Conscious direction versus habitual feeling

    I am re-reading Michael J Gelb’s book “The Art of Connection” because I knew upon first reading that there is so much more to this book than meets the eye and read a sentence which I thought would be worth sharing here, “Feelings may be stimulated by the words or actions of others, but are Continue reading »

    Walter Carrington on postural habits

    “The muscular reactions that pre-empt loss of balance generate feelings of insecurity, anxiety or fear. Thus, bad postural habits can cause fears and anxieties, but fears and anxieties, of whatever nature, also result in bad postural responses.” (Walter Carrington, “On the Alexander Technique, As I understand it”, April 2001 published in “Walter & Dilys Carrington, Continue reading »

    “Wishing and Willing”

    There’s a Buddhist saying that “when the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” I’m a firm believer in that since I discovered my first Alexander Technique teacher. Maybe there is something in your life with which you’ve been struggling, with which it would be useful to get some assistance? We cannot always resolve our Continue reading »

    Forward and Up, Joined Up Thinking

    I’ve just seen a reminder about us being what we think and I would totally agree with this. If we are pulling down and shortening ourselves, then this also affects the mind and vice versa. To remain in optimal balance, it’s important to remember our directions and to remind ourselves continually of where the upright Continue reading »


    So what actually happens in an Alexander Technique lesson? I suppose it depends very much on one’s teacher’s way of teaching, but all teachers of the Technique follow the same basic principles. I’ve been watching a video of a first Alexander Technique lesson and one of the things to which the teacher immediately introduces the Continue reading »

    It’s all in our thinking

    A sore back and/or a stiff neck are not pleasant and you can find yourself in a vicious circle of pain travelling from one to the other, nothing you do seems to get rid of the pain. Not even treatments which are supposed to help with back pain and neck tension. You go for the Continue reading »

    Learning about our habits

    The Alexander Technique has something very unique to offer in that it offers us an opportunity to learn about ourselves and there is always something new to learn, it doesn’t matter how many lessons we’ve had. This is why it definitely falls within the realm of education, together with self-care, as opposed to being a treatment Continue reading »

    Inhibition and direction

    In an Alexander Technique lesson we refer to two main principles, inhibition and direction, which are taught by means of using the chair and table. Inhibition refers to stopping when met with a stimulus such as getting out of the chair as soon as a teacher’s hand is placed on your back and neck, at Continue reading »

    What’s the difference?

    You might well be sitting here and wondering what the difference is between the therapy you’ve been having for a sore back or stiff neck and the Alexander Technique, and whether it might be worth your while exploring it further. Unlike osteopathy or chiropractic treatment, the Alexander Technique is an educational technique in that it Continue reading »

    A life in pain, or living pain-free?

    Life doesn’t have to be about being in pain, but rather can be about living pain-free. Have  you been pain-free in your life, would you like to be pain-free? How would it be if you were pain-free? The Alexander Technique is a tried and tested technique, especially of benefit to those who suffer from back Continue reading »

    Observation and awareness

    I was reminded yesterday how stopping to notice where one is tightening and/or shortening can bring about release of that tension. It really does take place in the mind with a teacher’s hands guiding you more into the upright, you can really become aware of the release of tension when you are  thinking about where you might be Continue reading »

    New Year, new beginnings

    It’s common at this time of the year to be thinking about resolutions and new interests/commitments heading into a new year. The Alexander Technique is a holistic approach to how we use ourselves in our everyday activities, such as standing, sitting and generally moving about. It was the best decision I ever took in that Continue reading »

    Brain work

    The Alexander Technique is about how you meet a stimulus such as a chair and how you move in response to that stimulus in a co-ordinated manner, in other words how you use your brain whilst thinking about how you use your body and preventing that which you don’t want. If your mind is on another subject entirely, Continue reading »

    Improved muscular co-ordination

    The Alexander Technique can benefit those in back pain and neck tension, but it’s not about back pain and neck tension. Rather it’s about restoring the co-ordination of muscles and how these work in relation to the whole muscular system. Certainly when we’re of a young age, we haven’t acquired the poor postural habits we acquire Continue reading »

    Getting the height

    Thinking of getting the height is one of the things that is experienced during an Alexander Technique lesson. The term ‘forward and up’ refers to the forward position of the head on the spine and up is the direction in which the head leads the rest of the body. Forward and up is what a Continue reading »

    Discovering balance within ourselves

    If lessons in the Alexander Technique are partly about finding balance, how do we find this balance within ourselves? I know when I first came for lessons I was very much out of balance, with a busy mind and muscle groups which were contracted and tense. It wasn’t until I experienced a teacher’s hands working Continue reading »

    Coming to quiet

    One of the things I value most whilst having an Alexander Technique lesson is being in an environment and state of mind in which I’m able to come to quiet. Previously so much of my day was spent being busy for others that there was little room to find a moment of peace for myself so Continue reading »

    Going Up

    When I write about ‘going up’, what do I mean? It’s a very difficult concept to put into words, perhaps it’s easier to express what it’s not. It’s certainly not pulling down, shortening, collapsing, all those things which drag us down towards the floor, nor is it feeling glum, downcast or, dare I say it, Continue reading »

    ‘Going from known to unknown’

    Alexander mentions Joseph Rowntree’s comment about ‘going from known to unknown’ during Alexander Technique lessons. Certainly it is a process and as such takes the time it takes, not a ‘quick fix’ by any means but a process of educating oneself about one’s unhelpful habitual postural habits and how these can be prevented. This should Continue reading »

    The breath

    Breathing through your nose, as opposed to your mouth, when vocalising (or playing a wind instrument) means that you have more breath to vocalise or play with. It’s worth experimenting a bit with this in terms of vocalising scales or even reading a passage out loud from a book and seeing how often you take Continue reading »

    Paying homage to holistic education

    Really thinking of my teachers, near and far, not just those of the Alexander Technique, but also others whose books I’m reading which are proving really helpful. I know I’m one for reading well-written texts and not forgetting these, such as words on teaching, with which some of you may be familiar. When we learn and Continue reading »

    Connecting up…

    This week marks a time when we traditionally remember those who sacrificed themselves that we might live in freedom and peace. In my thoughts are my father and his side of the family. Fighting as he did at the age of a young 20-something and experiencing loss in the process, was part of the times, Continue reading »

    Direction of our human laboratory

    If we are unhappy about some aspect of ourselves, whether this be a failed relationship, in some way our looks, level of confidence, emotional reasons or our reactions towards the opinions of others, then the tendency is to remain unhappy with this rather than taking the time to observe ourselves. We may even develop a critical habit, which Continue reading »