You can benefit from the Alexander Technique…
…you can find ease, pleasure and efficiency in your life.
Our lives seem to accelerate day by day, and more is required of us – more quickly – year by year. Pulled in various directions by our growing responsibilities, we lose ourselves trying to meet the expectations of others. How can we take care of ourselves under these demanding conditions? How can we save our energy, support our well being and ease our aches and pains without slowing down? Clearly, we need a tool that can benefit us, bringing greater comfort, poise and confidence into our lives.
Alexander Technique lessons can deliver the benefits we need. With the AT, we can take care of ourselves while doing whatever we need to do at work or at home. Learning this basic art of self care is vital for anyone who feels stretched thin from an energy or time standpoint. This would include office workers, actors, retirees, students, musicians and athletes. Very few people have excess energy or too much time for themselves. For the rest of us, Alexander lessons can offer the following benefits.
Reduce or stop pain: The postural pattern shown on the left side of the photo above is common today. Patterns like this can cause serious problems, including spinal compression, restricted breathing and reduced mobility. Over the long haul, pain and diminished functional capacity will often accompany these problems. Fortunately, Alexander lessons allow us to recognize, understand and change unhealthy habits like poor posture. With the AT, we can cultivate the lightness, buoyancy and ease that are unleashed by improved alignment and balance. We can feel better, function more comfortably and look better too. For more information on how Alexander can help to relieve pain, please see here.
Prevent injury: The pulling down, narrowing, and compression of the left-hand figure can cause serious health and functional problems. Preventing these habits of misuse can deliver real benefits, including preventing injury, pain and dysfunction. This is certainly not to suggest that Alexander students are immune to health concerns. Rather, AT students use their awareness and thinking to choose movement and behavioral patterns that promote their well being.
Improve posture…without strain: The figure on the right is poised and upright, but he is not straining to “sit up straight.” On the contrary, he’s balanced, light and free. There’s an easeful quality to the figure that has nothing to do with chasing an idealized shape. The benefit of this easy uprightness is that he’s more efficient, comfortable and dynamic. With Alexander thinking, the fellow on the right notices and gently self-corrects the tightening, pulling down and narrowing so evident in the left-hand figure. For more information about how Alexander can help to improve posture, please see here.
Manage stressful situations more effectively: Stress is a part of modern life and it can’t be avoided. However, we can learn to manage the effects of stress instead of letting stress manage us. The Alexander Technique can teach us to deal more effectively with stress in three key ways. First, we can redefine what we consider to be stressful. Second, we can react less to events falling inside our narrower definition of stress. Third, we can calm down more quickly following stressful events. In summary, the self awareness and self control we cultivate with the AT helps expand the zone of what we can comfortably tolerate in our daily lives. To learn more about how the Alexander Technique can help you to manage stress, please see here.
Conserve energy: Easy uprightness in sitting, standing and walking conserves our energy. This energy efficiency stems from the delicate alignment and finely tuned balance humans developed through countless years of evolution. When we stop habitual interference with our postural mechanisms, our inherent alignment and balance can reassert themselves. When we stop collapsing, tightening and sinking into our work and our devices, we save precious energy. Saving energy is a major potential benefit of the Alexander Technique.
Enhance performance: An improved energy balance, deeper self awareness, greater ease and a reduced stress level should contribute to better performance. It’s no coincidence that these are the benefits that we learn to cultivate when we take Alexander lessons. Whether we’re trying to meet an urgent deadline at work or having an intense conversation with our romantic partner, the AT can help us to meet the situation with grace and fortitude.
Change the dynamics of the aging process: Why do some people remain highly functional to a very old age while their peers manifest sharp functional declines? The answer lies in the interplay of genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors, but it will take a long time for scientists to fully grasp the details of that interplay. While we wait for science to deliver us from decrepitude, perhaps there a few habits we can dial down in order to help ourselves. For example, if we don’t pull down, narrow and tighten, could that curb the reductions in stature, breathing capacity and mobility so common among the elderly? What about moving intelligently to reduce wear and tear on our joints? Why not inhibit our habitual behavior, facilitating better lifestyle choices in a wide range of areas such as diet, exercise and our use of alcohol and cigarettes?
The Alexander Technique can’t change the quantity of our years or make us immune to the challenges of old age, but it can improve the quality of our years. In fact, the AT just might be the best retirement planning tool we have.
Scientific Research and the Alexander Technique: Scientific studies have demonstrated the value of Alexander Technique lessons. However, not all of the potential benefits listed above have been verified in rigorous scientific studies. For more information about what the scientific literature has to say about the Alexander Technique, please feel free to consult the research studies linked here. You can also read about about the benefits that Tim and his students have personally experienced from their Alexander Technique lessons.