The Alexander Technique (AT) is a practical method for learning to approach our daily activities with more freedom, ease and natural coordination.
It can be difficult to stop hunching, bracing or "tensing up" when we have been doing so for so long that it starts to feel normal or even necessary. Yet these types of habits affect everything we set out to do. Interference with our natural balance, flexibility, and breathing causes us to approach tasks with unnecessary strain. Through the Alexander Technique, we gain the ability to recognize and stop poor habits, and to restore our innate coordination and ease. This skill gives us more choices in how we respond and move, and improves our activities, from mountain climbing, typing, or playing the flute, to negotiating with a co-worker, or working in the garden. Many aches and pains can be minimized or even nipped in the bud when we realize what we are doing to contribute to them. AT is a technique of using ourselves better to enhance our personal and professional lives.
As philosopher John Dewey said, "The Alexander Technique bears the same relation to education that education itself bears to all other human activities."
The Alexander Technique was developed by F. Matthias Alexander (1869-1955) at the turn of the twentieth century. Today AT is taught worldwide in private practice and at many institutions, including The Juilliard School, Mayo Clinic, Yale School of Drama, Carnegie Melon University, London Royal Academy of Music, Boston University, and the American Dance Festival. Proponents of the Technique range from authors and doctors to well-known performers such as Leonardo DiCaprio, John Cleese, Robin Williams, Paul Newman, James Earl Jones, Helena Bonham Carter, and Julie Andrews. Nobel scientist Nikolaas Tinbergen mentioned the Technique in his Nobel prize acceptance speech, and philosopher John Dewey wrote the introduction to three of Alexander's books. The British Medical Journal made a video about the Technique and back pain. Read more on the Resources page.