Saturday, 1 February 2014

On 13:57 by Victoria Stanham   No comments
Why is it that we don't have "exercises" in the Alexander Technique?

As with everything in life, it all depends on the idea one has of what the concept exercise entails.

If we think of doing exercise as the execution of a routine, where the objective is to get through it, then no, we don't have exercises in the Alexander Technique. This conception of exercise entails mindless repetition of a pattern, and is clearly focused on achieving a pre-conceived end. 

For example, I may assign myself a routine of practicing my "sitting down" as learned in my AT lesson. I dutifully repeat my directions and proceed to sit-down and stand-up again several times...all the time wondering if I'm doing it right (whatever it happens to be).

If we think of doing exercise as a period of time during which I consciously choose to be aware of myself, well then perhaps we might have exercises in the Alexander Technique. This conception of exercise entails mindful exploration of a pattern, and has no end to achieve because the awareness is the end in itself.

Mindful exploration is always new, so there is no known end to reach. What we hope to reach is the unknown and for that we must be ever present so as to open the door for it when it knocks.

Mindless repetition is always old, it is more of what we already know. What we hope to reach is some pre-conceived goal in the future based on what we have learnt in the past.

With the AT we want to go from the known to the unknown, and the door that leads us there is in the now.

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