Is the Alexander Technique a Good Fit for You?
Last week a pupil asked me if there's any particular type of person who tends to be drawn to the Alexander Technique as an approach to self-development and healing. Thinking about it I realised that it's not so much people with particular problems who come as it is people with a particular outlook. Generally the Alexander Technique is likely to be a good fit for you if:
- You like to take responsibility for your own health and destiny. Learning the Technique gives a powerful tool to heal yourself in the present and look after yourself in the future—so it appeals to people who like to take care of themselves, and who don't assume that someone else will magically sort things our for them!
- You dislike doing boring and repetitive exercises. If the thought of having to do repetitive exercises every day is unappealing then the Alexander Technique offers another way. Of course it is important to take some exercise in life, but in Alexander lessons you learn to 'use yourself' better no matter what physical activity you undertake—leaving you free to choose activities you enjoy with much reduced risk of injury.
- You enjoy learning new ideas and skills and integrating them into your life. Alexander lessons involve a willingness to think about and engage with what is being taught, and to explore the principles independently in your own life outside of the lessons, so it appeals to those who like learning and exploring.
- You are willing to explore new perspectives and question widely held beliefs. The Alexander Technique calls into question things which many of us take for granted or have never thought about that much—so having lessons means being willing to consider fresh perspectives and try new things out.
- You are open to changing and growing as a person. The Alexander Technique takes the view that our problems are not isolated symptoms, but a manifestation of what is going on for us as a whole—mind, body and feelings. So doing Alexander lessons involves change and growth. You will not be quite the same person at the end as you were at the beginning. In a good way!
So like anything else it's not for everyone; but if it's a good fit for you it can be a really good one. I've done a lot of different 'self-development' type of things over the years, and I would say that out of all of them the Alexander Technique has been the best for me. Not the most dramatic, or the most intense, or the fastest—in fact it's quite gentle and subtle and slow. But I think it's been the most solid, the most useful, and is the one thing I always come back to when I want to ground myself. It's like a strong trunk and roots for everything else that we do.