How to Loosen Up – The book
Once upon a time, a lady friend of mine said to me “Look at your back, David!” She was referring to the fact that as young as 34, I stooped quite a lot and rarely stood up straight. Her friends also agreed with her that I should go and see an Alexander Technique teacher and that it would get me to stand up ‘properly’. And so, I visited a teacher in Leigh on Sea, Essex, Where my friend lived.
During this first lesson, I sensed that something positive, natural and innate about my movement and coordination was being re-stimulated, but I had no clue as to what, why or how.
A year passed before I took up lessons regularly where I lived in Cardiff, as there was no regular teacher there until then. I was told at the start that I would need at least 30 lessons at two lessons per week to reach even the most basic level of proficiency, equivalent to scales or simple tunes on an instrument.
Before ten lessons were over however, I was hooked, not because my back had straightened out; it hadn’t. And not because I understood the technique, how it worked, how to apply it, or even what was going on in the lessons; The lessons were often conducted in silence and I didn’t have a clue on any of these. What had happened though, was that my mind had somehow miraculously got clearer and I had become a lot more relaxed!
I completed my 30 lessons and continued. I was now getting familiar with many of the principles of the technique and tried to apply them to my poise and coordination and to other area of my life. However, there was still something vague missing and one of the clues to this was that there did not seem to be a cohesive definition of the technique or what it was really about, other than that it was about ‘unlearning’ habits.
I continued with my lessons for two and a half years, by which time I had decided I wanted to be an Alexander teacher myself. So I joined a three year Alexander Technique teacher training course in Totnes, Devon.
It then took another two and a half years of full time training before the penny finally dropped. Only then did I understand what the technique was really all about and I could fully apply it to myself without needing continual top-ups from a teacher.
Soon after I completed my training, I met some of the leading teachers and innovators in the technique. I also learned Neuro-Linguistic Programming which includes techniques to understand people’s thinking patterns. This helped me to decipher what was going on in these and other teacher’s minds while they were teaching the technique and in a pupil’s mind as they were learning it or trying to apply it. I even had insight from his choice of language in his books, as to how Alexander himself was thinking as he developed, applied and finally taught the technique. This enabled me to take the best of these patterns and develop a way of teaching the technique which made it far easier to understand and apply, and much quicker to learn. Therefore, the proficiency and understanding that took me about five years to achieve, can be achieved by most people in ten to twenty lessons spaced over 15 to 30 weeks.
In order to pass this on after over 35 years of experience, and so that this work can go on without me, I am writing a book-
How to Loosen Up with the Alexander Technique
I have five out of seven chapters written so far with the challenging 6th on health progressing gradually. As of January 2022 I am aiming for the end of the year for completion, though there is a lot of work to do, including getting a lot of anatomical and postural illustrations done.
Written or planned so far:
- Chapter 1 The Alexander Technique
Returning to your natural state
Relaxing below the plateau level that most of us call relaxed
About poise, tension and habits
- Chapter 2 Releasing and Realigning
Understanding poise and tension
The Power of Thinking
The Primary Control
- Chapter 3 Habits and Choice
Alexanders problem with habits
The monkey trap
Being open and staying open
- Chapter 4 Managing and Resolving your Emotions
How They Affect Your Body
Flow states for staying in the best condition
- Chapter 5 Learning the Technique
Learning with a teacher
Learning on your own
Learning with a partner
- Chapter 6 The Alexander Technique and Health
Therapy or Re-education?
Clinical research results
How it works for various conditions
Taking personal responsibility
- Chapter 7 Applying the technique
Attitude to life
I am also developing various multimedia courses and will be giving workshops for pupils as well as for established Alexander Teachers who want to learn my methods.
For a limited time, if you are interested in a FREE early draft of what I have written so far, without illustrations, you can contact me on the web form below.
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