Origins

Frederick Matthias Alexander (1869 - 1955) was an Australian actor and reciter who suffered from hoarseness and loss of his voice during performances. After many years of experiments and observation on himself he developed a technique which enabled him to alleviate his condition and later taught this technique to others.

Alexander discovered that all our activities are dependent for their efficiency on a proper relationship between the head, neck and back. This relationship is fundamental as it affects the rest of the individual and when established a muscular harmony follows throughout the body. On the contrary, if this relationship is disturbed the whole system is disorganised. 
He published four books on the technique and in 1931 he established the first three year teacher training course.


What is the Alexander Technique?

The stress of life as well as the fast pace of our times cause us to develop unnecessary, harmful habits that lead to a general mal-coordination. This mal-coordination is manifested as a compression of the spine, stiffness and tightness in the muscles and joints and improper breathing, resulting in too much effort in our activities, strain, pain and general discomfort.

 

The Alexander Technique enables us to become aware of habits of misusing ourselves which “pull” us out of balance and to consciously prevent those habits in order to regain alignment, stability, balance, poise and ease in movement. It is a practical method of learning how to use ourselves naturally in any activity.

 

The Technique provides a process of re-education that provides a high level of self awareness in order to move with economy of effort, naturally, efficiently. It can add a new dimension of awareness, well-being and creativity to most people’s lives.

 

What are the benefits of the Alexander Technique?

  •  Release excess tension
  •  Regain alignment and function with efficiency
  •  Improved breathing and blood circulation
  •  Flowing movement
  •  Improved self-awareness and psycho-physical balance
  •  Stamina
  •  Injury prevention
  •  Relief from chronic pain associated with bad use 

Who can benefit from the Alexander Technique?

Everyone can benefit - actors, musicians, singers, dancers and performers in general, learn the Technique to prevent injuries, enhance their skills, free up spontaneity and creativity and manage stage fright. Sports people use it to improve flexibility, timing and efficiency, and to be more consistently on form.

 

The Alexander Technique is also particularly useful for office workers and professionals who spend long hours in front of a computer or sitting in a car or aeroplane. Learning the Technique can help to prevent or alleviate conditions associated with undue tension or poor posture such as back, shoulder, neck pain, RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury), headaches, asthma, rheumatism, arthritis, fatigue and psychological disorders, to name but a few.

 

It can also help people after injuries or illness by changing their response to stress which is associated with such conditions. It can provide support during pregnancy and also during and after childbirth. The Alexander Technique offers you a method for lifelong learning.


How can I learn the Technique?

The Alexander Technique is learned through one-to-one lessons with a certified teacher.

 

Through simple activities such as sitting, standing, walking, bending, lying down, the teacher uses verbal instructions and a gentle hands-on guiding touch in order to wake up the pupil’s awareness and encourage the experience of a new pattern of movement and ease within the self.

 

When the pupil has mastered the basics, the teacher can work with the individual in activities relevant to their profession or interest such as playing an instrument, working at a desk, housework etc.

 

In time and with practice you will be able to apply the Alexander Technique principles on your own which is the ultimate aim of the Technique.

 

©zwpilatesandalexander.com 2015

The Alexander Technique is a practical method of learning how to use ourselves safely, naturally and to our full potential in any activity.