The Alexander Technique – Working on oneself – Introduction

Thinking in Activity

The Alexander Technique seeks to provide pupils with practical guidance that can be applied in all of life’s activities and situations, i.e. in a real life context, with a view to learning how to improve one’s conscious use of self in an overall manner, since we are always inclusively involved in what we do, even when certain parts of ourselves are playing a dominant role. The processes of development, change and conscious control of responses are central to efforts to achieve equilibrium through the Alexander Technique. Alexander himself in fact used to refer to his technique as ‘The Work’.

During this Alexander ‘work’, the Alexander teacher seeks to enable the pupil to activate in himself an immediate response whereby he will discover by direct experience his manner of use in any given activity. This is why the Alexander Technique is sometimes coined as a ‘pre-technique’, in the sense that it addresses itself to the person’s body-mind coordination first. It is a technique to learn to improve the skill of using and preparing oneself properly in order to become better in developing other skills, specific to given techniques.

This Alexander work on oneself also helps to sharpen our self-perception in activity and learn to give our thinking processes a concrete and physical dimension through improving the reliability of our sense of balance and movement. This is why anybody who is working on oneself through known techniques of self-development can be helped by the Alexander Technique.


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