Alexander Technique, What Is It?

WHAT IS THE ALEXANDER TECHNIQUE

Most aches, pains, imbalances, ailments, and other health issues we face these days can be linked to poor posture and poor movement patterns. The way people move, sit, walk, stand, or rest often puts our muscles under a lot of stress and tension, over months and years this can directly or indirectly causes many muscular issues. The good news is that almost all these issues that result from poor posture can be avoided with some basic physical education. It is important to realise that the aches and pains you are experiencing are generally the direct result of your own bad habits and unhealthy lifestyle. This is where the Alexander Technique comes in. So, what is the Alexander technique? And how can it benefit you?

What is the Alexander Technique (AT)

Developed by Frederick Matthias Alexander, a young Australian actor, and elocutionist who suffered from chronic laryngitis and other breathing problems, the Alexander Technique (AT) operates on the principle of integrating the body and mind in such a way that each functions with maximum efficiency and minimum tension. The basic aim is to achieve complete postural-harmony and maximum comfort. 

The Alexander Technique – Teaching/Education

The Alexander Technique (AT) is basically a self-help program; it is in no way a form of treatment or therapy. Basically, it is a way of educating people on how to be aware of their bad postural habits and how to train their body to become more balanced and coordinated.  The whole focus of this technique is on resolving the issues/problems by means of ‘self-learning’. Instead of addressing a particular movement, the AT focuses on the whole system. The AT encourages learning by taking into account sensory, intuitive, and other non-cerebral ways of acquiring knowledge. By practicing the Alexander Technique, you will be able to master new skills in the art of movement. You will be able to develop an understanding of where the actual tension/pain is and will be in a better position to find ways to address it. 

Exercises

The exercises are regarded as lessons and the participants are referred to as students and not patients. The basic goal of these exercises is to reduce stress and tension, rather than increase it. They are focused on strength training and postural re-education. Your teacher will be able to teach you, through simple daily activities/exercises such as standing, lifting, sitting, laying down, and walking, how to release the unnecessary tension and move in a tension-free, and more coordinated way.  

Some Benefits of the Alexander Technique

The Alexander Technique helps cultivate observational power and develop a much sharper sense of well-being and awareness. The students are able to enjoy the following benefits:

  • reduced stress
  • increased relaxation
  • increased coordination
  • increased flexibility
  • improved sensory awareness
  • ease of movement
  • decreased physical tension

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