Thursday, 11 December 2014
On 09:45 by Victoria Stanham in Alexander Technique, Decisions, Direction, Habits, Inhibition, Principles, Stopping, Thinking No comments
Two of the top benefits of the Alexander Technique are health and posture. These are, however, not exclusive to the Technique.
The objective of the Alexander Technique could be described as “lightness and freedom of movement with minimum effort.” But here once again the Alexander Technique does not hold a monopoly.
What distinguishes the Alexander Technique from other mind-body disciplines isn’t so much what comes at the end of the process, but rather the emphasis it puts on how we get there. And the key is in the THINKING PROCESS involved.
During Alexander Technique lessons you get to learn some of the anatomical and physiological aspects of movement, but this is not where the true core of the work lies. When we think about the structures that we’ll be moving, we’re not as interested in the actual movement as we are in the clarity of the thought and intention behind the movement.
The learning process in the Alexander Technique centers on clarifying the thinking process that gets you into movement. Alexander called it “quickening the conscious mind.” It’s about working with the reasoning, discriminating, creative and decision making capabilities of our minds.
If our bodies are not responding to our conscious wishes perhaps it isn’t because they are structurally unable to do so, but rather because we’re having unconscious wishes that conflict with our conscious ones. These “unconscious wishes” are made manifest in our muscle tension patterns.
We fail to realize this because the unconscious wishes have been there for so long they have become part of our “self-definition.” To go in a new conscious direction, we must first become aware of what direction we’re already unconsciously heading in… and let go of the conflicting wish.
This is really what the Alexander Technique is about: If you wish to go left, you’ve got to first pause and remind yourself to stop your habit of always going right. Because if you rush left without thinking, that is, without “inhibiting” your tendency to go right, you’ll end up going nowhere fully or satisfactorily.
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