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Alexander Technique

The Full Story


Alexander Technique is a 100+ year old method developed by F. M. Alexander, a well-known orator and actor from Tasmania, Australia. Though his voice was critical to his profession, by age 26 it had already begun to fail him. After consulting the lead physicians who indicated it was ‘all in his head’, he embarked on a multi-year study of himself via the ‘video camera’ of his day (the mirror) seeking how he might be contributing to his own condition. In the 1890’s his discoveries were among the first to point to the potent mind-body connection, and the technique he subsequently developed utilizes this pathway for the student to access more ease, efficiency and freedom in all their activities.  Initially known as the ‘breathing doctor’, he restored his own voice, yet was sought after by so many that he soon began to train others in England and later the USA how to teach his technique, even starting a UK school for young students.  It is not surprising that performers of all kinds seek out his discoveries due to the increased mental and physical demands of their professions.  Alexander’s revolutionary technique presents a practical process by which one's whole self may be re-educated to restore, refresh and renew one’s innate coordination, allowing for choice in every moment and a fundamental way to mindfully alter habits. Truly, since body and mind are connected, it is an UNLEARNING of both thought patterns and muscular habits that no longer serve us.  Similarly, unlike the common “doing” prevalent in the how-to books of the western world, with Alexander Technique, the organization of the whole self and the coordination of the body and the mind is attained through the power of thought and pausing – UNDOING.

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In the world we are constantly in relation with ourselves and other people and objects.  Alexander Technique is the study of the potent mind-body connection and how we can learn to use ourselves more efficiently and move with greater ease and freedom in every activity that we do. The organization of the whole self and the coordination of the body and the mind is attained through the power of thought and pausing. Alexander Technique serves to develop and encourage kinesthetic awareness that our current culture and lifestyle do not always support.   The integration of the technique into one's living positively impacts every aspect of life and is successful in remedying many overuse and misuse injuries brought on by faulty technique or imbalances in the body. This technique helps students access additional pathways to their personal practice, rehearsal and performance excellence by heightening their potent brain-body connection and renewing their innate coordination -- resulting in increased efficiency, enhanced skills and ease of movement.

The Alexander Technique guides you to ease and freedom in your movements through an increased awareness of your habitual reactions, and offers a step-by-step process leading to different choices -- and change.

Alexander Technique Books

Alexander Technique Resources

Books on Alexander Technique

What Every Musician Needs to Know About the Body

Barbara Conable

“Music education belongs on a somatic foundation because musicians move for a living, like dancers and athletes, except that musicians’ movement is even more refined, precise, and rapid.”

 —Barbara Conable.                                                       Learn More Here

How To Learn The Alexander Technique

Barbara Conable

“Not only does it offer meaty, practical information for students; it also provides valuable insights for teachers … The best explanation of primary control and downward pull that I've yet seen with students in activity … A healthy extension of F. M. Alexander's work.”

–Robert Cohen, ACAT News                                          Learn More Here

Back Trouble: A new Approach to Prevention and Recovery Based on the Alexander Technique

Deborah Caplan

Stop back pain, neck pain and shoulder pain Based on the Alexander Technique, Back Trouble shows how to turn everyday movements into practical therapy. 200 drawings and photos make it easy to follow the simple explanations. You will learn how to use your body correctly in all your daily activities, which can help prevent new back problems, and it can help prevent a recurrence of an earlier problem. Here is a medically recognized alternative or addition to injections, ice packs, heat, ultrasound, bed rest, medication and surgery. Can also help arthritis, pinched nerves, body tension, whiplash, sciatica and disc trouble.                                                                             Learn More Here

Indirect Procedures: A Musician's Guide to the Alexander Technique

Pedro De Alcantara

Based on the work of Frederick Matthias Alexander, this book is a thorough and practical approach to the issues of musicians' health and wellbeing. Author Pedro de Alcantara introduces concepts and exercises for musicians to let go of excessive tensions, stay focused, and direct their energies as they handle the challenges of practicing, rehearsing, and performing.                                           Learn More Here

Body Learning: An Introduction to the Alexander Technique

Michael J. Gelb

Michael J. Gelb reveals the methods behind Frederick Matthias Alexander’s groundbreaking health exercise regimen in Body Learning: An Introduction to the Alexander Technique.                           

                                                                                           Learn More Here

Freedom to Change: The Development and Science of the Alexander Technique

Frank Pierce Jones

Jones reviews the history of the Technique, summarizes Alexander's books, gives an account of his own experiences as student, trainee and teacher, and gives a short presentation of the contents of his 31 published experimental papers. Some beginners may find this book a little rich for their blood, but this is the one to take to that desert island; the superb bibliography alone is worth the price of the book.                                                                                               Learn More Here

The Alexander Technique: The Essential Writings of F. Matthias Alexander

Edward Maisel

Following years of self-experimentation, awareness, and introspection, Australian F. Matthias Alexander (1869-1955) came to one conclusion - the human mind and body are an inseparable whole. Any attempt to treat one without the other is bound to fail. He came to understand the dynamic relationship of the head, neck, and torso and their effect on human behavior.                                                                                                                                                                                 Learn More Here

How You Sit, How You Stand, How You Live

Missy Vineyard

How You Stand, How You Move, How You Live introduces you to a world within yourself that you may know surprisingly little about, helping you to better understand why you may not be able to do what you should be able to do, how you may be harming yourself with self-generated tension and anxiety, and why your thoughts and feelings can often seem beyond your control.                            Learn More Here

Books by F.M. Alexander

Books by F. M. Alexander

Man's Supreme Inheritance (1910)

‘Man’s supreme inheritance’ is our potential to develop conscious use of ourselves in all activities of living.

With reference to and examples from his teaching experience of his technique, Alexander argues for the development and evolution of consciousness. Though some of the contemporary concerns which he addresses are dated, the underlying issues are still the same: our health and well-being are being undermined by too much tension, effort and lack of physical and mental co-ordination.

                                                                                           Learn More Here

Constructive Conscious Control of the Individual (1923)

Constructive Conscious Control of the Individual develops the argument set forth in Alexander’s first book, Man’s Supreme Inheritance. Alexander shows that most of our movements, thoughts, and actions are dictated more by our feelings than by reasoning and that we can develop a reasoning consciousness. Instead of relying on subconscious guidance and control Alexander offers a practical remedy in the resumption of the conscious control of our whole activities.
                                                                                           Learn More Here

The Use of the Self (1932)

 ‘The Use of the Self’ is undoubtedly Alexander’s best known book; it is also his shortest (only five chapters) and in many respects his least important. Its publication in 1932 was largely prompted by the inauguration of the first three-year training course to train teachers of the Technique. It may be considered to a large extent as a ‘Training Course Manual’ for his students, and contains an open letter to potential Training Course candidates from Alexander, backed with recommendations from his supporters in the medical and educational establishment of the time.                                                                                                                                                                       Learn More Here

The Universal Constant in Living (1941)

The Universal Constant in Living was Alexander’s fourth and last book. It contains his most mature and consummate thoughts on what is now known as the Alexander Technique. Alexander shares with the reader knowledge accumulated in the course of more than 45 years of practical teaching experience.                                       Learn More Here

Articles and Lectures, Mouritz

Find the complete Alexander Technique library at

Alexander Technique Websites
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