Thursday, 18 December 2014

The Alexander Technique deals first with clearing your thinking so that you are able to move in the direction that you wish to move, and not where your unconscious habit would take you.

So, before setting out, you pause to remind yourself to let go of your habitual tension patterns. And then, after the pause, it is a matter of committing to your new direction.
Ultimately, direction is a movement from point A to point B. But, in the Alexander Technique, we’re much more concerned with how we travel that distance.

In bodily terms this “how” is determined by a “primary movement” that comes before any actual step we take in the direction of point B. This “primary movement”, which has its definite physical manifestation in the dynamic relationship between head-spine-ribs-girdles-limbs, is governed by two “mind” aspects.

The first “mind” aspect is body awareness (body map). During lessons we strive to raise our sensory appreciation of our body parts, and their relationships to each other and to the whole.

The second, and most important “mind” aspect, is perhaps unique to the Alexander Technique.

Having determined "how" we want to travel from A to B, the Alexander Technique concerns itself with making sure we start and keep moving in said direction in the manner that we decided. What we don’t want is our habitual tension patterns to sneak in on us the moment we spring into action and undo our “primary movement”.

There are infinite ways of getting from A to B. The “primary movement” ensures that we do so in such a way that we’re not interfering with our natural postural reflexes. Alexander called it “lengthening (and widening) in stature” which is akin to “decompressing your joints for movement” or “creating space for movement to occur.”


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