Alexander Technique Steven Hallmark
firstname.lastname@example.org - 0725413624 - Stockholm T-Fridhemsplan
"The Alexander Technique is a method of self-help. Its purpose is to help people to avoid doing things that are harmful to their general wellbeing. The method is unique because, unlike most systems that advise people what to do or how to do it, this teaches what not to do and how to prevent it. Thus the Technique requires, first of all, a practical demonstration, conveying the experience of what actions are wrong; and then clear instruction as to how they can be avoided.”
— Walter Carrington, master teacher trained under the technique's founder, F.M Alexander
How does the technique work?
Alexander Teachers go to work on the basis that symptoms that are brought to them are by-products of damaging, but inadvertent (unconscious) habits. So that if their pupils are re-educated to prevent such habits their symptoms will disappear or be alleviated because the damaging habits which gave rise to them are no longer present.
If you have not come with specific symptoms the teacher will educate you about your innate balance to prevent future damage occurring, and to establish a high standard of functioning in the inner organs and systems on which we depend for our health. This regained harmonious coordination is also what allows us to learn new skills or progress in old ones.
At first what you learn will very likely be unfamiliar, being outside your normal habits. But repetition, with the teacher’s assistance, brings familiarity. Here lies the uniqueness of the Alexander Technique. It is a practical Technique in how we can change our habitual behaviour. In essence, pupils are guided by the teacher in initially unfamiliar but better experiences in using themselves in activity and rest until new habits have been formed. The aim of Alexander lessons is that pupils become able to help themselves.
Teachers undergo three years of full time training to bring themselves up to the standard to be able to assist their pupils. After training it is their job to work on and improve themselves in order to become more skilful. Because the technique is based on the re-education of unconscious habits, pupils are advised to come several times per week initially and less often as they progress.
Why we don't offer exercises
We do not offer pupils exercises to take home and do themselves, as this would only cause them to carry out these exercises in their old habitual, unconscious - harmful - way of moving because they are not yet sufficiently familiar with the new habits we are trying to teach them. The things we do ask our pupils to take home are the experiences they gain during their lessons along with certain simple practices and eventually let these new experiences and habits influence how they go about their daily lives.
I wish to emphasise here the difference between ”remedial exercises” and ”exercising” which obviously takes many beneficial forms and usually involves the whole self - mental and physical e.g. walking, running, climbing mountains, skiing etc. These isolated remedial exercises are often aimed at strengthening specific muscle groups. We can then ask how these separate parts are to be reintegrated in the self as a whole in everyday life?