Karen DeWig, certified teacher of the Alexander Technique
The Alexander Technique
What is the Alexander Technique?
The Alexander Technique is an educational method used worldwide for over 100 years. By teaching how to undo habit patterns that interfere with natural coordination, it enables improved mobility, posture, performance and alertness along with relief of chronic stiffness, pain, tension and stress.
Why do people study the Alexander Technique?
People study the Technique for a variety of reasons. The most common is to relieve pain through learning better coordination of the musculoskeletal system.
Another common reason people take lessons in the Alexander Technique is to enhance performance. Athletes, singers, dancers, and musicians use the Technique to improve breathing, vocal production, and speed and accuracy of movement.
The most far-reaching reason people study the Technique is to achieve greater conscious control of their reactions.
Most of us have many habitual patterns of tension, learned both consciously and unconsciously. These patterns can be unlearned, enabling the possibility of new choices in posture, movement and reaction. During lessons you’ll develop awareness of habits that interfere with your natural coordination. You’ll learn how to undo these patterns and develop the ability to consciously redirect your whole self into an optimal state of being and functioning. Through direct experience you’ll learn how to go about your daily activities with increasingly greater ease and less effort.
What does the Alexander Technique teach?
The Alexander Technique teaches awareness and skill in our manner of reaction. With a teacher’s guidance you develop increased awareness of habits of thought and habits of posture and movement. As you learn how to refrain from – or inhibit – habitual patterns which are not useful to you, you’ll become more aware of tendencies towards unnecessary muscular patterns of tension or collapse. Undoing these habitual patterns provides the opportunity for something new to occur: natural movement and spontaneity.
How is the Alexander Technique taught?
The Alexander Technique is typically taught through a series of private lessons. It’s also taught in group classes in performing arts schools, continuing education programs and other venues. Private lessons with a certified teacher are the best way to learn the Alexander Technique. Over a course of lessons, your teacher introduces concepts and practices that expand your awareness of the functioning of your nervous system, muscular system and skeletal system. You’ll learn to restore optimal poise, balance and ease in overall functioning. As you progress in your study, you’ll find that what you’re learning applies to all areas of your life. Just as study and practice in a new language enables you to understand and speak the language easily without thinking, so does study of the Alexander Technique result in the principles being applied in the activities of your life on an ongoing basis.