Frederick Matthias Alexander 
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The Alexander Technique is a practical and powerful means of self-development. Much of what we do on a daily basis is both habitual and unconsciously directed. It is only when some difficulty manifests in our lives - either physical or emotional or both - that we become aware that we might not be conducting ourselves as well as we might.

Modern life is hectic – it is full of stimuli which we struggle to process, and which contribute to our tendency to use excessive, and often inappropriate, effort in much of what we do. The effects of this manifest very differently in different people, and furthermore there are often accidents, personal pre-dispositions, or life events which exacerbate our habitual ways of engaging in the world.

In exploring the Technique, you begin to become aware of how you do what you do. You learn to pause before rushing unconsciously into activities, and develop the ability to develop poise and ease of movement, not through a series of exercises, but by understanding how to stop interfering with the integrated organisation of the human organism that is our natural inheritance.

People often come to the Technique to resolve some kind of pain, and this is often improved with the work. As we learn to improve the way we move and engage in life’s activities, so specific disorders often improve or resolve themselves completely. This is because use affects functioning.

In lessons we work with simple activities such as sitting, standing and walking. These serve as a starting point from which to examine our habitual ways of reacting to a stimulus, and to learn to respond consciously, constructively and to develop greater co-ordination and freedom. Lessons may be challenging but they are not physically demanding, they involve gentle hands-on contact and they should be fun!

Photograph of F. M. Alexander © 2010, The Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique, London