|F. M. Alexander Technique||Michael Hardwicke B.Sc. PGCE STAT|
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Cumbria Alexander Training Teacher Training Course
Any one can learn the Alexander Technique. You learn to get a degree of conscious influence over how your muscular system works. So you deal with what might be called your "background muscle tone" and how you use your muscles to stand sit walk etc. By background muscle tone, I mean how released your muscles are when not being used. Over time your muscles might have stayed contracted without you realizing and maybe now you perceive, certain holding patterns as normal. This influences your muscles' ability to perform. A contracted muscle requires a lot more effort to do the same work as a naturally lengthened muscle. So even the task of standing can become hard work if your back muscles are not at a good background tone.
To learn the Alexander Technique is to discover how you can consciously influence your muscles both at rest and in action. You can particularly learn to affect the state of the muscles in your neck for these have important consequences for how your spine works. Alexander, the man who founded this Technique, discovered that we have a natural relationship between how our head releases at the top of the spine and how our spine functions. All vertebrates have this and we see it working well when we watch an animal lead with it's head and move with it's spine in an elastic lengthened way that looks effortless and graceful. As two legged vertebrates we have the same functioning but our life styles often interfere with it.
There are many good reasons for having this conscious ability to influence your muscular system. One of these is handling stress. If you are in touch with your background muscle set up you have a sort of feedback arrangement that lets you know when you are "doing" too much. You also know how to release muscle that you have unconsciously shortened. So you can prevent unnecessary stress and become more in charge of living and working at a pace that works for you.
second benefit for learning this process is that it enables the main part
of your structure, your spine, to work in a natural way.
Another benefit is to your creative/performance skills. Your natural spontaneity is linked to your muscle set up. Rigidity and fixing in one produces the same in the other.
Your emotional health is also linked to the state of your physical structure. When your structure, especially your spine, is working in its natural resilient supportive way you are able to meet the demands of life more fully.
A session in the Alexander Technique is carried out in ordinary loose-fitting clothes and usually lasts for about 45minutes.