville has done us a great service, by visually outlining something very complex. If you haven't had a lesson (or maybe even if you have), Alexander's process can seem daunting and ultra-specific, even with a flowchart. The main takeaway is that body and mind are not separate, not even "connected," but truly the same thing. They are one.
Last summer I shared the many testimonials about AT on Alexander Awareness Day. People have been waking up to this wonderful way of being and how AT has improved their lives. Here are just a few:
Is your desk bound job causing you back pain? The Alexander Technique is an essential skill to work productively and to avoid pain.
Alexander Technique is great for stress-management. You learn to stop & think before you react habitually to the stressors in everyday life.
Put Alexander Technique lessons on your bucket list, it will take you places you never imagined you would go.
I don’t have to work as hard at good posture as I thought. I can get to a point of balance that is practically effortless. I like to explore, and Alexander lessons allow me to remember what I once knew naturally. It’s as if I were on an archeological dig that uncovers the self I was born with.
If you've been studying AT, why not share how it is helping you, in the comments section below? If you haven't yet started, what do you imagine you might heal, accomplish, or shift in your life?
Awakening is possible, alignment is our natural state of being. There is no one who cannot move closer to living in harmony with themselves. Learning the Alexander Technique is a guaranteed way to do this.