How the Alexander Technique Works
The Alexander Technique is an educational technique, not a therapeutic one. For this reason, a session with an Alexander specialist is called a lesson, and the specialist is referred to as a teacher.
An accredited Alexander teacher shows you how to identify and replace your damaging habits with more coordinated movements. When your coordination improves, so does your performance of any physical activity.
Your new coordination is accomplished kinesthetically—that is, by a transfer of information, via both language and the teacher’s hands. During simple movements such as sitting and walking, the teacher provides verbal and tactile directions to promote a body–mind reorganization.
You will see improvement over time. Your success depends on both your interactions with your teacher and the time between lessons that you spend practising the principles you learn during your lessons.
What happens in an Alexander lesson?
The Alexander Technique is sometimes taught in introductory workshops, though more typically in a series of private lessons.
A one-on-one lesson typically lasts for 30 to 45 minutes. An accredited Alexander teacher uses vocal and tactile directions to direct your posture and movement. The goal is to become aware of and improve the interactions between your thought processes and your physical functioning.
In your early lessons, you learn to apply a new set of instructions designed to help you re-coordinate your movements in simple situations such as sitting down and standing up. Lessons may also include table work, where you lie on your back in a neutral position.
As you become more accomplished in the Alexander Technique, you start to work on specific and more complex problems. These can range from sitting more efficiently to sleeping better to improving your performance on a musical instrument or an athletic time trial. You can even learn to think more clearly and in a more disciplined fashion. The applications are endless.
An Alexander lesson usually produces an immediate feeling of well-being. This effect can increase significantly over time.