Because it’s a long article, I’d like to quote a few interesting passages. First is on the way the Alexander Technique can help with our personal transformation:
“The Alexander Technique is a conscious, mindful process of looking at one’s own habit patterns (mentally, emotionally and physically). This involves intentionally inhibiting the unnecessary patterns of interference by stopping inside and saying “No” to these habits. In this way, you can allow something new to enter in and make a more mindful choice. So the transformation is one from mindless or unconscious habit to mindful, intentional choice. (I’m using the word “inhibition” not in the Freudian sense of repression, but in the neurological sense of creating a space between a stimulus and our response.)”
Michael has had a lot of tragedies in his life, but he explains how AT has helped him deal with bereavement:
“What you are dealing with in the A.T. is more than just postural re-education. You are dealing with the fight-flight-freeze response and learning how to be free from this reactional pattern. The reason our posture worsens is that we are locked into this fear response. Imagine a conflict between what’s actually happening to us and what we wish was happening, i.e. the important phone call comes while you’re in the midst of cooking a complicated dish. Your attention is pulled into two directions simultaneously and this activates a low-level fight or flight response. The Technique teaches that you can choose something else for yourself. You have to go to the root of that response. A lot of Alexander teachers are only concerned about leaves on the tree but they don’t go to the root of the tree. What we are really dealing with is fear and “thought in its wrong place”. That is to say, faulty perceptions and the illusion of Self. We all have thoughts of insecurity, inferiority or general negativity. The problem isn’t having those thoughts. What matters is how you react to them. You know, thought is useful. But if thought wanders into the arena of comparison, of doubt, or some sort of self-loathing, and you lock into that, then you end up simply agonizing.
The thing about the A.T. is that it is applied to the present moment and it gets you out of your fear-reaction pattern, allowing inner freedom. That’s the crux of the Technique: mindful awareness in movement. Your body and breath only exist now. There is no past or future with this.”
“It’s not that you don’t feel your feelings, or that I didn’t get angry and cry and rage and all that. You give yourself the appropriate amount of time and then you let it go.”
There are more gems from this interview I’d like to share with you, but will wait for next time in order to keep this fairly brief.