I’m a firm believer in the fact that you’re never too old to learn the Alexander Technique. What’s that, I hear you cry? Well the Alexander Technique is a technique you can learn, whatever your age, to become more aware of what you’re doing with your body and all of this is done by thinking. We don’t often think about this, our activities being so automatic, we don’t think about how we speak, how we stand, or even how we sit. All our habits come into play when performing such activities as these. We may be totally oblivious to them until they are pointed out to us.
If a child or teenager is able to learn the Alexander Technique, then certainly an adult of older years can too, in fact they’d probably be very good at learning it, given their years and maturity. Certainly anyone aged in between these can also, in fact the Alexander Technique is a technique for any age group, occupation or profession. It doesn’t matter what you do, it’s how you do it that counts, whether you do it with a whole lot of extra effort, or whether your’e able to do something effortlessly, with ease, conscious control and thought. This is, of course, what we aspire to, what our ideal state is, what we’re working towards during the course of having lessons, to develop that quality within ourselves so that life becomes easier, we have fewer aches and pains or indeed become pain-free where once there was pain and unnecessary effort.
During a course of lessons one isn’t necessarily aware of the change as it happens, it might only be later that we appreciate that change has taken place. This is because change is so gradual, just as one’s lessons are a gradual experience. This is why FM Alexander recommended his pupils came for lessons every day at the beginning of embarking upon lessons, so that they could make more rapid progress in terms of learning the principles of direction and inhibition, saying ‘no’ to tightening and shortening. These days, of course, people generally cannot afford to come to a lesson every day, but nevertheless having say two lessons a week can help you to get out of pain more quickly than if you just have one lesson a week. This may be too much for some people, who prefer to come for one lesson a week. Whatever option you choose, a lesson a week is certainly a very good start towards looking after your self, certainly better than not having a lesson at all. You gradually become more aware of what you are doing on a daily basis. Gradually, gradually, what you’re learning in a lesson gets taken away and worked with during daily life, whether your’e aware of it at the time time or not. Each time your’e with your teacher, your’e changed somewhat, things don’t remain the same. You’re gradually learning what it means to stop, to come to quiet, to become aware of things within yourself which are perhaps interfering with finding balance and equilibrium or indeed contributing to your sense of balance and equilibrium.
Learning the Alexander Technique is open and available to anyone with a curiosity about themselves, habits and movement, to someone who wants to know what it means to change and grow as an individual. It’s never too late to learn and your’e certainly never too old to learn. Learning is a skill we develop and hone during our lifetime. We’re often asked how long it takes to learn the Alexander Technique? I would question this question by asking how long is a piece of string? It’s all relative.