I would not say I am a fan of the technique – I am a disciple. For many years I suffered with chronic neck pain following a horse riding accident. When my HR manager recommended the Alexander Technique I was intrigued. Her father, a stroke victim, had experienced an incredible recovery from practising the Technique – to the point where he no longer needed a walking stick. After the first lesson I felt a dramatic difference; my neck felt long and free like a giraffe. Soon after that my teacher said I had learnt enough to incorporate the technique into my everyday life and manage my situation myself.
There are many good reasons to introduce Alexander's work to children and teenagers. Articles in the media increasingly report that young people are experiencing more backache, discomfort, stress and anxiety. Whereas education is often geared towards goal-setting and exams, Alexander lessons help young people to take a step back, find resources within themselves, and stay in touch with their well-being.
Much of what we regard as talent is actually co-ordination in the widest sense: intelligent co-ordination of mind, body and emotions. As children come into contact through lessons with the source of their mind-body co-ordination; they find their overall learning improves. They become more confident and resilient, able to think calmly and constructively when faced with life's challenges.
Watch the video below to listen to both students and teachers talking about the benefits of the Alexander Technique in Education.
The Technique helps children achieve their goals with less effort. The awareness developed in Alexander lessons can be used in music, academic learning, physical pursuits like sports and dance, as well as playing computer games and everyday living. Children quickly get interested in Alexander work when they see their skills and confidence improving. This practical approach allows them to feel in charge of their reactions to life and to have more choice.
Some of the things that young people report after Alexander lessons are:
- improved quality of attention
- better co-ordination and balance
- enhanced self-confidence and emotional buoyancy
- improved ability to recognise their habits and control impulses
- relaxation and calmness
- reduced pain and discomfort
- the ability to think in activity